with Hope Poor
Q: How long have you chaired the Women’s Clothing Department, and what brings you back to manage the department every summer?
A: Believe it or not, I started working in women’s in 1984, back when we pinned every skirt and pair of “slacks” to a hanger, after checking the size with a measuring tape. It was miserable, pricks in my fingers notwithstanding. Then I worked in girl’s clothing (regular and French room) for a long time to clothe my four daughters in beautiful castoffs, then a very brief stint in toys, decorative accessories and chairing the whole shebang before I found my way back to women’s. I think I’ve been chair for the past 5 to 8 years. (Time passes quickly when you’re having fun!) Why do I keep coming back? Well I’m obviously a Rummage Junkie and where else can you satisfy those addictions better than the largest and greatest department of all?
Q: Can you summarize your philosophy about pricing and marketing the various items you offer in the department?
A: Price to sell! I work at other sales and make sure that our prices are competitive. I also am a huge Rummage shopper, so I think about what I would be willing to pay.
Q: What makes the Women’s Department unique for, and attractive to, sale shoppers?
A: Because we’re the most fun and friendly group.
Q: Is there a typical customer that the department appeals to? Do you have a large, loyal group of clients that come year after year?
A: Customers come in every variety and especially love the bag sales. We’re not usually the first place they shop—most people want to check out Treasures or French Room first. We do recognize some of the customers and got a kick out of seeing Judy Barr Topinka, who was a regular!
Q: Can you give readers an idea of the price range for items in women’s?
A: Used underwear for $.25 (just kidding), up to heavy coats for $6. Most items are $2 to $3.
Q: In the years you’ve been managing women’s, can you think of the most outstanding item that’s been donated and sold?
A: Not really, but there have been some great additions to my costume closet!
Q: Do you have a favorite sale day memory that sends your spirit soaring when you think about it and reminds you about how remarkable the Kenilworth Union rummage ritual can be for volunteers and customers alike?
A: Every Sale Day makes my spirit soar!