Find our Video on You Tube!!

I just wanted to pop on my blog quickly and encourage my followers and those interested in Glad Rags to check out the recently posted You Tube video featuring my store!! A huge thanks goes out to Johanna Lemon for her hard work in the Village of Stockton this past year. This video is in large part thanks to her efforts to help local businesses promote their services and so much more. She took the time for the interview and worked on editing and posting the video. We really appreciate her efforts. Thank you so much, I think this video will be a great help in showing potential customers what to expect when they take the time to shop at our store. As I approach the 14th Anniversary of purchasing this business, I have some other exciting projects in the works, so please stay tuned. And thank you for your patience and support.


Store Hours – A Change for the Better!!

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to make some changes to the hours that Glad Rags is open each week. Since purchasing the store over 13 years ago, the store hours have basically remained the same. Those hours have consistently been Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. We have always extended the store hours during special events such as Fall into Stockton or the Annual Christmas Walk and of course during our busy Prom Season. During the winter months over the past couple of years we have been closed an extra day each week because of the slow traffic and extra cost of heat, etc.

I am not just a store owner, but also a shopper in my own right and find that it is not always easy to shop at some stores because their hours are basically the same as mine, so I cannot shop because I am at work. I know this has to be the case for others, so I have decided to stay open later one night a week and longer on Saturdays. LongerHoursOur new hours effective on March 1st will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. I know that it will take time to get shoppers in the habit of these changes, but I hope that it will be a benefit to those who would like to shop but just can’t get into the store when I am normally open. I have looked at other stores in the downtown area and some are already open until 5:30 or 6 p.m. every night. We also have some service businesses that stay open later on Tuesday and or Thursday evenings. So that is why I chose Thursday to try the new extended hours.

Another reason that I chose Thursday is because I want to tie the day into some special and promotions that I will begin to run to help remind everyone of our special hours. Think of Thursdays as “Thrifty Thursday” to remember that we are open an extra hour for you.ThriftyThirdThursday I have also decided to make every “Third Thursday” of the month a special shopping day and will remain open until 7 p.m. on those days and run some storewide specials to give everyone a good reason to shop during that time.

So I hope that you will help me spread the word of our new hours and try to come and see us during these times. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details on specials and sales. And as always, especially during Prom season, call us about extended hours for tuxedo fittings and remember if our Open Flag is flying – we are open to serve you!!


Purchases With a Purpose

purchaseswithapurposelogoDo you have a favorite local charity that you would love to support more often, but just don’t have the finances to do so? Glad Rags Boutique’s Purchases With a Purpose is an easy way for you to donate to your favorite cause without spending a dime. Most of us have excess in our closets, often times in the form of good things that we no longer wear or use. You can put those items to better use by recycling them through consignment. When you clean out your closets, you can donate them to a current Charity Account at Glad Rags Boutique. If you have a particular group that you would like to see obtain donations from your sold items, talk to us about registering your favorite non-profit. This is a great way to give back and you can ask others to donate as well without anyone having to give actual cash.

How does this program work? Currently at Glad Rags Boutique I have accounts set up for many groups including: Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois, Stockton Heritage Museum, Riverview Center, and the Miss Jo Daviess County Fair Queen Contest. I also have a generic Charity Account where the proceeds are used to help pay consignors for clothing that we donate to those in need – due to fire, flood, tornado, etc. If you would like to donate items to be put in any of these accounts, please call the store at 815-947-3081 to make arrangements. All consignors with our store need to make appointments and if you are just donating items, we still have to make time and room for the items. All items donated for our Purchases With a Purpose program have specially marked tags and can be found throughout the store. That way, customers can see when their purchase benefits a local charity. hospicetagAt Glad Rags when you normally consign items, the percentage that the store received is 60% and the consignor received 40% unless it is used as store credit, then the split is 50/50. With our Charity Accounts the store only receives 25% to cover the costs of processing which includes tags, barbs, steaming items and credit card processing fees for purchases. The charity receives 75% of the sale.

Charity Accounts have been the main way to help non-profits raise funds here at Glad Rags. But having items in charity accounts only does so much for the charity – the items have to sell for the non-profit to receive a check. That is why Glad Rags will now add another feature to our Purchases With a Purpose program. I will now offer special shopping days or after hours events where 10% of all sales for the day will go to a designated charity. The first such event will be held on Monday, October 10th at Glad Rags Boutique in Stockton and the proceeds will benefit Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois. This local Hospice has benefited from a charity account at our store since the fall of 2009. An account was opened at that time to help the Hospice offset the cost of moving to a new office space which would require more funds for rent, utilities, etc. Since the beginning of Glad Rags’ relationship with this worthy cause over 3000 items have been donated to sell and we have donated over $6000 to this organization. Can you please help me to boost our next check to them by shopping at our special Purchases With a Purpose Shopping Event? We will be using the 10.10 theme as we hold the event on October 10th! We will be open for 10 hours – 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. and 10% of all sales for the day will benefit Volunteer Hospice. I want this to be a fun shopping experience, so refreshments will be served and there will be a drawing for door prizes. The store will be full of quality Fall and Winter Merchandise for the entire family at a fraction of the cost of brand new. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about this local Volunteer Hospice and the work that they do.purchaseswithpurpose-1

Purchases With a Purpose is just one more way we are helping those that help others. We take pride in supporting local charities when our customers support our local business. Purchases With a Purpose has raised hundreds of dollars while recycling clothing and finding new homes for pre-loved items. Email us at to set up an account for your cause! And be sure to join us for our first Shopping Event that will give back!!signaturewithverse

September is National Sewing Month

September National Sewing MonthDid you know that September is National Sewing Month? The observance of National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.” In this fast paced electronic and digital age, sewing sometimes doesn’t seem as important as it once was. How many of us learned to sew from our mothers or grandmothers? When you attended school, was there still a Home Economics class where the basics of sewing were taught? How about 4H or Girls Scouts? Is that when you learned the skill of sewing?

I have to say that most of the sewing ability that I have was taught to me by my mother. To this day, she is still a much better seamstress that I am. She owns multiple sewing machines, a serger and loves to quilt as well as sewing garments and more. When my children were growing up – I used to make matching Easter dresses for my three girls every year. I even attempted vests and ties for my boys. I am grateful to my mother for patiently teaching me the art of using a needle and thread as this knowledge has served me well over the years. I have to say that since I own a resale shop and usually have a huge inventory of clothing to choose from, I haven’t sewn a garment from start to finish in many years. But having the knowledge and skill to sew has made it possible for me to mend many items and make alterations to garments that may have otherwise been thrown away.

The newer trend of repurposing has brought out the skill of sewing in another light in recent years. I have started following many blogs of some highly skilled seamstresses who share their projects and give inspiration on remaking many of their thrift store finds. I recently started following one from England. Portia has some great ideas and is currently running a contest on repurposed denim. I had every intention of joining in the contest and currently have two projects that I have been working on, but time has gotten away from me and I will not be able to finish the projects by the September 30th deadline. discounted denimI will finish the projects and post about them soon. In reading the many posts and entries to this contest, I wish I could help out some of these seamstresses with their denim supply. Many have found it difficult to obtain denim jeans. Every month at Glad Rags we take in dozens of pairs of jeans to sell in our store. From men, to women, juniors and childrens jeans. Not all of them sell at our reduced prices and currently we have marked some pairs down to just ten cents. They are the perfect material for many projects. So if you ever have some ideas or projects that need denim, come see what we have. Do you need ideas? Be sure to check out Pinterest and more for ideas.

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

I did not want this sewing month to pass without giving tribute to this special skill. I want to encourage you to get out the needle and thread and patterns too. With less than three months until Christmas  now is the perfect time to think of sewing and crafting for the holidays. If you need some ideas, check out our Pinterest boards. And be sure to check out our Blue Denim Christmas Tree ideas. One of my projects I am working on currently will compliment the tree this year, so watch for it soon. Just keep in mind when you have sewing projects that thrift stores and consignment shops might just have the right material for your crafting project.


Thinking Outside the Bag – What to Look for to Fill Your Bag at a Resale Shop Bag Sale


thinkoutsidethebagBag Sales – Don’t you love them for finding bargains? Have you ever walked into a store that is advertising a Bag Sale and thought, “Where do I start?”  – “Can I really get any good bargains this way?” Are you a novice at this kind of a sale? or an old pro? I have loved Bag Sales for years, and have to admit that I watch our local shopping newspapers to find out when local thrift shops will hold their end of season bag sales. One thrift shop in my area has a bag sale every Saturday and I just discovered another store that has one every Friday. It is always interesting to see how different stores have different rules for their sales. Most of the time the items that can go in the bag are limited to certain tag colors or items. One of the end of season sales that I try to catch, allows you to choose from everything in the store – and the cost of the bag is $3. The weekly bag sale is limited to a certain color tag and is $1. I came across another bag sale last summer which I found interesting. They allowed you to choose from most anything in the store and the cost was $2 for the bag, but you could only put in up to six items. That means the best you can do is get the items down to 33 cents, which is still a good deal, but I am used to the art of fitting as much as possible in the bag. bagsalesignAt my store I use Bag Sales to clear out items at the end of the season, and to give my customers some bargains in the process. The sale only includes specially marked items, but you can “stuff the bag” with as much as will fit. I have even encouraged shoppers to Bring Their Own Bag, but they can’t be large garbage bags!! I even offer a discount if shoppers bring our local shopping bag.


Use this bag during our $2 Bag Sale and you will only pay $1 to fill it.

So what do you put in the bag when you shop at a bag sale?Do you ever walk through a store and you can’t even find one item to put in the bag? I have had some customers that have stated that they couldn’t find anything to put in their bag, so I got to thinking maybe they need to “Think Outside the Bag”. So here are some ideas of what to look for when you shop your next Bag Sale.

First – Find great buys on items you will actually wear – maybe next season, as the markdowns usually are on items that are going out of season. I usually purchase items that I would like to put into my wardrobe the next time that season comes. It can be a pleasant surprise when you find that you have something new when you get your clothes out for that season and you find the items that you got at the bag sale and didn’t have time to wear before the weather changed. End of summer is the best time to get tank tops for next to nothing – use them as the base for your layered looks in the fall & winter!! In the spring you can usually find good deals on winter items such as hat, gloves, coats, sweaters, etc.

Second – Look for items for other family members or friends – don’t limit yourself on a great buy that will fit in the bag. Have a running list of sizes and needs from others, or if all else fails, give them a call while you are shopping to check on specific clothing needs. Having the use of a cell phone to take photos of items and sending the photos to others can help to pick out something someone else could put to good use.

Third – Think of charities – causes or missions – do you know of a clothing drive for others who need clothes – fire/flood/tornado victims? Remember, even if the items are for charity, please only pick out items in good condition that you would be happy to put to use if you had a need. Some charities and organizations have drives for sneakers, undergarments, and other items, be aware and collect these items at a low cost to help others.


Wouldn’t this jacket make a great start for a costume?

Fourth – Look for funky, fun items for dress up – Homecoming days, Halloween, little girls parties, plays and more. Start a dress up suitcase for grandchildren/daycare etc. What about purchasing swimwear or formal dresses to make into costumes? Thrift stores and consignment shops can have a great variety of vintage to stylish clothes that you don’t see every day. Be creative!!

Fifth – Here comes the part of Thinking Outside the Bag – Look for things you can re-purpose for crafting. Clothing is made up of material – in so many different forms. Denim, Tshirts, leather, silk, wool, sweaters and more can be repurposed, check out our Pinterest Boards for ideas. One of my favorite things to look for are buttons and other embellishments – such as sequins, beads, etc. The cost of the bag is less than what you would pay for buttons and other items at the craft store – and many times you will find unique styles that you can’t find in other stores. ButtonJarsDon’t limit yourself to just clothing items. Be sure to check out the shoes, belts, jewelry, purses and so much more.

I have been “harvesting” these craft items from clothing that either did not sell or were not up to our standards and headed for donation. That is why we now have jars of buttons, beads and jewelry findings along with an entire rack of buttons, buckles, beads and many unique items for you to choose from for your crafting needs. Some of the items are from my own shopping trips to thrift stores as I search to see what bargains I can find.

So the next time you see a Bag Sale advertised at your local Resale Shop – give it a try and see what you can find. You may be surprised at what you can bring home when you “Think Outside the Bag”!!



What’s In a “Brand” Name? Finding them in Resale!

labelcollageBrand Names in clothing – are they important? Do you have favorite brand names or labels that are your style? Brand name labels can stand for quality of the designer or workmanship. Is that what the label means to you? Are you willing to pay more for the popular labels, or do you shop with your personal style in mind?

I have to admit, as a person who purchases most all of my clothing second hand that I do gravitate towards certain labels and styles because their designs suit me. The quality of some brands let me know that the item is quality made and the classic style will be one that last longer than one season. These type of styles and labels are great sellers in places like my consignment store. That is the beauty of consignment stores. Do you have any idea how many different brand name labels you can find when you shop in a store with pre-loved clothing?

As I was approaching the anniversary of the purchase of Glad Rags I wanted to find a fun way to celebrate our 13th Anniversary. I have always been facinated with the name brands that flow through the store on a daily basis. We have lower end brands that you find in Walmart and other discount stores, but we also have higher end quality brands that you would find in mall stores, only online or even QVC. You don’t have to go to dozens of stores to find a variety of labels, just shop your local consignment/resale shop!!

So, to make it fun during our 13th Anniversary Sale we are having a Brand Name Scavenger Hunt!!BrandNameScavengerHuntblank To earn one of 13 door prizes that we will be giving away, come in to the store an pick up your entry blank for the Scavenger Hunt. How does it work? The entry blank has a space for every letter of the alphabet and you need to find brand names that start with each letter of the alphabet to complete the task. In putting together a master list for this task I have come up with over 400 brand names that are currently in our store (probably more, but I ran out of time to look on every rack!!) You must complete the list to be entered to win prizes. And during this exercise, we know you will be impressed with the hundreds of name brands that are in our store – everything from A to Z!!

13anniversaryspecialsOf course we have specials going on as well. Red Tags are 50% off and specially marked discount tags are just 13 cents. All regular priced items are Buy One Get One for only 13 cents!! There will be New Arrivals to the inventory daily, and these will qualify for the Buy One Get One for 13 cent special, so be sure to shop often. The sale is for 13 days and will end on Wednesday, June 15th at 5 p.m.

So plan now to take some time to participate in our Anniversary Celebration, we will announce some other special events soon!!


I’m Back!

I must apologize for taking so long to get back into writing blog posts. When I started this blog I had many good intentions, but have found over time, that sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything that I would like to do. Time has marched on and I want to make more of an effort to blog and keep in touch with my followers, so I am trying this again. Thank you so much for your patience. Please stay tuned as I work to post on a more consistent basis and share information that I hope you find helpful. I am currently working on several series of blog posts that I hope to start soon. Please watch for details on some fun things coming for Glad Rags Boutique as we celebrate owning the business for 13 years as of June 1st.


Time to Vote – Help us Pick a Winner!!

pocketcontestIn our last post we told you about our Decorate a Denim Pocket Christmas Ornament Contest.

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

We needed help to decorate our Blue Denim Christmas Tree for our local Christmas Walk and the Holiday Shopping Season. Take a look at our basic denim chain, denim icicles and denim candy canes that we put on our tree this year.To set off the tree even more, we wanted your help to make denim pocket ornaments. We did have a few entries, we would have loved to have more participation, but we know that it is a VERY BUSY time of the year. We are grateful to those who took the time to craft pockets for us. Now as promised we want your help in picking a winner.

We are judging the entries on the following criteria:
(1) Use of Denim Pocket; (2) Originality; (3) Technical Ability; (4) Overall Appearance and lastly – (5) Voting by the General Public (by ballot, Facebook likes and Pinterest likes). Votes will be counted at the end of the business day on Friday, December 19th and points for the other areas will be tallied to determine a winner. We will announce the winners on Saturday, December 20th. Everyone who wants to vote can do it in three different ways. You can come into the store and fill out your vote – one per person. You can visit our Pinterest Board with photos and descriptions of the entries where all you have to do to cast your vote is to mark your favorite entry. We have also created a photo album on our Facebook page where you can vote by liking the photo. Of course you can always try to help your favorite entry to win by sharing these photos.

Here are the entries:

Denim Pocket "A"

Denim Pocket “A”
Denim Pocket "B"

Denim Pocket “B”

Denim  Pocket "C"

Denim Pocket “C”

Denim Pocket "D"

Denim Pocket “D”

Denim Pocket "E"

Denim Pocket “E”

Thank You in advance for your votes!!


Planning a Blue Denim Christmas Ornament Contest

As we turned the calendar to November and changed our clocks this past weekend, I have to say that my thoughts turned to all of the preparations for the coming Christmas season. Let me first say, I love Autumn – the colors and the holidays that is represents. I especially love the Thanksgiving season and don’t like the way most holiday shopping takes away from the Thanksgiving holiday. With that being said, there is so much to prepare for the Christmas season that my mind has had to be on decorating and plans for decor especially for Glad Rags. Every year I decorate in our theme colors of blue and silver and use a lot of snowflakes so that the decorations can stay up through January.

Christmas Tree display

Christmas Tree display

This year I decided to change things up a bit as I have had my mind on finding new purpose for items that don’t necessarily sell at the store. In my last blog post I announced a Repurpose Redesign Refashion Contest and really looked forward to seeing the ideas crafters would come up with for this contest. I am sorry to report that we did not have enough entries to go forward with the contest, but I do plan to have the contest in the winter months. So if you thought about entering the contest, but did not have the time to dedicate to entering it, please stay tuned. We will be having the contest in the New Year. In the mean time, we really wanted to give away the prize that we had for the Christmas category for the contest. This prize would be great for a Christmas gift, so we decided to have a simpler Christmas ornament contest.

Every year our business community has a theme for their Christmas Walk that is held the first weekend in December. This year’s theme will be “O Christmas Tree”. In planning for decorations for our window displays, I have decided to have a contest to help decorate our tree for the season. The theme I decided on for the window is a “Blue Denim Christmas”. We always end up with so much denim that comes through our store and I want to craft with it for Christmas this year.

pocketcontestTo make it simple I decided to have a “Decorate a Denim Pocket Christmas Ornament Contest”. Those who wish to enter the contest will need to purchase either a pair of jeans or just jean pockets on sale at the store for the cost of $3.00. Then the fun begins. You can decorate your denim pocket any way that you wish to become an ornament for the Christmas Tree. Glad Rags also carries reclaimed beads and buttons that you can use to decorate your pocket. You can find the entry form here for more details, or pick one up at the store. All ornaments will need to be turned in to the store by Wednesday, December 3rd.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Contestant’s entries will be put on display for the Christmas Walk and the public will have an opportunity to help determine the winners.  Photos of the entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on this blog. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Originality; Overall Appearance;  Technical Ability; Voting by the General Public (by ballot, Facebook likes and Pinterest likes)

This contest began on November 5th. All entries must be received by December 3rd. Contestant entries will be featured in a special window display at Glad Rags Boutique in Stockton. Voting by the general public will be open from December 5th-19th. Entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on my blog. Winners will be announced on December 20th.


Win this prize – this would make a great Christmas Gift!!

Prizes will be awarded for First-Third finishers.
First Prize Winner will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
Second Prize Winner will receive at $35 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
Third Prize Winner will receive at $20 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So, now is the time to put on your thinking caps and come up with some decorating ideas. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our Denim Repurposed Board on Pinterest. There is no age limit for this contest, so get your family together for a fun craft night and you can all enter to win!!


A Pinterest Inspired Crafting Contest!

Do you find yourself spending time looking on Pinterest for ideas to repurpose something that you have at home in your closet? teal_pinterestDo you ever go to craft shows and see something that someone else has made that inspires you to try a new craft? Every day here at my store I find myself inspired to create “new” things from “old” items and don’t want to see clothing that just doesn’t have a use or a new home. As a self-proclaimed Clothing Matchmaker, I am always looking for ways to use clothes in unconventional or creative ways. Some items that come to my consignment store don’t meet our strict standards and cannot be put out to sell. At that time I find my mind wandering to find what other use there might be for anything on the clothing item. Can I remove the shoulder pads to be used in another garment or craft? Are the buttons something that would come off easily? Does it have beads? Jars of Beads and ButtonsOver the past several months I have spent hours taking items apart so that some value can come from garments that had outlived their usefulness as a clothing item. Because of that we now have a new rack at the store of many items ready to be re-purposed in new ways. And with the availability of Pinterest and all of the craft ideas out on the Internet I have also tried to find ideas to repurpose the reclaimed buttons, beads, and many baubles into new pieces. That gave me an idea!! Why not have a contest??!!

Contest logoI am sure that I am not the only person who loves to make something “new” from something that has outlived it’s usefulness. I have decided to have a RePurpose ReDesign ReFashion Contest!! The idea is to come into Glad Rags and purchase something – it can be a clothing item or some pieces from a previous clothing item and make it into something new!! I decided to have three categories of entries. The categories are as follows: TShirt Refashion, Denim Refashion and Christmas. We end up with many TShirts at Glad Rags, especially during the summer months and we want to see how many different ways you can repurpose them. When I first started my blog, my daughter Sarah did a tutorial on making a shrug from a Tshirt.TShirt to Shrug I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to TShirt Repurposing – be sure to check it out. But don’t limit yourself to my ideas. Denim is another item that we get in great quantity year around. We have denim jeans, skirts, shorts and more. There once again we have a Pinterest Board that will get you started with ideas.

Glad Rags Repurposed TreeAnd last but not least, we want to see your Christmas ideas. Did you know that Christmas is less than 5 months away? It is never too early to start planning for  new ideas. Last year we decorated a tree for the Warren Festival of Trees and used repurposed clothing items as decor. It was great fun – but now we want to see your ideas. Check out what we did last year on our previous blog post and also our Pinterest Christmas Board.

Are you ready to get started? Here is what you need to do. Make a trip to our store and check out the clothing and crafting items that we have available. You must purchase an item from our store to get started. Pick up an entry form and get to work. Be sure to take a photo of your initial piece before you begin crafting. Once the item is finished take some more photos of the completed project. Be sure to send in your entry form along with the photos The contest begins now and all entries must be received by September 10th. All entries will then be put on display at Glad Rags during the voting process. The items will be judged, but voting by the general public will be a large factor in picking the winners. Voting will take place from September 13th-October 4th. Winners will be announced on October 6th. Photos of the entries will also be posted here on our blog as well as on Pinterest and Facebook. Click here for the Contest Guidelines and Entry Form.

Speaking of winners – do you want to know what you can win? There will be a First Prize and Honorable Mention in each category.

Enter for your chance to Win!!

Enter for your chance to Win!!

  • First Prize winners in the TShirt & Denim ReFashion Categories will receive a Organizational Craft Caddy containing sewing notions and gadgets. (Retail value approx. $50)
  • First Prize winner in the Christmas category will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
  • The Honorable Mention winners will each receive at $25 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
  • All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So let’s get crafting!! I can hardly wait to see all of the creative ideas out there. Be sure to check back here for updates. All entries will be posted on our blog, Facebook and Pinterest.