August 20, 2010
Lornacopia offers eclectic mix of women's clothing on Sixth Street
The dictionary defines cornucopia as "an abundant, overflowing supply."
So far, there's no definition for Lornacopia. But someday...
Lornacopia opened this week at 310 Sixth Street, a store selling an eclectic mix of new and pre-owned designer clothing: shoes, boots, jewelry, scarves, coats and handbags.
The new retail store, and the two-story building it's housed in, is owned by Lorna Revere, an Ohio native with family in Racine. She bought the building half-a-dozen years ago -- "I saw that Downtown was having a rebirth." -- and lived in the apartment upstairs for a year or so.
The retail space has been vacant for many years, but six weeks ago, "all of a sudden," she says, she decided to open a store. Girlfriends brainstormed the name, but there was no question what she'd be selling -- although you'd never guess it from her background.
Revere has a degree in electrical engineering, and has spent 21 years in the travel industry, living in places as far apart as London, Hong Kong and California. "I have a split brain," she says, "one side for technical things, the other side artsy. I went more the artsy route: I've always liked fashion." She used to model -- for commercials and advertising -- "years ago, when I was 'way younger."
"When I lived abroad in Hong Kong (for five years), I became aware of the fashion industry there. Clothing was really inexpensive, because it's made there. It was actually painful when I got here and saw the prices."
Now, thanks to her ability to buy from fashion liquidators -- "When stores closes, they contact a clothing liquidator to sell their stock." -- she's bringing inexpensive fashion to Sixth Street. "If I can pass on bargains to othes, I'm really excited," she says. Even before opening her store, Revere says, "My girlfriends and I would brag about when we get a bargain."
"My goal is to have three generations of women shop in my store. Teens will tell their moms, and their moms will come in with their mothers." That's a lot like the way she grew up, she says, recalling shopping trips with her mother, sister and grandmother. "If you put your mind to something, there's no reason you can't succeed," she says, reciting her mother's advice. Mother was one of 12 children, 9 girls and 3 boys, almost all of whom went through college. Her mother has two master's degrees and a PhD.
For a store that just opened, Lornacopia was surprisingly busy this morning, as Revere and her sister, Bridget Shirley, were still setting things up. A male customer, Lee James, even wandered in, and Revere told him there would be some men's clothing in the future: cashmere sweaters later this fall. From time to time she also plans to sell vintage or antique housewares, interspersed with the women's clothing.
Lornacopia's hours are Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. -- and other days "if you see the open flag out front" or make an appointment.
The store is Downtown's third women's resale shop, joining The Green Closet, at 321 Main St., and Molly Magruder at 330 Main, which sells new and consignment clothing.
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