By Jennifer Ladwig
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Melanie Hodges was inspired to open her consignment shop after she experienced the “consignment shop experience” first-hand. It all began a few years ago when she was going through a tough time and she desperately needed to sell some personal items to keep her family afloat.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Melanie Hodges, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
Hodges is the owner and manager of Lily Bee’s, a high-end consignment shop in downtown Pullman. The shop, she said, represents her life in many different ways.
“Really, I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was about 4 years old,” she said. “I’ve always had little businesses. I had a little pop-up candy store one time when I was little, and my sister and my cousin ate all my candy, so that put me out of business.”
Another time, she said, she had a collection of praying mantis eggs that she was going to sell to some farmers, but they hatched and got out of their coffee can cage, thus putting her out of business again.
Hodges said she’s always had expensive taste, and her experience with antique and high-end consignment helps her select the items she has available in her store. She said her exposure to beautiful antiques through an uncle and to fancy goods through trips around the world helped hone her taste and influences her shop.
The shop is a way for Hodges to help others, she said, as consignment shops once helped her.
As a young woman, Hodges was widowed and left to care for three young children on her own. She said she had no life insurance after her husband died, but she had beautiful things.
“I would take those beautiful things into the consignment shop and, low and behold, I would have enough money to make it through the month,” she said. “So I always made a promise that, if I could make it through that really rough time of my life with three small children, no money, (wondering) what am I going to do, that I would do that for others.”