The Little Suitcase is back in business.
After a three-month break and a move across town, the DayStar Adventist Academy’s nonprofit resale boutique reopened Dec. 4 inside the former home of the Taco Bender at 427 N. Main St.
As of last week, the store still didn’t have the benefit of any outdoor signs that could guide new or returning customers to the new location. Yet even so, the aisles were bustling by mid-morning on Dec. 5 with longtime customers like Velda Ward, and the store’s cash register was steadily clinking away.
Employee Janice Foote said she believes that strong word of mouth drove foot traffic through the store during a workday in the midst of Moab’s off-season.
Ward, for one, has been coming to The Little Suitcase since the store opened at its former location about a year and a half ago, and she was just waiting for it to reopen.
“This is my favorite store in town,” Ward said. “(Foote) has good quality stuff here, and it’s very reasonably priced.”
Apart from the store’s prices, Ward said she appreciates the fact that Foote keeps her customers in mind when new items arrive on the shelves.
“She knows them all by name, and she comes up to them and says, ‘Oh, I have something for you,’” she said.
On this particular day, Ward walked away with some porcelain dolls and random Christmas-themed items she spotted around the store. Other times, she joked, she’ll tear up the store’s displays almost as soon as Foote sets them up.
Even if you can’t get to The Little Suitcase before Ward goes on her rampage, Foote said you can still expect to find bargains on unique items.
Just recently, The Little Suitcase struck up a deal with Phoenix-based retailer A Second Look, which is one of the world’s biggest clothing and houseware consignment stores. According to Foote, the retailer has agreed to give the Moab store many items that it doesn’t sell, including brand-name clothing, shoes and purses.
“The things that we get in here are pretty nice,” Foote said.
Once the weather heats up next summer, The Little Suitcase will also be selling organically-grown produce from the greenhouses and gardens at the DayStar Adventist Academy’s Castle Valley Farms, which are one of the largest self-supporting agricultural operations in the country.
Proceeds from the store’s sales ultimately benefit the academy, and the store also gives young people the opportunity to learn life skills, such as how to run a business.
While the new shop is about 200 square feet smaller than the previous space near Village Market, Foote is not complaining.
“It’s affordable, it’s cute and there’s ample parking,” she said.
“God has just blessed us with this,” she added. “We really feel that he has provided this spot for us.”
Parking was never an issue at the new location, but as for cuteness, well…
According to Foote, the building had been vacant for so long that the roof was leaking, the ceilings collapsed and the floors were covered with layers of dirt and dust that accumulated over the years.
“It had been uninhabited for 10 years, so the owner was really glad to bring it back to life,” she said.
As they made the move, Foote and co-employee John Sanders had no place to put the The Little Suitcase’s inventory, so they had to store everything at the new location.
“We had to work around all of our stuff,” Foote said.
Foote and Sanders revived the building in five weeks, with some help from her husband, as well as customers who donated materials for the new shop.
“They are just so loyal and so kind,” Foote said. “My heart is overflowing with thankfulness.”
Resale boutique celebrates grand re-opening at new location
This is my favorite store in town. She has good quality stuff here, and it’s very reasonably priced.”
When: Winter hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. The Little Suitcase will be hosting an open house at its new location on Thursday, Dec. 11
Where: 427 N. Main St., across the street from Tag-A-Long Expeditions
Information: Call 435-259-3013