Hanging up the closet

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By Steve Doyle

Sylvia’s Closet, the longtime consignment shop for children in downtown Shelbyville, is for sale – but it’s not going to be closed.


Norma Reidy, who has owned the boutique at 416 Main Street for 9½ years, 5 at that location, says it’s time for her to make a change, but she’s not going to, well, close up shop.

And, further, Redoit golf, the golf consignment store that is owned by her husband, Bill, and shares the space, isn’t even for sale, though it might move to a different space.

“I’m sixty-six years old,” Reidy said, although reluctantly including the number, “and none of my kids and grandkids are around here. I’ve missed out on a lot of events and ballgames.”

Reidy’s family is spread from California across Ohio to Maryland, an area from which she and Bill moved 19 years ago. “I miss the fish there,” she says.

Now, she’s fishing herself, hoping to find a buyer who can come in and take over the shop so she can get back there and enjoy the youngsters.

But she’s going to be patient.

“I’m going to keep the store until I have a buyer,” she says. “I’m not going to close.”

The Reidys own the building at 416 Main, just across from where the new judicial center is being constructed. Among its many incarnations, the facility has housed the old Shelby Sentinel and WCND radio, whose call letters remain stenciled on its front door.

That the Reidys have this business is a story unto itself.

They moved to Kentucky in the 1990s. Her husband had a long career with Sears & Roebuck – she is a native of Pennsylvania, and they had transferred around several times before landing in Baltimore and then Louisville – and they bought the Sears Catalog Store at the corner of 1st and Main Streets.

“And the day we bought the store,” she said, “Sears announced it was closing all its catalog stores.”

Holding a new property in an unfamiliar town, the Reidys adjusted by buying a Western Auto franchise, which had for years been located at a couple of addresses in the 600 block of Main Street.

They ran that business for about four years until Western Auto closed, which spawned their foray into the consignment businesses.

She said the store is a decent business – “you can’t make any real money unless you have three or four [outlets]” she says – and that she has enjoyed owning it.

The shop features not only children’s clothing but also baby furniture, baby gear and maternity closes. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Reidy has published ads seeking buyers, though she isn’t advertising her asking price.

“I’ve had some interest,” she says. “We’ll just see how it goes.”