Down on State Street

Marshalltown native Rhetta Wenk, a recent graduate of Iowa State University, has moved back to her hometown to launch her own business.

She recently opened State Street Trading Co. consignment boutique, located at 35 W. State Street. The store offers new and gently used men and women’s clothing — extra small to plus sizes — some juniors clothing, plus formal wear, handbags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, ties, belts, hats and sunglasses. Furniture and appliances are not accepted.

“I put myself through school buying and selling stuff on eBay,” Wenk explained. “So I knew I would have a pretty decent idea of what kind of things to sell [in her own store].”

After graduating from ISU in December 2017 with a degree in event management, Wenk learned the former It’s Unique flower shop building had become available to rent after that business relocated. Her parents have helped her remodel the space, and sort through consignments.

“It honestly just kind of fell into place,” she said.

Consigning works this way. People may bring up to 30 items into the store (no appointment necessary) to be appraised. Items will either be sold in the store or via her eBay profile.

“You get 40 percent of any item that sells for under 50 dollars, and 50 percent for anything that sells for over 50 dollars,” Wenk explained. “Items are kept in our store for 90 days. At the 30 day mark they go on sale for 25 percent off, at 60 days, 50 percent off, and then 80 days in the store, 75 percent off. If they don’t sell in 90 days, you have a week to take them back or we donate them.”

This business concept keeps the store’s inventory ever-changing.

Items range from five dollars to around $100, with some prom dresses costing in the two hundreds. Name brand goods such as Coach, J.Crew, American Eagle, Vera Bradley and Urban Outfitters are some of the varieties to be had.

“Any brand of stuff that is fun and spunky that’s new and cute [we accept],” she said. “But we prefer higher end stuff and not something that is worn out … Prom and formal wear doesn’t go on sale, but if it doesn’t sell we keep it for two seasons,” she noted.

While no refunds or exchanges are accepted, Wenk wants to keep customers satisfied.

“If we overlook a major flaw on an item, we will take it back,” she said.

Consignors can come in at any time to pick up their share of the profits.

A grand opening celebration will take place on Saturday from 1-4 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. Sangria and cookies will be served, and prizes given away.

The store is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and may be reached at (641) 758-9355. To learn more, visit: statesttradingco.com and follow the store on Facebook and Instagram.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com