Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment has very humble beginnings. Like in a small living room beginnings. Rhea Lana Riner sought out high-quality, low-cost items for her children, but she could not afford name brands and boutique clothes for her kids. So, she became an expert at shopping garage sales and consignment stores, always on the hunt for the amazing bargain. Since she could always use extra money, she would hold a garage sale and absolutely couldn’t believe that shoppers offered a nickel when she knew it was worth at least $7.50! She was also frustrated with her experience at consignment stores, who often lost her valuable items and offered no explanation.
In 1995, her husband Dave left the corporate world and they moved their young family from the panhandle of Texas to Conway, Arkansas so he could begin a new job in full-time ministry. Over the next 2 years, there was an idea forming in Rhea Lana’s heart and mind. She thought it would be fun to invite some girls to get together and buy and sell each other’s clothes.
So, in the fall of 1997, when her youngest child was heading off to preschool, she decided to send out invitations to The Children’s Clothing Exchange. Her husband told her she could get the bulk postage rate if she came up with a hundred names, so she worked hard to come up with 100 moms to invite. She was tickled when 11 friends responded! They brought her their clothes, and she did the rest – washed, ironed, priced, and tagged everything. Dave and Rhea Lana moved all the furniture out of their living room and piled it into their bedroom. She rented 3 clothing racks and held our first sale. They even had a few shoppers!
After that very first sale, Dave suggested they computerize everything so that consignors could enter their items online, enabling them to generate barcoded tags. She told him that he was crazy, there was no way women were going to do that! In 1997, unless moms were involved in the business community or corporate world, home computers were unnecessary. Moms certainly didn’t use email or surf the web in those days. As usual, her husband was right and ahead of his time. From that time until now, they have worked hard on developing their unique, copyrighted software and they continually strive to increase and improve its operating functions.
She organized and held consignment sales in her home for the next several years. Each year they added another room of the house. Looking back, she says it was really nutty. They had piles of clothes everywhere, that she was preparing and pricing for other moms. Eventually, the sale expanded into their entire house, including the garage.
It’s always been important to her, even in those days, that shoppers have a high-quality experience and that consignors’ items were guaranteed. When consignors came to pick up their check, if an item was missing, she always paid them for it. Simply because that’s how she would have wanted to be treated all those years ago when her valuable items were lost by consignment stores.
Her neighbors were glad when they finally moved the sale out of our home – it had grown beyond moms who were her friends. Since then, she has learned how to have high-quality events in many different venues. Over the years, she kept trying new things, learning more about business, and finding the right formulas with marketing, customer service, establishing systems, and more.
Over the last 25 years, Rhea Lana’s has grown to a nationally recognized, award-winning franchise with over 115 franchises, in 25 states and counting. Rhea Lana’s started as a business to serve young families and has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades, however, the core values prevail.
Rhea Lana’s offers moms around the country what every family is looking for: the chance to earn a paycheck off outgrown items, purchase high-quality pieces at budget-friendly prices, and business opportunities for parents searching for flexibility.