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Upscale Resale Antique Fashion Owner Moving to Abilene

By Frances Gonzalez



Discovering gold was not in her plans when she packed and moved to California, but she brought a few good luck nuggets back to Texas that have recently brought her fame and fortune. Owning a business is a plus these days for many people, especially when business owners have a desire to please their customers. That desire and expertise paid off for Bennie Frazier, owner of Bennie’s Attic currently located in Sweetwater, but due to be moving next month to Abilene. Because of her new found fame, she has decided to move her treasures to the big city. All she had to do was be available as Brian Hawkins, one of the producer’s of The Texas Country Reporter Show walked into her shop one day unexpectedly and became fascinated by some of the pieces of artwork.{{more}} The discovery led to a question that increased her prosperity. According to Frazier, Hawkins asked her, “What is a shop like yours doing in a small town like this? It should be in Austin. I would like to do a feature story on it.” She said, “He was going from town to town and they discovered my shop. They did a wonderful job. Susan King, who is a customer of mine, was in the story. What sets her shop apart from others? It may be because of her designer clothes that she orders from her former Nordstrom’s customers in the San Francisco Bay area. She specializes in high end retro merchandise and has many collectibles like her dolls. She also sells many baby items such as cribs, and antique furniture. Most of her merchandise is consignments. Some of her customers are from foreign countries. The atmosphere of the shop is a very warm and welcoming one. Frazier explains that she goes fifty/fifty with individuals who consign with her. Frazier’s also sells African collectibles. “Good customer service is very important to me. Providing customer service is the backbone. I have to let customers know I appreciate their business.” she said. Who else would know better about customer service than a former Nordstrom Sales Associate like Frazier who, is a highly ranked and labeled “Pacesetter” selling up to $400,000 yearly in merchandise. She personally talks to her customers getting to know their needs, and if she does not have something available, she orders it for them, and even has her own alterations lady available if needed. Frazier’s interest started to surface when she worked her first retail sales position at Casual Corner in Pleasanton, California. Since that first job, she has learned much about the fashion designing. “This is the second time I have owned a shop. The first time was in California. I have always been intrigued with things from the past. I am especially fascinated with vintage and with fashion. The styles come back, and make full circle. Fashion designers just add a little personal twist when they reinvent them today. You have to know your merchandise, be an excellent listener. Also, flexibility is important, and you cannot be afraid to take no for an answer. You always have to have good service.” “I look at competition as good. If some shop is selling the same thing next door, what sets you apart from them? It is important to know what your competitors are doing. What is working for them? I am positive that there are not any clothes, upscale like I am selling. Customers do not need to go to Austin or Dallas. They can find it at a thrift store; at my store you are going to find retro. The product, the quality, providing excellent customer service is important. Recession has been affecting everyone. They can come to my shop and buy upscale merchandise at affordable prices,” she said. Frazier has class, and considers herself a “down to earth individual.” After exposure from Bob Phillips and his television crew, only a positive outlook awaits her at her next location which will be located on South Leggett Street in Abilene.Frazier has a B.S. degree in Secondary Education from East Central State College in Ada, OK. She also has two children, Lamar -33 and Meagan -27, and 2 grandchildren, Kani – 7 and Kanal -6. Frazier works part-time as a Crisis Intervention specialist with MHMR. While she is away, her friend Richard operates the store.

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