Just Between Friends aims to help mid-Missouri families through consignment sale

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COLUMBIA - This week Just Between Friends (JBF) set up in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse for the first time in the consignment franchise's history and will be open to the public from Thursday to Saturday.

JBF sale co-organizer Nichole Clark says the sale's goal is to "provide an opportunity for local families to sell their gently used kids clothes, toys, books, games, gear and for other families to come and shop for what they need at a fraction of the retail price."

"The consigners set their prices," Clark said. "They make 60 to 70 percent off of everything they sell."

Co-organizer Casey Elliott says that for some mid-Missouri families, the extra money from selling on consignment could help pay bills, buy groceries or cover costs for their children's extracurricular activities.

But the benefit of the sale is mutual for consignment sellers and sale-goers alike.

"We have shoppers that come through the line and say, 'this is my Christmas [and] I wouldn’t be able to buy these things if it weren't for your sale,'" Elliott said. "I really believe it makes a difference in the lives of the families we are working with."

The sale opens to the public on Thursday at 4 p.m., but early bird shoppers can enter at 9 a.m. for $5.

Clark says there are already over 2,100 tickets claimed for free on Eventbrite for the 4 o'clock sale. Without the Eventbrite ticket, admission costs $2 at the door on Thursday.

Admission to the sale is free on Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and most items will be half-price during Saturday's hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"There's going to be a line, and it's going to be great," Clark said. "I always enjoy seeing the line and seeing how excited people are."

There are other early shopping opportunities for the sale on Thursday.

A partnership with MU Children's Hospital has created an opportunity for MU Health employees to enter the sale at 11 a.m. and donations taken at the door will go to the children's hospital's patience assistance fund.

Doors open for first time parents, grandparents and adoptive and foster parents at 1 p.m.

Military and first responders can enter the sale two hours ahead of the public at 2.

Unsold items that are designated for donation by consigners will be collected by local charities partnered with the sale.

First Chance for Children will collect left over books while City of Refuge will take clothing and toys.

This week's JBF sale is the fifth for Clark and Elliot as franchise owners.

Their previous four sales were held at Elks Lodge in Columbia and the Hearnes Center location has provided more space for the sale.

"We could fit seven of the previous sales into this building," Clark said. "There is just so much more space."

JBF started in 1997 in Oklahoma and now has 150 franchises across the United States.

In May 2017 Clark and Elliott went from being JBF shoppers to franchise owners.

"It's been a wonderful, but big transition in going from that shopper, where we come and enjoy the great deals that we can get for our family," Elliott said. "To really put this all together is a lot bigger responsibility."

Clark's and Elliott's families have helped shoulder some of that responsibility.

While Clark's and Elliott's husbands built wooden clothing racks, Clark's mother and Elliott's parents, grandparents and aunts helped with drop off and inspection of clothing.

For more information on the sale visit JBF - Columbia's website.