Ten years ago, Burr Ridge’s Louise Juckniess discovered that even though she may be casting away items she no longer needed—they still had great value. Today, she and her business partners have transformed this once at-home business into a resale juggernaut.
One Burr Ridge woman took “melee”—which refers to somewhat of a chaotic state—and turned it into successful consignment operation run out of Willowbrook.
Shop Melee, with humble beginnings as a hobby out of Louise Juckniess’s home, is now placed in the top five percent of all storefronts on eBay. The successful three-part consignment shop sells contemporary to haute couture fashions and accessories, as well as furniture and home decor on its eBay and e-commerce sites.
“We’ve sold everything from 50 cents to $88,000 (an Hermes purse!), so we literally run the whole gamut,” says Juckniess. “And there’s always something new that walks through the door.”
A powerhouse was built when Juckniess partnered with Kim Williams and Beth Greifenkamp, and as the three pooled together their myriad of talents, business boosted in size and offerings. Growing from 1,200-square-feet to its current 10,000-square-foot space, the ladies are now looking for up to 18,000-square-feet to house items from around the country.
In addition to its e-commerce, Shop Melee has a retail store located in Willowbrook, which holds warehouse sales several times a month. The couture arm of the company, The HAUTE Spot, is housed at 935 W. Chestnut in Chicago or listed online at
thehautespot.com. Rounding out the business is its Shop Home division, which provides real estate sale services. Whether you are moving, relocating, reorganizing or downsizing, the Shop Melee team will take care of staging, pricing, advertising, and running an estate sale from beginning to end. Clients retain 65 percent of the sales from the event.
“The idea was to have one place that you have to go, all you have to do is drop off your stuff and we’ll figure out how to sell it,” explains Juckniess. “If we can’t sell it, we’ll donate it for you, and you get a tax receipt in its place.”
Shop Melee’s rise to the top is the result of several unique features. The biggest differentiating factor is that Melee consignors get paid more: 61 percent of eBay sales and 65 percent of off-site estate sales. If an item doesn’t sell online, it gets a second chance in the warehouse salesroom. Instead of having a shelf life of up to 90 days, Melee can hold onto an item for as long as it takes to sell. Lastly, Melee does not seasonally discriminate on what clothing a consignor can bring into the warehouse (so you can finally get that winter clothing cleared out!).
If you thought it couldn’t get better than that, Shop Melee goes a step further to make the consignment process as easy as possible. If you can’t drop off your items in Willowbrook, Shop Melee offers free pick up in the Chicagoland area and suburbs and even offers free shipping for out-of-state consignors.
“We love simplifying a person’s life by helping them get unused items out of their homes and putting money in their pockets,” says Juckniess.
To learn more about Shop Melee, visit shopmelee.com.
– By Angelika Labno // Photography provided by Shop Melee