When a 16 year old wants to open a bargain store, her mom steps in to help handle the legal side of things.
That’s the general summary of how soon-to-be-17-year-old Alysa Taylor and her mom Jenny Taylor opened up “Or Best Offer” over the weekend at 1157 E. SR-44.
Alysa (who’s birthday is Friday) got the idea two months ago when she and her mom were taking their dog to the vet. They passed a wholesale place in Franklin and decided to stop in.
So then Alysa convinced her parents to spend $400 on one pallet of items and sold them out of her garage.
“She started with talking us into buying one pallet, and my husband and I both said ‘ehh, she’s a teenager. One pallet: we’ll end up throwing it in the garbage or whatever and we’ll never have to deal with it again.’ Well, she fooled us, because here we are,” Jenny said.
Buying pallets is a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. Luckily, Alysa’s first pallet had some high-end items that she was able to turn around for a quick profit. And then she was hooked.
For the last two months, since the idea “just came to me,” Alysa has bought about 2-3 pallets per week and managed to sell the majority of items she purchased.
The store in Franklin that she got the idea from, Circle City Bargains, is now her primary supplier. She gets products from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, among other places, that she can turn around and sell at 30-50 percent off.
The act of buying pallets, opening them up and testing what was inside to make sure the items work properly became a bonding experience for the Taylor family of five.
“It is a fun process of unloading it,” Jenny said. “It’s something our family has grown with. With COVID and all that, we definitely had some bonding time over unloading pallets and testing stuff.”
Eventually the huge variety of items – lawn mowers, light fixtures, pet accessories, artwork, books, Halloween decor, etc. – began sprawling out of the garage and into the Taylor household.
“Daddy couldn’t get to any of his tools,” Jenny said. “We couldn’t put the kayak back up when he took it down. There was just so much.”
So that’s when they decided to open a store.
“We’re about two months later and in our garage alone, probably what at 50 pallets?” Jenny said, and Alysa nodded. “She talked me and my sister into going in with her so she could make that dream come true.”
Alysa’s aunt, Sherri Johnson, drove by the blue building located at 1157 E. SR-44 and saw it was for rent. So they rented it.
Johnson had already contributed to Alysa’s efforts – Johnson’s husband works at Knauf Insulation and has a big truck that he lets Alysa use to move pallets. So she had no issue with helping rent a place for a store.
“It’s kind of perfect because only ¼ of this building is set up for retail, and ¾ of this building is warehouse, so she’s got tons of room to unload a pallet and see what’s in there,” Johnson said.
“It’s also a good location, right here on 44, lots of passing traffic,” Jenny added.
They had a soft opening over the weekend, where they discovered quickly that the majority of their items were in high demand. They used the soft opening as a test-run to decide on the store hours.
“It was crazy in here,” Johnson said.
Jenny added: “We got super low on stock.”
The family had stuff in the back to pull out as they went, and that was pretty much depleted by the end of the day.
The grand opening took place Monday morning at 10 a.m. The store will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to selling items at nearly half-price, Alysa is looking to host local vendors, bring in semi-loads of pallets, and find ways the store can help the community.
She’s pitched the idea of buying a pallet of toys to sell to help customers save money while Christmas shopping, and pitched ideas of creating baskets to donate to community events.
“[Alysa] didn’t start this to be money hungry,” Jenny said. “It was just something for fun and she’s been able to profit from it.”