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Recycling is big business

You think of newspapers, glass, bricks, metal and plastic containers. Trucks haul away tons of useless items from businesses and homes.

Highway repair crews have started scraping the surface material off of roadways and recycling it into replacement surfaces and not having to use as much new material, providing huge savings.

Millions of cars hit the junk pile for various reasons. Rather than being discarded in some hidden field to rust away they are now crushed, with different metal separated to be used in new products. Batteries and tires are also recycled, reducing the need for more acreage for landfill. 

In the Great Depression families were understandably the first recycler; children’s clothing handed down again and again to a younger sibling. 

Economy minded parents took quickly to a used clothing store. People who tired of an item could recoup some of their cost of the clothes, the store proprietor receiving the balance. Those stores began popping up after WW II. Consignment stores became popular in the 1970’s.

There was an agreed upon division of the sale price with the consignor receiving their amount usually on a monthly basis. 

One of the oldest consignment stores in Gwinnett County was opened by Dot York and Mary Jackson, Sears women’s apparel managers tiring of corporate life, they decided to open a resale consignment store. Located on Main Street in Lilburn, the shop opened in 1975 with the name Back by Popular Demand. With two experienced salesladies the shop was an immediate success.

Consignment stores have come and gone but Back by Popular Demand is still one of the dominant consignment shops in the area. 25 years later York sold the business to Melissa Morales who then bought property on Hwy #29 in Lilburn where the store is now located. Morales has opened another consignment store in Cobb County.

Dot (my wife) and I decided to have lunch in Lawrenceville.  While we were walking downtown her eyes were drawn ‘like a bee to pollen’ to a consignment shop for ladies clothing on North Perry Street. We went in.

I’m not excited about ladies clothing stores. I prefer hardware or fishing tackle places. But you can’t stay married for many years without giving in occasionally. I found a chair and a fishing magazine. I dozed off.

I was pulling a Rainbow trout into the boat when Dot said, “I’m ready.”

“She has a great store and some beautiful clothes and good prices, too. We knew each other twenty years ago,” Dot said.

“Her name is Mary Kay Elsberry. She opened her first store in historic Suwannee, Georgia but decided later she wanted to be on the Square in Lawrenceville. I was glad to see her.”

Upscale Resale Consignment Boutique moved to Lawrenceville in 2009.  

“Our store specializes in upscale clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories for women and children,” Elsberry said.

“Her move has opened a new market for her resale clothing,” Dot said. 

“Can we get lunch now?” I asked. “Then I’d like to stop by Bass Pro.”

“Drop me off home first,” Dot said. 

Always agreeing assures a friendly marriage.

“Sure,” I said. 

York is a WW II navy veteran and retired President of York Furs in Buckhead. You can contact him by email at: