Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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80 | MAY + JUNE 2015 that she has a mind for business. "It's like a game," she says. "I love trying [different] markets." Self- educated, Bankey follows Michael Gerber's EMyth and references his book, Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It, in which he recommends turning small businesses into franchises. Bankey is doing just that. "It's a system—you have a business plan, you write manuals, and that way it frees you from being locked in," she explains. "You can work on the business instead of in the business." Being savvy includes finding ways to keep people coming back time and again. "Consignment isn't for every- body—people can get frustrated by it because it is time-consuming," notes Bankey. "I try to make it easier and to get good inventory." Toward that end, she offers cash CONTACT Raspberry Beret 587 Main St. Reading 781-779-1853 1110 Main St. Wakefiel 781-245-2293 1704 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge 617-354-3700 buyouts on Saturday mornings, makes house calls, attends auc- tions, and investigates estate sales. At times, she also does open-drops, which allow people to come in without ap- pointments. Of special note are her after- hours shopping parties during which five to seven customers have the store to them- selves for two and a half hours. They are invited to bring wine and cheese, and the organizer of the group is given $75 to spend that night. Another way in which Bankey carves a unique niche is by donating unsold items to Mass Appeal Inter- national—an organiza- tion that helps sexually abused girls. "A lot of times those girls leave home with nothing, so they are really grateful for all these clothes," says Bankey, who received an award from the governor for her contributions. Of her three-store franchise Ban- key says: "We're a good cause: We recycle a lot of clothes. We serve lower-income communities—they have an opportunity to look great for less. Whatever we don't sell, we donate to a great [charity]. And I'm employing six women." Add to that a funky mix of high-end apparel, and Raspberry Beret is a hot hit. CONSIGNMENT ISN'T FOR EVERYBODY—PEOPLE CAN GET FRUSTRATED BY IT BECAUSE IT IS TIME CONSUMING. I TRY TO MAKE IT EASIER AND TO GET GOOD INVENTORY." —Rachael Bankey, owner Rachael Bankey, owner SHOP

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