Bev#039;s Bargain Box offers an eclectic assortment of goodies

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

When life gave Beverly Bailey lemons, she made lemonade, which is ironic because it may be the only thing you won't find at her new novelty shop, Bev's Bargain Box.

After losing her position at Lawrence County's Adult Basic and Literacy Education program, where she had been for 14 years, Bailey was looking for a new direction.

With her unemployment running out, and no offers on the horizon, Bailey had to take matters into her own hands.

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"I've always wanted to run my own business, and I thought, what better way than to take my garage, and convert it," Bailey said. "I've always wanted to do this."

So, after cashing in her retirement savings and filling up her credit cards, Bailey opened her garage door to the public on March 1.

What Bailey converted her garage into could be described as a mini-flea market. Her walls are packed with a vast assortment of novelties for every member of the family.

Alien-in-a-jar key chains, nail clippers, toddler Ts, exercise balls and lip gloss are just a few of the many different knick-knacks that can be found at her shop, located three miles off U.S. 52 on State Route 93.

Originally, Bev's plan didn't include selling children's items, a business proposition which didn't go over well with some of her youngest customers - her three grandchildren. All agreed that "Mamaw's store"

just had to carry toys.

It's not all kid's stuff. Bailey also carries an assortment of more mature novelties, items that she keeps under lock-and-key, lest they be seen by little eyes.

Though her customers' eyes may light up when they locate that hard-to-find novelty item at Bev's Bargain Box, Bailey gets just as excited when she receives new treasures to line her shelves.

"When new stuff comes in I'm like a kid with a new toy," Bailey said. "I can't wait to get it out and go through it."

There are a few more practical items at the shop for those of the aquatic persuasion. Bailey has long maintained a nightcrawler business with her children, and she has expanded on these to offer a wide range of fishing supplies, hoping to "reel in" local anglers to her shop.

Though she admits the going has been slow for Bev's Bargain Box, Bailey has enjoyed the independence and flexibility that being an entrepreneur has provided her.

"I like the fact that I'm right here at home, if the school needs me, I can flip the sign over and go," Bailey said. "I like the fact that I answer to myself and myself only. If I do something wrong, I'm not hurting anybody but me."

Plus, Bailey said there's an added benefit in being the Bev in Bev's Bargain Box:

"I get to sit down all the time."

You can find Bev sitting at her Bargain Box from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.