White Elephant resale and trade has something for everyone
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 04/06/17 - 12:39 PM | 4013 views | 1 1 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dan and Brandy Ronek with the elephant logo of their retail shop. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
Dan and Brandy Ronek with the elephant logo of their retail shop. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
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Lots of people start their own small-business.

But not everyone is as passionate about it as Brandy and Dan Ronek.

The duo just opened White Elephant resale and trade at 1562 Garnet Ave. in a space that previously was a music recording studio.

That seems appropriate because Dan, a musician, has a niche in the back selling guitars and pics, and maybe someday soon, drum supplies.

White Elephant is strategically positioned on a block of Garnet near Ingraham Street featuring the retro '50s Buddy's Diner, a yoga studio and The King's Head Tattoo parlor.

“We drove by here and we saw that this place was for rent and the landlord was amazing,” Brandy said.

“I was wanting to open my own place forever, but I actually never thought I would get to the point of actually doing it because it's a lot of hard work,” said Brandy of the genesis of her new thrift store that just opened March 27.

Brandy, the mother of five pre-teen and teen children, credits her late mother-in-law as being the one who's encouragement convinced her to become an entrepreneur.

“My mother-in-law paid for me to go to the art institute and she told me,'You're so passionate. One day, I want you to open a store,' ” said Brandy. “After she passed away, I thought, 'You know what – I'm going to open a store.'”

But Brandy, who said she lives at, and draws inspiration from, Buffalo Exchange thrift, said she didn't want to just cater to women.

“We're trying to incorporate a little bit of everything into it – jeans, pants, shirts, shorts, dresses, board shorts, jackets, sweaters, summer clothes, tank tops and shoes. We have everything except for girls bathing suits,” she said.

It's a family affair at White Elephant. Everything is a group effort, even the store logo, a huge white elephant astride a scooter.

“It's unique, it's different,” said Brandy of the logo.

“The logo just popped in my head,” said Dan, noting he got the idea from Brandy's having ridden a pink moped (in the store's window) to art classes. With that, and her eclectic artistic taste, Dan said a white elephant riding a scooter just seemed appropriate.

The pair's daughter even participated in forming their logo.

“I have purple fingernails, and my daughter said, 'Mom, you need to have purple fingernails on that.' So we stuck that on there.”

White elephant refers to an extravagant but burdensome gift that cannot be easily disposed of. It derives from a legend that the king of Siam used to gift a rare albino elephant to courtiers who displeased him, that they might be ruined by the animals' upkeep costs.

On Friday afternoon a woman named Katie wandered in from the nearby yoga studio.

“I like buying second-hand clothes,” she said when asked why she came in. “I like going through this place. I've been in here before.”

A sign on the wall proclaims the store's unstated motto, “Life is too short to wear boring clothes.”

Brandy said her collection of vintage clothing for retro fashion lovers is reasonably priced.

“The highest-priced thing in here, a big thick jacket, is $24,” she said noting her resale shirts are mostly in the $3.99 to $5.99 range. She added its especially important to her that more high-end, name-brand stuff is available to people at affordable prices.

“Everything in here is a tribute to Dan's parents,” confided Brandy. “We could not have done anything if it weren't for his mom and dad.”

White Elephant

What: Resale and trade

Where: 1562 Garnet Ave.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact: 858-412-4451.
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calip
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November 04, 2017
Are you out of business????
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