Barbara Willis never imagined she would open a consignment store. But when she heard an Anthem shop was available, she took the opportunity.
In 2012, she opened J&B Furniture Consignment, which is filled with sofas, clocks, artwork, beds and other household items. Willis even challenges visitors to a game of air hockey on a nearby table.
“I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time,” she said about taking over the business. “For whatever reason, he wanted to sell the store. It just made sense.”
Willis receives a major of her items from homeowners in Anthem Country Club, Scottsdale and as far away as Colorado.
“Sometimes we’ll get entire homes,” she said. “We’ve received baby grand pianos. I just love them. They’re just such a beautiful piece of furniture. We’ve had gorgeous antiques.”
The strangest thing she’s seen in J&B Furniture Consignment is the world’s largest elan antelope head.
“A cute young gal bought it,” Willis said. “She was into taxidermy.”
She frequently sees repeat customers.
“Sometimes, when people buy things here for their homes, they’ll bring it back after a couple of years and I’ll take it—provided it’s still in good shape—because they’re moving.”
When Willis peruses items, she makes sure they’re clean, of current style and in good condition. She’s quick to say many customers visit J&B Furniture Consignment looking for a deal. That’s not always the case.
“A lot of people think this is a thrift store,” she said. “It’s not.”
She does call her prices fair, though.
“Because it says ‘consignment,’ customers think they can call the shots on the prices,” she says. “I think our prices are great. They’re fair. You’re not paying retail. Our items are perfect for a first-time homeowner.”
Willis’ lease is up in December, and she’s considered another location. However, she’s settled in Anthem, which she calls a “great community.”
“I like the people here a lot,” she said. “I’m going to stick around for a while. It’s a fun business. It’s a lot of physical labor, but I enjoy it.”