Local woman spends her days finding homes for forgotten treasures
By Heather Graves
DE PERE – Trash to one person can be a treasure to another – that statement rings true for Fancy Treasures owner Sally Kiefer.
To Kiefer, it’s all treasures.
“It’s not junk,” Kiefer said. “These are treasures. These are treasured belongings, and I have been trying to find homes for these things.”
What started as a yearly garage sale, turned LLC, turned marketplace shop, turned consignment endeavor, Fancy Treasures Resale and Consignment, which recently opened its doors at 307 Reid St. in De Pere, is providing a niche for those looking to buy and sell treasures of times past.
“The building is historical,” Kiefer said. “I love how cute and quaint it is. If you stood at my door, you could probably watch 18,000 cars a day go by. So, it’s a great location, with tons of traffic.”
Unlike many consignment shops where items are separated by seller, Kiefer said Fancy Treasures is more of an open concept – with everyone’s items together in “staged areas.”
“A lot of times, these types of shops are set up in booths, and people come in and rent a booth,” she said. “The store isn’t big enough for me to chop it up. So, I kind of did like an open concept and then everybody’s items are together, and I staged them.”
For example, Kiefer said the store has a kitchen area.
“I have tons of Pyrex-like, old school glass bowls and a ton of kitchen stuff,” she said. “We have a bro cave. Every man who’s been to my store has not turned his nose up at all. In fact, some of the guys are bringing their wives in. It’s got Packers, Badgers, Brewers (in there), there’s fish mounted on the wall and I even put a TV in there so those guys could watch it. I have a whole kids section. I’m 45, I’m an ’80s child. I grew up with the ’80s toys. I have Cabbage Patch dolls, My Little Pony, you name it.”
Kiefer said Fancy Treasures also has a “living room” area that features mid-century modern and modern glass pieces.
“That crackled glass ashtray is just epic,” she said. “It’s orange. It’s the most beautiful piece of vintage glass I’ve seen. Then I have like a ’70s area. So I kind of got a few cool lamps and Ying-Yang and some Buddhas. I also have records.”
How it all started
Kiefer said the big idea for the store began several years ago when she started The Big Sale – an annual multi-family garage sale, but the concept began long before.
She said when she was a little girl, her mother would often hold rummage sales to raise money for Haiti.
“It started when I was like 16 years old,” she said. “My mom always had rummage sales for Haiti missions. Now fast forward. I’m an adult woman. I have children, blah, blah, blah. So we started doing rummage sales – me and my girlfriends. We started out doing one year and we called it The Big Sale.”
Kiefer said the first year it was just her selling, then the next year a girlfriend of hers got involved and another and another.
“And last year, when we did our last rummage sale, we had more than 31 participants,” she said. “Originally, we started this because I wanted to keep things off the curb. I had so much fun that I started picking things off the curb.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kiefer said though her hands were tied because of health restrictions, the desire to continue didn’t fizzle out – which prompted her to begin selling on Facebook Marketplace.
“It was 2020, my house is full and I’ve got probably about 16 women (ready to participate in the sale) and the governor shuts us down,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do with all these items in my home. I have a family. Knowing we couldn’t have a rummage sale, we started selling on marketplace, and it kind of blew up.”
Kiefer said from there, things continued to progress and when the opportunity to open a brick-and-mortar store presented itself, she couldn’t pass it up.
“I have that whole store filled already, and I probably could fill another store,” she said. “So it’s kind of crazy.”
How it works
Kiefer said items in the store, aside from her own, are consignment.
“I take pretty much anything and everything,” she said. “It’s all different, and the store will constantly change. I can’t promise that all your items will be in the store, like today, but as Christmas comes or Halloween comes, you know, then I’ll change the store out.”
Kiefer said the store is The Big Sale, LLC and is doing business as Fancy Treasures Resale and Consignment.
“You can come on down and bring me your treasure,” she said. “(You’ll) sign a form and you walk away. I do all the pricing. I do all the research… to determine the price. I clean the item – you can bring it to me dirty, it just can’t be broken. It has to work, we don’t sell junk. We’re selling treasures.”
Kiefer said cosigners can leave stuff with her to sell for about a year.
“If I can’t sell it within a year, then we need to get it somewhere else where someone else could sell it,” she said. “I make it really easy. You just bring (me your things), and then every month on the fifth you call me. If you have money, then you come on down and get your check. It’s 50/50 consignment.”
Kiefer said she has about 30 cosigners already, each contributing their own treasures to the mix.
Kiefer said she also does some estate work – helping families go through their loved ones’ belongings.
“I started doing some smaller estate sales, and I really love doing that,” she said. “I’ve gotten really close now to quite a few families when you start doing these things… It is such an emotional time for the families. I feel like I’m really helpful in these situations, helping them know it’s a treasure that someone else should value. It’s not just garbage.”
Kiefer said as the store grows, she hopes to do more estate sales.
“I feel like Fancy Treasures is going to be doing more estate sales,” she said. “I feel like I’m the girl you want to hire. I’m the one you want to come in and help your parents, help you and help find those treasures. You might not know that Indiana glass and is worth $70-$80, not $1.”
To find out more about Fancy Treasures Resale and Consignment, head to its Facebook Page.