With the Help of Paducah Bank
For nearly a decade, the Sisters Shoppe in Metropolis has been a haven for gift shoppers and those who want to do what many women consider retail therapy. From the moment you push open the door to the home-turned-decorator’s dream, rooms filled with delights for home, garden, baby and you (as the sign says) await the eager viewer.
After ten years of filling each nook and cranny of the Sisters Shoppe with fabulous finds, the two young women, whose inspiration enlivened the shopping site, found they were ready to spend more time with their young children and perhaps pass their cozy little company on to a next generation.
For Glenda Rhea, Debbie Morin and Darlene Luton, that decision turned out to be life-changing. Glenda Rhea has worked in retail since she was a young woman. But she had always had the latent longing to own her own business. Debbie Morin, a co-worker of Glenda’s at a large department store in Paducah, also had years of retail experience.
When Glenda heard the Sisters Shoppe was on the market, the wheels started turning and with a little encouragement from her family, she began to think about the reality of making a major reinvention of her daily routine. Then her thoughts turned to Debbie.
Debbie was a display diva. She had both the talent and the eye to turn isolated items into visual fantasies. In her, Glenda saw a “fitting” partner for her plan.
So the two women munched and mulled over the possibility of giving the Sisters Shoppe a new life and their own lives a new twist. “We did a lot of eating and talking, talking and eating,” Glenda recalls. The two came to the conclusion that they were ready to make the move when the actual purchase started to seem a bit overwhelming. (In retail, it’s called cognitive dissonance.)
In a late night conversation with her son, Glenda shared her concern about the investment and their future in going it on their own. “He quickly said, ‘Mom, get another partner.’”
So Darlene Luton was invited to dinner and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Darlene was perfect,” Glenda adds. “She also worked with us at the department store and, like us, was at a point in time where she wanted more free time and a schedule that was less demanding. And she’s a great people person. She can talk to someone for a couple of minutes and know their life story,” Glenda laughs. Darlene replies, “And I’m not even trying!”
So the triumphant trio began the process of meeting with the owners, talking with the realtor and seeking the appropriate financing. That’s where Kerri Brotherson and Paducah Bank came in.
“We approached a local bank first, but things didn’t work out. That was our first stumbling block and we became a little discouraged that maybe our dream was going to be short lived,” Glenda explained. “Then someone recommended trying a Paducah bank, so we made an appointment with Kerri. She was our first meeting and thankfully our last.”
At this point the three women all begin to jump into the conversation, each with her own list of glowing commentary about the aid of Kerri and the difference she made in their approach and their attitude. “We were a bit unsure of ourselves after that first financial encounter,” Darlene says. “But Kerri gave us so much encouragement and support that we all had this renewed sense of excitement.”
“She was so full of information and so excited for us that we all felt much more ready for the task ahead of us,” Debbie adds. “Kerri was very helpful from every aspect,” Glenda also comments. “She was very efficient and gave us a prompt and positive answer. We were well on our way to becoming business owners and couldn’t have done this without her help.”
Now all the new sisters needed was a trip to market. So three blondes armed with a credit card headed to Atlanta for their first buying experience (does it get any better than this?) to fill the shelves of their new shop for the new year.
The challenge was a bit overwhelming they all say, but even in the three short months that Debbie, Darlene and Glenda have stocked, stacked and sold their selected merchandise, they have loved the learning experience.
“Through it all we have each felt that God’s hand was in this,” Glenda remarks. “It was a big step for all of us. But it seemed that at every turn there was something that pointed us in this direction.”
After Darlene joined the duo for that fateful dinner meeting, she saw that the Sisters Shoppe ad was missing in the paper the next morning, and “I thought my dream was over,” she remembers. “So I bought a prayer necklace and put my desire in it.” She also purchased a little book of poems in which she had found a verse called I Can. When she shared it with Debbie, it fell open to the very poem Darlene had read in the store.
After the purchase and during the move-in phase, the new sisters noticed that there were a couple of stepping stones which led from the back door. Each was imprinted with two angels. As they poked around in closets and drawers and made discoveries of many hidden treasures within their new retail realm, they found another stone which they added to the little pathway. This one, to their surprise, was engraved with THREE angels.
So the three sisters by choice are now on the path to new careers, new developments and a whole new world of work. They have since framed the little poem and it hangs boldly in their Shoppe office reminding the new owners that with confidence, courage and faith . . . They Can . . . Oh Yes, They Can!
After our first stumbling block with financing the project, we connected up with Kerri Brotherson at Paducah Bank. Kerri gave us so much encouragement and support that we all had this renewed sense of excitement.”