After 16 years of business, Gacious Consignment Boutique in Waynesboro is closing its doors on Saturday after facing financial hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was blessed to be 16 years in the business and to have met a lot of beautiful ladies over the years from all over,” store owner Brenda Arkward said. “I have really built a wonderful rapport with all my consignors, and I felt that we were able to contribute just a little something for the city.”
Arkward said while she had hoped to be open for 20 years, “her plans were not God’s plans.” After having to close for three months because of the pandemic and taking time to evaluate, the 69-year-old business owner said she knew it was time to close.
“Had it not been for [COVID], I would be going on as usual,” she said. “I just know that right now it’s time for me to fold so that I don’t have to face the challenges that may come in the next 6 months or so.”
Gacious Consignment Boutique opened in 2004 at 120 North Wayne Avenue at the intersection of Spring Lane and North Wayne. Arkward operated the store at that location on Saturdays only for nine years. Upon her retirement from the Waynesboro Police Department in 2012, she moved the boutique to its current location at 520-E West Broad Street with operating hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“This was always something that I wanted to do. It’s always been my passion to have the ladies apparel and have a nice boutique for the ladies to come and visit,” Arkward said.
The store’s name came from a derivative of the word gracious. Arkward often said “gacious” to her two children as babies, which in turn would make them smile. When the time came to chose a business name, her husband suggested “gacious” to turn that happy word and feeling into a tangible place.
Since opening, Arkward has had no employees. She’s run the business with help from her sisters at times, and has personally met every consignor whose come into her boutique. Although her consignors were hurt when they heard the news, Arkward said their hearts will always be open even without a physical storefront.
“As we come to a close, I just want them to know that I appreciate everything everyone did for Gacious — all my consignors, the patrons that were dedicated and faithful. It’s been a wonderful tour that I’ve been on, and I wish things could be different but it is what it is,” she said.
The consignment shop’s last day will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Store items are currently half off for household items, jewelry and pocketbooks. Clothing and shoes are $1.
Any items remaining after Saturday will be donated to local nonprofits and organizations including Valley Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Wayne Theater and the WARM shelter.
Although she doesn’t know what the future will hold for her, Arkward said she wants to stay active and “will have something to do.”
“It’s been a wonderful journey, and I can take a bow and say I did what I set out to do,” she said, adding that the closing is a bittersweet moment. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been a wonderful adventure.”