WYCKOFF, N.J. -- After Nancy Frost went through a divorce several years back, she needed flexible employment so she could still pick up her young son from school.
She started working at a consignment shop in Ramsey, and it was the first job she'd had where she couldn't wait to get to work.
Two years later, Frost was able to open her own shop in Wyckoff -- "And I still can't wait to get to work every day."
Her shop, Dolphin's Cove, sells men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories. This March will mark the store's seventh anniversary.
"To me, it's felt like a very spiritual path," Frost told Daily Voice. "Everything seemed to line up. It was tragic, what I was going through, with the divorce and things. But I've taken opportunities, as they've presented themselves.
My life hasn't been all peaches and cream. I've had ups and downs, I've had tough things happen to me.
I feel like, some people in my position, without faith would have a worse time. I believe that even bad things can happen to good people -- and you can learn from them, become a better person. You can't just put that philosophy on. You have to learn it and live it.
A consignment shop had never been a plan of Frost's, earlier in her life.
"I never really even went in consignment shops. I just saw the help-wanted sign (at Hidden Closet Consignment) and went in," she recounted. But the shop had just hired someone.
She got a call two days later, however, when that woman didn't work out. Frost really enjoyed the job, especially since she likes working with and meeting new people.
Frost had been working in the Ramsey shop for two years when her mother passed away.
"I received an inheritance, and I took a leap of faith and opened my own shop," she said. "My story is very blessed, in a lot of ways. Things happened like stepping stones."
She cited finding her store location as another example. "I'd seen several other places; some were dark and dingy. This one was bright: it was just perfect."
The Dolphin's Cove also features a fireplace, and now, a coffee station and a separate section for men. A lot of consignment shops don't offer men's clothing, Frost said. "You can shop for the whole family here."
She's also tried to find her niche in the area through price. "A lot of shops in this area are high end. I just said, 'Why can't it be for everybody?' I have a range of price points -- while I do have high-end, I have affordable brands, too.
"As long as it's in good shape, I take it."
Frost also has a 75-percent-off rack and has sales going on all the time.
The shop also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. On Saturday, Dec. 3, a psychic will be doing tarot readings from 1-5 p.m. There's no need to pre-register.
Frost is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship and doing what you really love. She said she's not making tons of money, but she certainly gets by -- and she loves it. She also said she hasn't been sick in these seven years, though she was periodically, before.
Being an entrepreneur also lets you implement your own values. For Frost, the environment is an important issue.
"This all made sense to me, with reusing clothes and putting them to good use again," she said. "I even use recycled bags."
She has other perks, too, like bringing her dog Felipe to the shop with her.
"There's people that come in, just to see him," Frost said. "He's my advertising."
Frost offered advice for would-be business owners: "You can't go into anything blind." Make sure you have knowledge about how a given business works, know basic accounting and take classes if you need to, she added.
You also have to know when to ask for help and develop resources, including people you know that might be able to help you for free or cheap if they have experience you don't.
For Frost, she was fortunate to have some business and accounting experience, from an earlier job, but she had no computer experience. She did have a friend with that knowledge, though, who helped set up her computer system, including for the store's inventory.
Extra capital is also necessary because starting a business can be hard, she said
"I've seen women open businesses and not be able to pay the rent," Frost said.
"I was very fortunate; I got an inheritance from my mother. It helped me for a couple of years," she said. "You do need to have a cushion of money."
The shop is at 365B Franklin Ave. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you're interested in bringing in items to sell on consignment, call Frost at the shop, at 201-485-7178.
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