Kellie Murphy Turns a Hobby into a Successful Business
Kellie Murphy, owner of Kellie’s Consignments in Okemos wasn’t expecting a win at the 2016 Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards. Perhaps Murphy could have recited her business logo – ‘expect the unexpected,’ when she got ready for the prestigious community awards program.
Despite the shock, Murphy was pleased to thank the judges and community for supporting and rewarding her retail-focused passion with the Entrepreneurial Spirit award.
Opening its doors in 2006 out of a small house on Park Lake Road in Okemos, Murphy took a leap of faith, transitioning from a radiation technician and healthcare-centered employee to an entrepreneur.
“I got burnt out and wanted to do my own thing,” Murphy said. “I wanted something to do, a hobby. I wanted to own my own store but I found out how expensive it was to stock it to begin with,” she said. “One day I was at a consignment store and was like ‘oh wait, I’ll let other people bring me their stuff and I’ll sell it’ and that’s literally where it all started.”
Her ‘hobby’ turned into a bright and burgeoning business on the east side of the region.
The current 13,000 square foot establishment hosts high-end, quality pieces of clothing for men and women, furniture, vintage jewelry and accessories, modern décor and more.
Kellie’s Consignments has been housed in a retail space off of Okemos Road near Meijer for the last five years and Murphy said that the shop is ready for its next transition to a 24,000 square foot building in April of this year.
Murphy spoke about her ever-evolving business.
“Next thing I knew, this place was too small, and the next place was too small,” she said. “Then I thought, if I build it, will they come? We filled it faster than I could imagine, and now we’re off to bigger and better things. We’re going to add a lot of divisions when we move; things that we don’t do now.”
While Kellie’s Consignments was started with a partner, and credited to a lot of luck, Murphy is now aware of the many resources to help businesses like hers grow within the greater Lansing community.
“I never knew there was help. I kind of did it on just gut feeling,” she said. “Just this year, I was introduced to the Small Business Association, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Certified Development Corporation and they have helped me figure out how to run a business. I have always just got lucky with what I was doing.”
Even after being awarded the Entrepreneurial Spirit award, Kellie said she never thought of herself as an entrepreneur.
“I just wanted to do something where nobody else was telling me what to do. I’ve always kind of been a leader, and I just did it for fun,” she said. “I thought, ‘oh, we can sell people’s stuff and if we make enough to stay open – yahoo, and then one day, I’m like ‘I think I could make a living doing this’ and now here I am.”