JORIE AND RACHEL BARRETT are shown in the retail space of their new Durand business: Brightside LLC Used Tack and Consignments.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

 

   A mother-and-daughter owned and operated duo launched their “dream” store in Durand on Friday, Oct. 22. Rachel and Jorie Barrett, residing in the Durand area, opened the door to Brightside LLC Used Tack and Consignments at 8555 Monroe Rd. just over a week ago – and they are excited to share the store to the public.

   Rachel Barrett is a lifelong horse enthusiast and has raised her daughter, Jorie, to be as equally passionate about horses. Jorie was born with spina bifida, a condition affecting the spine, so she uses a wheelchair when horses aren’t around for easy mobility. Thanks to her mother, Jorie has been riding horses since she can remember. Their relationship with horses led to discussions 10 years ago about a dream of owning a horse consignment store, but they had to wait until the time was right and Jorie was grown.

   “We always wanted to do this,” Jorie shared. “But she had a full time job and I was in school. So, once I graduated, we thought we should go for it.” Jorie is a recent graduate from Corunna High School.

   “This was a dream,” Rachel added, explaining that with the pandemic, her job slowed down and then when Jorie graduated, she had asked her daughter what she wanted to do and the response for both of them was evident. They wanted to launch a horse goods consignment store.

   The location quickly became obvious, too. Brightside LLC is located next to All About U Fitness & Wellness in Durand where Jorie has worked out for six years. The location has easy-access parking, is right off the highway, near the fairgrounds, handicap accessible and offers lots of space to display items.

   “We put the wheels in motion last December,” Rachel said. They worked with Cheryl Peterson of the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Owosso.

   “Talk about having your hand held throughout the whole process,” Rachel offered, impressed with Peterson’s help. “During this whole process, she was amazing.”

  Peterson connected them to Michigan Women Forward, an organization aimed at empowering women and girls to “be leaders, inventors, dreamers and doers.” Michigan Women Forward became instrumental as a lender.

   “We got the place on Aug. 1 and moved in,” Jorie said. The two had already collected inventory from trips throughout the state. That inventory had been stored on the front porch of their home, but once they had the location established, they shifted the inventory to the store – and then had to move the inventory around while they replaced the flooring and remodeled – something they laugh about now.

   Since the August move, they have added flooring and paint, but have repurposed a number of items, too. A feature wall at the back is made from barn wood from Laingsburg. Corrugated metal on another wall came from the Corunna bus garage and a large barn door came from the basement of a friend: all to create a pleasant, rustic interior.

   Other family members were brought in to help with the remodel, including sons/brothers Jack and Justin, who helped with painting. Jorie, 19, is the youngest of the siblings.

   Now that the store is open, there are several creative features to highlight. Brightside LLC offers a horse bit exchange: an incredibly useful program for horse enthusiasts, particularly owners on a budget. Horse owners often purchase numerous bits before finding just the right bit for the right horse. The exchange program allows owners to explore various options.

   Another feature is the clipper rental. Clippers are extremely expensive, but customers can now purchase the clipper blades while renting the clippers and not be out a huge sum of money for an item that might only be used once yearly.

   Saddle purchases come with a 24-hour-trial guarantee, allowing the customer time to actually try the saddle on a horse to check for correct fitting. Saddles can be an enormous investment and if a customer is only allowed to try a saddle on within a store, the purchase can go wrong.

   Demonstrations and informational events are planned and will be scheduled. The demos will permit people interested in horses to find out more information on saddles, saddle fittings and more – a terrific program for 4-H clubs or horse groups.

   Rachel and Jorie have opted to sell used merchandise, but emphasize they have been very particular about the items in the store.

   “We stayed with high quality items. Everything in the store is something I would buy,” Rachel said.

   As for their shared passion for horses, they both agree that senior horses are their favorites. Rachel has rescued several horses over time including Betty White – a 34-year-old she recently took in but only lived with them for a couple months before passing away.

   “She was the sweetest horse ever,” Rachel shared. “We had her a short time, but she was not ever hungry and never had a bad day with us. Horses can just touch your heart.”

   Brightside LLC is open Tuesday through Friday from noon. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Private shopping tours can be scheduled. The store will announce when new consignments can be accepted.

Horse Tack and Consignment “Dream” Store Opens was last modified: November 2nd, 2021 by Karen Elford