Amanda Belle's Closet offers good looks for less
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
Darla Keese Chandler has wanted to start her own business for 15 years, but wasn't sure just what she wanted to do.
"I wanted something I could do by myself," she said, "because I didn't want to have to hire anyone."
About a year and a half ago, Chandler finally found the answer to her search and opened Amanda Belle's Closet, a trendy resale shop, in Medina, her hometown. Earlier this year, she opened on Mulberry Street in Bandera, next to Sparrow's Café.
"I enjoy shopping in resale shops myself," she said with a laugh, "and the only thing better than buying in one would be selling!"
Her teenage daughter Amanda confirmed the decision when she told her mom, "You know, Mom, you really ought to open a resale shop of your own!"
Things fell into place with obtaining a location and building up an inventory. "I had a lot of God inspiration," Chandler said. "When you are doing what you believe God is calling you to do, it gives you a lot of confidence." She also gets a lot of support from husband Dave, and her family.
The well-lighted and sparkling clean Bandera shop offers shoppers clean, quality gently used clothing and more at well-discounted prices. In addition to tops, dresses and pants, Amanda Belle's offers a selection of good handbags, shoes and jewelry.
Chandler also sells colorful hair accessories created by a local teenager and stocks an assortment of metal art pieces crafted by her husband. A friendly armadillo welded from assorted automotive parts cheerfully greets customers from the top of a display case, while the shop's white daisy logo blooms at the front door.
"The Medina location will be closed through September for a makeover," said Chandler. "When we re-open in October, we'll be showing more of Dave's work."
Amanda Belle's Closet in Medina is located at 455 Stringtown Road.
The Mulberry Street shop in Bandera caters to "the Hill Country woman," said Chandler. "I try to have something for everyone."
The shop is not a consignment operation. "If someone brings in items that I can use, I offer them a price and buy them outright," she said. There's too much bookkeeping involved in consignment sales, she said.
Chandler decided to move the bulk of her business to Bandera because she was ready for more traffic. Her previous jobs were usually government related and thankless, she says. "I wanted a job where people are happy to see me. And I've found this business is really fun. It's a positive experience to work in a store like this."
Chandler believes it was the wisdom of God that led her to start small. "The Bible says, 'Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.'" She started small, built up her clientele and built her reputation. Now, many of her customers are devoted regulars.
She's excited that Amanda Belle's Closet can now be found on Facebook, too. "We'll have a photo shoot soon and post plenty of pictures of our fashions."
Amanda Belle's Closet is located at 1307 C Mulberry Street. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 5:30 and on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. Stop in for a complimentary cappuccino and a cookie and do some shopping, gals!
Pictured: Darla Chandler offers quality clothing and accessories to Hill Country women at Amanda Belle's Closet, a resale boutique on Mulberry Street.