Photo by Joe Boyle
Items are all half price at the Now & Again Resale shop, 10714 S. Roberts Road, Palos Hills, which is closing at the end of the month.
Donna Mufich had an opportunity to meet some old friends Friday afternoon at her Now & Again Resale shop in Palos Hills.
But for Mufich, it was some bittersweet moments as customers who dropped by to purchase vintage items may be visiting the shop for the last time
Mufich has owned and operated Now & Again Resale, 10714 S. Roberts Road, Palos Hills, for 25 years. And at the end of the month, the resale shop that was a fixture in the city will close.
“We have been here 25 years and all at this location,” said Mufich, who grew up in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and now lives in Orland Park. “I have so many memories here and the people who come in here are just like family.”
Mufich then paused to greet some people who walked in the front door. Many of them said they were sorry she was closing. Several customers mentioned that they don’t know what they will do because there are not many of these resale shops left.
“Since we have started this sale, we have had a lot of sad customers come in,” Mufich said. “They just come in with sad faces. We have people of every age group who come in here. All age groups come in here, young and old. We have teenagers come in here looking for unusual items.”
Mufich said the popularity of the shop in the community was due to the fact that she kept prices affordable
“I’ve always tried to treat people with respect,” added Mufich.
Mufich said it has been fun running the resale shop but times have changed. An ownership change has resulted in different initiatives that don’t include a resale shop and other familiar landmarks along Roberts Road. She said that while time marches on, the resale shop will always be close to her heart. She is a single mother who was able to raise her son while running Now & Again.
One of those loyal customers was Claudia Simonton, an Evergreen Park resident who has been shopping at Now & Again for years and has become a close friend of Mufich.
“I have been coming here for years because they have a lot of vintage things,” Simonton said. “I would come here a lot because there are not many of these places left. But there’s something for everybody here. I also look at it this way -- and not to sound trite -- I like to purchase these items so that it’s not going in a landfill.”
Mufich made a point of thanking the original landlord, the late Frank Stramaglia Sr., and his wife, Lillian, who built the property in the 1950s while raising their three children. Mufich said the family was active in the Palos Hills community.
“I have great respect and appreciation for their undertaking to build the corner of 107th and Roberts Road,” Mufich said. “This foundation gave small business opportunities, and that’s how our Now & Again story began.”
Mufich had a background in retail management and merchandising and got the opportunity to create Now & Again.
“I wanted a family of like-minded dealers that shared my passion and trained them to become superstars with customer service being the most important part of the shop,” Mufich said. “I would hunt for the unusual and keep the price points affordable for antiques and collectables.”
Entering Now & Again, customers go through a large room with various items. But customers can then walk to the back where four rooms are available to peruse through. Items range from clothes, paperback books, children’s books, children’s plates, chairs, coffee mugs, dressers, paintings, clocks, globes, tables, jewelry, teapots, CDs and VHS tapes.
“We would go anywhere to buy items and sometimes we would go to a person’s home,” Mufich said. “Of course, times have changed. You have to put in a lot of hours. It does get hard.”
But Mufich said she will miss running Now & Again because of not only the merchandise she sold but the people she met. She will also miss looking out at the antique bike adjacent to the parking lot that was a signature sight for customers that visited Now & Again.
She recalls an instance when one of her first dealers, Martie Monahan, came up with an idea for a “Midnight Madness Sale” in which the staff opened the doors at 7 p.m. dressed in costumes to greet customers with dimmed lights. Customers then shopped until 11 p.m. Mufich also recalls fondly the annual holiday open house at the shop.
Items now being sold at Now & Again are half price. The shop is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The shop will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The final day will be Saturday, April 28.
“It’s been a sad time since I decided to close,” Mufich said. “I have nothing really planned. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. It’s time to move on, but I’m going to miss it.”