WeeRuns

Popular consignment sale begins this weekend

with 400-plus consignors from four states

 

BY JIMMY TOMLIN

Enterprise Staff Writer

 

WeeRuns is not so wee anymore.

 

Since the popular consignment sale debuted in High Point in 1994 – with a mere 28 consignors selling out of founder Deane Belk’s home – WeeRuns has grown to more than 400 consignors with so much merchandise that the semiannual sale now takes place in a furniture showroom building.

 

“We even have consignors who come from Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina,” Belk says, “so the word has definitely spread.”

 

The 25th WeeRuns sale – featuring children’s clothing, toys and equipment, as well as maternity apparel – opens to the public this weekend in the Centennial Station building.  The sale will continue through Aug. 20.

 

Belk marvels at how WeeRuns has grown since that initial sale a dozen years ago, which she patterned after her sister-in-law’s consignment sale in Nashville, Tenn.

 

“We probably have now than a hundred volunteers now,” Belk says, “and I have to tell you, WeeRuns could not even begin to open its doors without them.  These women volunteer their time to help organize everything, to run the registers, to do the paperwork – these volunteers really help pull it off.”

 

Even some men volunteer; helping to set up everything before the sale and breaking it down afterward.

 

Why would so many people volunteer to help Belk?

 

Because doing so gives them first crack at the merchandise.  Volunteers get to shop at presales, held before WeeRuns opens to the general public.  Consignors also get to shop at a presale, which will take place tonight.

 

Before leasing showroom space this month at Centennial Station, WeeRuns was held in a warehouse for about four years.

 

“But then we outgrew the warehouse, “ Belk says.

 

Belk thinks WeeRuns has been successful because it’s a smooth-running, well-organized operation.

 

“Women have told me they like to come because they can find what they’re looking for,” she says. 

 

“Our volunteers work very hard to get everything organized.  It’s not like a flea market or a garage sale or a yard sale – it’s more upscale than that.  We try to make it a pleasant, organized effort so women can find what they’re looking for.”

 

WeeRuns has even grown beyond High Point.  Through licensing agreements, similar sales are scheduled to take place this year in Rutherford County and Dubuque, Iowa, and future plans call for a sale in the Wilmington area.

 

“The one in Dubuque is being done by a former helper and consignor,” Belk explains.  “She’s moved back to her husband’s hometown and decided to do her own sale, but she wanted it to be affiliated with WeeRuns.”

 

The spring/summer sale will take place in February.

 

Reprinted, with permission from writer, from Friday, August 11, 2006 edition of the High Point Enterprise, page 1C.