“I was helping our friends in Douglas with their store, Mrs. Surplus, [and] when we were visiting with one of our friends from Lusk we jokingly said “We had enough stuff to start a store of our own”. Our friend said “Why don’t you start one in Lusk? There is a huge need in the community for that kind of store”. Everyone we spoke to and questioned on what they needed and would like to see in Lusk in a store like this just encouraged us all the more” says Etta Patterson, part of the driving family force behind The Cramped Closet New and Used Boutique. The store recently opened its doors in the Crossroads Church building located on Main Street, but has been a longtime dream for Patterson and has taken a year to come to fruition. Recently, Patterson resigned from her position with the Converse County School District heading to carrying with her the vision of owning a store just the fashion of The Cramped Closet, “I briefly went back to secretarial work but the opportunity came around to make a lifelong dream become a reality....with our whole family behind it and a year of trying to find a building we finally accomplished it” states Patterson. Patterson’s family includes her husband, Cory “Red” Patterson, their two sons and daughter-in-law’s, and their own two daughters, one of which, Tre, came up with the name for the store and the other who is responsible for the design of the soon-to-come banner and logo.
The Cramped Closet opened earlier this month and is still in its ‘Grand Opening’ stage, but come Nov. 1, hours will change to Thurs. and Fri. 10AM to 7PM and Sat. 10AM to 5PM, “If the community expresses the need we will resume being open on Wed.” says Patterson. Currently, the store offers a variety of items with a promise of something for everyone; $5 Paparazzi jewelry, new and used shoes, new and used clothing, furniture, beds and bedding, kitchen ware, glassware, and small and large appliances, “We even have a little coffee area where you can sit, relax and visit. I had three customers take advantage of this on Sat.; it was such a pleasure to have them enjoy themselves. We try to provide brownies, cupcakes or some such thing on Sat.’s”. On Nov. 18 the Grand Opening raffle will be held where two winners will be drawn, one receiving a toaster oven and the other a microwave, “Every time you come into the store whether you make a purchase or not you can put your name in for the drawings”. Beginning Nov. 1, the store will also begin to take consignment items with furniture on a case-by-case basis and clothing requiring a standard contract, “Most items no older than five years and seasonable. One 13-gallon kitchen bag per person per week; with a limit of 15. We do a 60/40 commission. The clothing will be gone through and tagged, anything we think won’t sell we will ask you to pick up or we will donate, then the clothing will be displayed at full price for 30 days, half price for 30 days and then either picked up by the client or donated. There will be exceptions on times for exceptional items”. Patterson may have had the dream, but a family affair is what it has spun into, “I am the main salesperson and Red is “The Furniture Guy”, but it is definitely a joint family effort. Both of our sons and their wives along with our two daughters have put in hours and hours of behind the scenes work and effort into this adventure” Patterson explains. One special room The Cramped Closet boasts is the Community Room, “Our community room has donations from the people here in Lusk as well as people who donate from Douglas. This gives us the opportunity to help each other; what this community is all about. I have reached out to several different entities and we will be implementing several amazing things in the months and years to come. We accept donations but please do not leave them outside. You can drop off anytime during our business hours or you can call and arrange for a pickup at 307-216-0622”.
For as much fun as Patterson has been having, she says the welcome has also been warm. a “My customers and the friends I have made amongst the other business owners that have welcomed us with open arms. Waggin Masters and Same as it Once Was even sent us flowers and a card for our Grand Opening”. Patterson, her family, and The Cramped Closet New and Used Boutique plan to be with Lusk for the long haul where Patterson will watch her dream come true and, “Hopefully we can help people find things they are needing at an exceptionally high quality at a fair price”.