Nov. 8 — TROY — In the middle of town, there’s a yellow house with a white picket fence, and for resident Lisa Bagster, the peaceful-looking property called her to open a clothing store.
Bagster was so drawn to the decor that she named the new store Picket Fence, where she stocks second-hand clothes for children ranging from toddler to teen in all sizes, as well as, to a lesser extent, clothes for men and women.
“Everyone loves palisades, [at least] Me yes,” said Bagster, who has lived in Troy for 16 years. “…This building has been there for years, and the palisade has been there for years. This is exactly what you see when you drive through Troy and come to the head of the commune.”
Picket Fence saw its first day of operation on October 7, just in time for the annual Troy Fall Festival this weekend.
The building at 31 Central Square last housed the Thai Bamboo restaurant, which closed on June 11 but plans to reopen in Brattleboro, according to its Facebook page. Bagster said she took a first look at the property in August and quickly signed the lease, taking just over a month to turn the interior into retail space.
“My boyfriend is a contractor, he can do anything,” Bagster said of her partner, Courtney Davis, of Troy, who helped her with the interior. “There was tile, and he tore it all up [and] there were so many shelves. We took this space that was a restaurant and we made it ours.”
She’s proudest of the front counter, which Bagster said she and Davis moved from one corner of the space to another, then added a fence facade to it in order to mimic the look of the one at the front. Meanwhile, his mother, Linda Cornish, from Marlborough, gave the displays a touch of greenery.
“It was fun; the whole family was involved [in renovations]“, said Bagster, adding that his daughter, Emily, 13, and her friends also participated.
Picket Fence’s children’s clothing selection includes shirts, pants, dresses and shoes, while women’s clothing includes maternity clothes, which Bagster said she was happy to wear because they can be ” hard to find and so expensive brand new”.
For Bagster, Picket Fence is a chance to make affordable children’s clothing accessible in his region of Cheshire. She said she was inspired by Tina LaBarre, who ran Hannah’s Closet, a former consignment store on Route 12 in Swanzey. Another similar business, Judy’s Hand Me Overs, also closed on August 12, a Facebook page that remains open.
“[LaBarre] specializing in children’s clothing and she was pretty much the only one here,” Bagster said. “When Tina closed, I was pretty sad, along with a lot of other people in the community. … Then I heard Judy’s was closing and I said, “Why not a better time [to open a shop] that now?’ “
Where Bagster’s business differs from these other stores is that it does not intend to accept shipments, but to purchase different types of clothing from the community depending on the season. For customers who bring in large numbers of clothes, Bagster says it will offer store credit, but said it doesn’t want to be known as a thrift store, opting for the word “resale” to distinguish the purpose of his shop. She said she was looking for boys’ clothes in sizes 7 and 8 specifically.
“Everyone said to me, ‘Don’t do consignment,'” Bagster said. “Nobody wants to make the trip here, drop off their clothes and maybe check in.”
Picket Fence is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Bagster posts photos of new clothing arrivals daily to the store’s Facebook page. Bagster said the store will be closed Nov. 23-25 for Thanksgiving and will reopen Nov. 26.
Trisha Nail can be reached at 352-1234, ext. 1436, or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @byTrishaNail.