Step inside the city's antique yards.

Trish Moore's Good Ju Ju has put a spell on the West Bottoms 

Step inside the city's antique yards.

Page 3 of 5

Her reasonable rent allowed her to charge reasonable vendor rates, resulting in reasonable price tags. But she has never been afraid to impose rules. No buckets of silverware. No Beanie Babies. No stapled wood. If something reeked of garage sale, collectibles or chain store, she vetoed it. And she has always believed in the golden business rule: "The customer is always, always right," she says.

Playing off the popularity of First Fridays in the Crossroads, she booked music for opening nights — and restricted her store's hours to the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month. The limited hours gave Good Ju Ju an urgency: Get there or miss out.

Her vision and the place's positive atmos­phere have allowed Good Ju Ju to find strong vendors and loyal customers.

Pam Renner was a customer four years ago. Her children were grown, and she was looking for the next step in life. That turned out to be Moore and her 1870s warehouse.

"I want to help," Renner said to Moore one night in the spring of 2008. Moore was reupholstering a cabinet. "I want to be a Ju Ju bee."

Today, Renner has a space in Good Ju Ju that showcases jewelry made from old keys and other formerly trashbound items that have gotten her reupholstering and typography treatment. A vintage suitcase, for example, now wears the lyrics to "Kansas City."

Recalling her transition from customer to vendor, Renner says, "The energy here was like an invitation to me." She turns to Moore and adds, "And it's because of you. You have an invitational soul."

Moore answers her: "You are fearless. You aren't afraid to try new things — anything — with what you make and sell."

Renner's vendor status is the envy of many. Currently, those who meet Moore's standards wait an average of eight months for an opening at the store.


Sisters Donna Erwin and Brenda Kennedy arrive at the October opening of Good Ju Ju at 7:45 a.m., securing the first and second spots in line. Erwin, from Overland Park, and Kennedy, from Lee's Summit, have brought a list of requests from family members who can't get enough of the trash-to-treasure items.

The sisters discovered the store three years ago "before everyone found out about it," Erwin says as the store opens and fellow shoppers swarm around her.

The prices were lower back then, too, she adds.

"But everything is still a great deal," Kennedy says, holding up a $17.50 price tag on a freshly glazed mixing bowl. "This would be way more somewhere else. And the quality wouldn't be as good."

A few steps away, a who-claimed-it-first conflict escalates over a vintage couch with a new, robin's-egg-blue cover.

"Why are you attacking me?" one of the combatants yells.

Moore steps in. Her voice is calm. This isn't the first argument she's had to mediate.

Those who find that dream sofa an instant too late shouldn't waste time arguing — the bargains at nearby markets won't wait. By this fall, at least six similar stores had opened in the area, all of them following Moore's seemingly foolproof business model.

The first was Bottoms Up Antique Market two years ago. Owner Gwen McClure laughs as she recalls accidentally stumbling upon retail success. She was using warehouse space in the West Bottoms to refinish and restore furniture, which she sold elsewhere. Then her landlord upped the rent.

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