Milton resident and Pixie’s on Parkview consignment shop owner Stephanie Normington radiates a joyful spirit and its ectoplasm is pink.
“I feel inspired by the color pink. It’s happy and fun. After my wedding, I may dye my hair pink,” Normington said.
Her 1,300-square-foot shop, 229 Parkview Drive, opened July 2 and features gently used women’s and children’s fashions, the work of local artists, and Normington performs makeup tutorials, including instruction on skin care, and applies makeup for special occasions.
A career in retail and makeup application, enhanced by some very unique hobbies, coupled with a desire to follow her passions, led her from Rockton, Ill., where she was raised, to Milton, a community she found through friends, she said.
“Milton is such a friendly, small town, and everyone here is so supportive. I’ve especially seen that since starting my business. Everyone has such wonderful, encouraging words to say,” Normington said.
Today, she and her family: fiancé, Andy Ries, an officer with the Milton Police Department, and the couple’s two children, Lucy, 8, and Jack, 2, live in a 100-year-old home near the former Milton College campus.
Antiquity, and its spiritual nature, is important to Normington: she and Ries met through their mutual involvement with a Ghostbusters-themed nonprofit group working in support of charities, and Ries has developed local celebrity as the owner of the Ghostbusters car, Normington said.
The couple plans to marry in October. The 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” will serve as a wedding theme, complete with bridesmaids dressed like the Sanderson sisters, Normington said.
Passion for fashion
A cashier’s job at Walmart when Normington was 17 set her on a retail path, and when she was 18, Normington said, she struck out on her own, moving to Roscoe. Even then, she said, she wanted to be an entrepreneur. Early exposures to thrift stores made her a fan.
“I fell in love with the environment and thought it was perfect for me,” she said.
Normington garnered eight years of retail experience, working in department stores and with such brands as Bon Ton, Elder-Beerman, Macy’s and Ulta. For Normington, the fields of fashion and cosmetics developed into complementary passions, she said.
Still, she said, the desire to open her own store was ever-present. In January, she stepped away from the retail chains and began building her own business plan.
Integrity Martial Arts, the dojo where her daughter was training, needed more room and was moving from 229 to 237 Parkview Drive, Normington said. Familiar with the space, “It felt right,” she said, and soon after, as the new tenant, she was applying pink paint to the walls.
Buying and consigning
An estimated 5,000 pieces of women’s and children’s clothing fill the store, and more racks are coming, Normington said. She plans to expand space for children’s clothing, she said.
Summer attire is currently featured, and beginning Aug. 1, Normington will be looking for fall fashions. Those interested in consigning are invited to stop by with their wears during store hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store will close on weekdays for lunch between the hours of noon and 1 p.m.
“The average price here is $5. We want to keep things very affordable,” Normington said.
Consigners make 50 percent of the item’s ticketed price, which drops to half price if the item is not sold after six weeks. Items sold at half price can remain on the racks for an additional two weeks, Normington said. Consigners can reclaim unsold items or donate them to charity, she said.
The store sells all types and sizes of women’s fashions, and offers children’s clothing for girls, sizes newborn to juniors, and boys, newborn to 5T.
The store also carries accessories for women, including jewelry, shoes, handbags, scarfs, and more.
“We have Coach handbags,” Normington said.
Among offerings are clothes made by Express, Victoria Secret and Buckle, all high-quality brands, she added, but she takes all kinds of items and styles as long as they are gently used.
“I’ll take Target clothing because I want to be budget friendly,” she said.
Makeup and skin care
Normington provides tutorials, designed to teach skin care techniques while sharing information about various products as well as the proper application of makeup, and offers makeup application sessions, which, she said, are popular around homecoming and for other special events like weddings.
Makeup is personal, she said, noting the value of understanding which types of products work best with an individual’s skin type and desired look.
Makeup application sessions and tutorials are booked through appointment, she said.
On average, a one-hour makeup tutorial for a single person costs $60. That includes a full skin care routine using recommended products that can be purchased locally, Normington said.
She can accommodate individuals and groups. Prices vary. Quotes are available. Those interested should call: 608-580-0093.
Normington sells handmade soaps using two types of defoliating materials: sugar and coffee. Sugar is for more sensitive skin, coffee is more abrasive, she said. People also like the different scents, she said.
Artists and Authors
“I’ve always had a passion for art. I do some painting myself, and I write poetry and I’m a musician,” Normington said. She plays electric bass.
“There is so much talent locally, so I wanted to connect with that and help find those people and help sell their items and advertise what they do and who they are,” she said.
Recently, she said, two area artists, one from Milton and another from Whitewater, have consigned paintings, and work from an area jewelry maker as well as an artisan who makes tumblers will be coming soon.
Rock County author, Siara Schwartlow, has also begun selling her book, titled: The House on Valley Street, in the store. Biographical information within the book describes the author as having “a love for scary stories.”
Among her diverse interests and future plans, Normington said she will be entering into “pinup contests,” which, she said, are often held during car shows. She described the events as competitions between women who dress up in 1950s attire.
As a pinup girl, Normington said, “I have a name: Pixie Proton.” The name is a spinoff from her Ghostbusters club activities, she said. The name brings personality to the store.
“Competing is just something I always wanted to do. It looks fun to me and you can meet fun people to hang out with.
“I’m very impulsive, but I always have to have a plan. I want to experience so many things, and I’m at a point in my life where I can do it. I’m so ready to enjoy life,” she said.