MILTON — Judi Ashline, a former health care executive who has traveled the world, has turned her love for clothing into a career.
Ashline has lived in Vietnam, India, Miami, California and Texas — everywhere her job took her. She has lived in Milton for about a year and a half, and lived in Pensacola for about six years in the early 2000s when she worked for Baptist Healthcare. Ashline owned a consulting company at one time, but decided to take a different path.
"I was injured in an auto accident and wasn’t able to travel anymore," Ashline said. "So I stayed home for a bit, and then I thought, ‘I have to do something.’"
She said she decided to open a consignment store, Back on the Rack Women’s Quality Resale, because she loves clothes.
"It just seemed like an easy transition; there wasn’t a lot of overhead, and it’s consigned, so it’s someone else’s stuff that I’m selling," Ashline said. "And I love people. What we find is a lot of our customers are a little bit older; they come in and hang out a bit… I like that. That’s why the chairs are here."
Back on the Rack has been at its current location — 6423 Caroline St. in Milton — since Aug. 1. It was located across the street for about six to eight months before that, but Ashline said she didn’t get as much business there.
"This location is much better," Ashline said. "We’ve kind of played with the signage and we played with the lighting and everything."
If you enter the buidling, you may find Ashline seated and making jewelry, some of which is sold in the store. Clothing, purses, shoes and other accessories are available at a reasonable price, Ashline said.
"We try and keep things under $10," she said. "I think, for me, 10 percent of it is the clothes and 90 percent is how you treat the customers. Somewhere in time, we kind of lost that; that sort of one-to-one [contact]… It’s nice when you come in a place and they know your name, so we’re trying to do that."
Ashline said she has many regular customers.
"A lot of times, they just come in to visit," she said. "They’ll peruse the store a little bit, but they’re here to visit. I almost feel like it’s my home and I’m inviting people in."
Ashline said she and her husband decided to move back to the area to be closer to her parents-in-law, and they enjoy the local community. The couple try to support local shops before they go to corporations, she said.
"Shopping locally is important to keep small businesses alive," Ashline said.