PACE — Emilee's Closet, located on 4430 U.S. Highway 90, has been serving women for over 10 years.

Now Felicia Johnson, a former consignor of the shop, has taken the reins of ownership while continuing the same friendly service.  

Johnson said she bought the shop from the previous owner to help support herself after her husband passed away. She said she was offered a fair price and was excited at the prospect.

"I was getting a massage next door because I had thrown my back out," Johnson said. "I hadn't seen Terry (the previous owner) in years ... so I wandered in and we got to talking and I told her I was looking into going into some kind of business.

"She told me the price and it was exactly right in my budget." 

Johnson said she moved to Pace with her family in 2005. When her husband, who worked offshore, would come home on leave, she was used to taking vacations. Her life changed after he passed away and she had to get used to working nonstop.

Now Johnson is used to keeping busy. In addition to owning the store, she performs in a band and teaches guitar, ukulele and banjo at the performing school, Time to Shine.

"I'm here when I'm not at one of the two places," Johnson said. "April (Alford) is still here. She stayed on after the sale. She is the brains behind the operation. Everyone knows her."

Johnson said she knows that most people are resistant to change. She said with Alford staying on it has helped because she feels she has been a buffer. Johnson has not made many changes to the store, she said, other than streamlining how she operates. She said the prices and products have stayed the same. 

"A lot of people come here to make money," she said. "I just set a budget each month of how much I can afford to pay out and once I'm out of money I can't buy anymore clothes and that's it."

Consignors said they actually like the change better because they do not have to wait for money, according to Johnson.

She said that her one hope for the store is that it will be something to leave as a legacy for her children.

"So you all better come out and see me," she said.

Emilee's Closet is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.