The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Business & Technology

June 12, 2014

Renaissance re-opens doors

CLINTON — Renaissance has returned to Clinton and consumers are delighted to see the business revived.

Originally opened in 1998 by Marilee Hilgendorf, Renaissance was one of the first consignment retail stores in the city. At the time, Goodwill did not have a location in Clinton and Wal-Mart had not opened its doors, so competition was relatively scarce for Hilgendorf.

“It went fabulous at the time,” she said. “I was semi-retired and it was something I really wanted to do. I remember coming here as a young girl when it used to be Beez Mousel and loved it. I just wanted to create that same feeling.”

However, after several years of successful business, health concerns forced Hilgendorf to close her doors and leave Renaissance behind.

But now nearly 10 years later, Hilgendorf has joined forces with her sisters, Idell Klein and Mary Kay Wik, to rebuild that once-thriving business and put the name back in the community.

“It’s kind of the renaissance of the Renaissance,” Wik said.

Inspired by their love of fashion, the three sisters decided to embark on the new business venture together when they purchased the store in March.

Now, after being re-opened for about two months, the three couldn’t be happier with the way they have been received by the community.

“People in town remember the name,” Wik said. “And everybody is thrilled to see Marilee back.”

Offering high-end retail items and top-of-the-line customer service doesn’t hurt their popularity either.

According to Klein, the idea for Renaissance was to bring boutique flare to consignment shopping, aimed to attract the attention of businesswomen in the city of Clinton.

“We’re trying to carry upscale brands that people can’t buy anywhere else here in Clinton, targeting all generations of working women,” she said.

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