This week we chat with Brenda Gunter, owner of Ladybug New 2 U Consignment in Plant City.
Gunter, 56, is a cancer survivor who lost her left kidney, one-third of her stomach and had a double mastectomy. The shop, which opened six weeks ago, is her way of fighting back and not taking her various misfortunes lying down. For more information on Ladybug New 2 U Consignment, 116 W. Reynolds St., Plant City, call (813) 763-1351.
Q: What made you want to open your shop?
Answer: I worked in accounting and sales for more than 20 years, but I always wanted a shop where I could be with other people. I also decided that, instead of lying down and sleeping, I was going to stay awake and fight my way through this. For our 35th anniversary, my husband [David] got the lease for this building.
Q: What separates Ladybug from other consignment stores?
Answer: I don’t know if it makes me different from other shops, but I take time to sit and talk with my customers. Everybody who comes in here has a story, and I know almost all of them by name.
Q: Why do you think people like shopping at consignment shops?
Answer: People can come into a shop like this and find something they can’t get anywhere else. I don’t like calling them consignment; I prefer to call them treasure.
Q: What is special about living and working in Plant City?
Answer: Plant City is different from other places, like Tampa and Lakeland, because we’re a community. We’re also a community that works with each other, not against each other. If you go other places, they’re waiting on customers; here, we’re waiting on friends.
Q: Where are some of the places you like to go shopping for yourself?
Answer: I like going to Valerie’s Attic and Oh My! Consignment [in Plant City]. My shop wouldn’t exist without those two places, because they keep sending people my way. I also like to go to Sears and Macy’s, but I mostly like to shop in town and use people who are in our community.