A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

People of NKY: Part therapist, all true-friend, Julie Boone followed career path to her consignment store

By Ginger Dawson
NKyTribune reporter

Since 2005, Julie’s Inspiration has done business as a consignment shop in Covington’s Mainstrasse Village. Clothing, fashion accessories, furniture, and home accessories are all presented and displayed in an appealing arrangement that has guaranteed its continuing success.  

Consignors and customers keep the place hopping. People bring in merchandise to consign and customers buy it and take it back out. There are currently 1,379 total consignors! The place is a whirlwind of activity and very much an established part of the Village’s identity. 

Julie Boone

But, who is this Julie?  Clearly, it has been her inspiration to put this all together, but the selling and consigning of merchandise it just one facet of a philosophy of values and action that has morphed into something more than just retail.

Julie Boone grew up in Bellevue, where she attended Bellevue High School. A strong work ethic was part of her upbringing, and as per family tradition, she got her first job the week of her sixteenth birthday. 

Working was something that she had looked forward to and was excited to enter the workforce as the beverage/dessert girl at the Walgreen’s Cafeteria on Fifth St. in downtown Cincinnati.

From there, she continued to move up and find more challenging work.  

Julie became an account executive in sales marketing for Advertising Concepts, Inc., where all business was conducted by phone and fax, all over the United States. She also found herself taking on more responsibilities and managerial roles.

Through all of these work experiences, she acquired the know-how and confidence required to start and run her own business.  

She had the opportunity to do this in the mid-1980s, with her first consignment shop in Crescent Springs. It was named Razzmatazz. The business was successful but short-lived. Good lessons were learned that would caution future decisions regarding partnerships.

Julie’s Inspiration Consignment Shop at 608 Main St. in Covington’s Mainstrasse Village.

Julie continued to work and raise her daughter, Hilary, who was born in 1980.

In 1998, on a personal front, Julie’s life took a good turn; one of those turns that you just know fate has a hand in.

One evening, a girlfriend convinced Julie to accompany her to Lucille’s, a blues bar in Latonia. The girlfriend wanted to meet a guy there and didn’t want to go alone.

Julie did not particularly want to do this, but, being a good friend, did anyway.

The night went on, the bar closed, and the partiers (much to Julie’s dismay) moved to after-hours at a house where she endured the remainder of an evening that was going on way too long.

Except there was this guy there. He hadn’t been at the bar earlier and was making chili—at 2:30 in the morning! They started talking and the similarities they shared—people and experiences, were pretty interesting.

Julie doing the retail thing of arranging hangers

Julie and he seemed to hit it off and she gave him her phone number and said to call sometime if he wanted to share a drink.

Two weeks later, Joe Boone (yes, Daniel Boone is an ancestor) called Julie, and they have been together ever since. She became Julie Boone in 2003.

Joe had been a partner in a publishing company, Campus Maps LLC.  And like Julie, he also had had a good lesson in partnerships.

He struck out on his own and started the Bo-hart Co., another publishing business that produced campus maps, visitor guides, and The Homebuyer’s New Guidebook.

Julie joined him and they were partners in this business, doing all of the selling, writing and production from 1995 to 2007. Unfortunately, the economic downturn of that time knocked the pins out the revenue flow of their advertisers, and consequently their own.

But a couple of years before Bo-hart Co. ended, Julie had gone back to her first entrepreneurial idea — consignment. Julie’s Inspiration set up shop on Main Street.

A view of selections in the middle room. This place is big!

Business was good, and five years later the shop needed a larger space and moved next door to 608 Main St., where it is still located.

The transition to next door was facilitated by Judy Blaschke, owner of the Christmas shop that had occupied the space. Her family also owned the building.

Julie and Judy had become friends, running businesses next door to each other, and Julie inquired whether Judy knew of any larger spaces in the area that might become available. Judy intimated that she was ready to retire and that her space would be open. Fate struck again.

Julie and Judy continued on in their close friendship, but sadly, Judy passed suddenly and ownership of the building and the likelihood of Julie’s Inspiration continuing at that address became an unknown.

The building went up for sale and a new owner appeared.  

Jason Gillispie bought the building. He was happy to have Julie stay.

In fact, Jason, Joe, and Julie had such a good working relationship that when Jason found it necessary to sell the building and move on, he did not consider any other buyers other than Julie and Joe.

The future secure, Julie continues to run the business and has found that not only is she a fashion consultant, but she has also found that her early interest in Psychology has found an outlet, as well.

Her employees have made the observation that she is a therapist for many of her customers. She listens, and most importantly, it is obvious that she cares. Health and relationship advice are but a few of the topics.

I want this suit. Not kidding. But it’s about 10 sizes too big. Shoot!

Her health advice is based on a long-studied interest in the teachings of Edgar Cayce, a late 19th and early 20th century American Mystic/Clairvoyant. His ideas about diet and health are based on the therapeutic uses of food, including food-combining and an acid/alkaline diet.

Many successes due to these Holistic ideas have been recorded and the formal medical community has increasingly embraced them.

Cayce was also referred to as The Sleeping Prophet, known for many insights into healing, reincarnation and future events — reportedly recorded while he was asleep.

Julie has been formally involved with the Association for Research and Enlightenment, founded to promote the study of Cayce’s work, for many years.

His philosophies of spiritual and physical health are intrinsic to Julie’s own ideas and attitudes on these topics.

I asked Julie if she did any type of volunteer work.  

I found that her idea of volunteer work is not a line in a resumé.

She is the legal guardian of Debra, a single older woman in the Mainstrasse neighborhood. Debra had fallen through the cracks of society. She and her dog, Rascal, were out walking the streets and were living a pretty harrowing existence in an apartment without any type of backup support.

Wacky Wednesday. An extra 20% off all sale merchandise!

Julie, through much direct involvement, has managed to secure a very good arrangement for her at Regency Manner, an assisted living home in Covington.

Julie has taken in Rascal and takes him to visit Debra.  

Julie affected a complete turnaround in the life of this woman and she is now safe, taken care of, and has even met a partner!  Deborah is engaged to be married to a fellow resident.

I can’t think of a more successful outcome.

Julie told me that one of the more surprising things that has happened as a result of opening the shop is the fact that it has become the central hub of a big family.

Julie’s spirit and willingness to connect with people has added a dimension to her business that she didn’t count on.  

She has many regular customers, and over the years they have shared their lives with her.  People from all over the world, not just locals, will make it a point to stop in to visit when they are in town.

Julie operates her life on a philosophy of values and intentional action.  She can be proud of her efforts to consciously try to make the world a better place.

If you haven’t been in Julie’s Inspiration, I’ll bet you thought it was just a consignment shop!

Ginger Dawson writes about the People of NKY — the neighbors you need to know and people you need to meet and understand. The feature appears periodically at the NKyTribune. If you have ideas for subjects please share them with Ginger at ginger@fuse.net.

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