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April 1, 2021 - 3:07pm

Out of work because of COVID, mother and daughter become entrepreneurial team

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street, covid-19, coronavirus.

img_3734junk.jpg

For a few small businesses, COVID-19 has meant the end of the line. The owners just weren't able to outlast coronavirus pandemic restrictions and people staying home. For Christine and Cassandra Wroblewski, a mother and daughter team (Cassandra pictured), the lack of income options after losing their jobs meant it was time to start a business.

Together, they've opened the Junk Drawer at 238 Ellicott St. Batavia.

"I bought my first pallet (of merchandise) and flipped it and made double my money (selling on eBay)," Christine said. "Then I bought another one. Then my house began to look like a hoarder's.  (Cassandra) wasn't working so I was like, 'You want to open a store?' and this place was available. This was all because of COVID."

Cassandra agrees, starting their own business together seemed like the obvious thing to do.

"Everything was just cluttering her house up and she's like, 'Hey, open up the store!' Cassandra said. "I'm like, 'OK, it's better than being at home.' "

The store specializes in selling remainders -- items that were overstock for some other store and are available wholesale at very low prices.  

A customer in the store yesterday afternoon who was loading up her basket on shampoos, soaps and lotions, said the Junk Drawer has become her place to go because the prices are so much lower than other discount stores in the city. 

Cassandra is an artist and a crafter, so items she and her mother-in-law crochet along with her paintings are also for sale in the store.

"We have beauty products; we have toys; we have anything you can imagine and our inventory is always changing," Cassandra said.

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