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Cancer fight inspires Westmont woman to open consignment shop

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 2:45 p.m. CDT
(Photo by Sarah Minor)
Mia Curtiss stands next to a display with purses that will be available at her new consignment shop when it opens in downtown Westmont. Curtiss, a breast cancer survivor, said her treatment and new lease on life gave her the inspiration to start her own business.

WESTMONT — Mia Curtiss was happy with her life as a hairdresser. It was a profession she worked at for more than 20 years and even kept while raising her four children.

But five years ago a breast cancer diagnosis ended up changing the way she looked at her life, including her career goals. So she  opened her own clothing consignment shop with the goal of helping women going through hardships similar to the ones she faced by providing them with fashionable clothes at a reasonable price.

Curtiss, of Westmont, is set to open her new store, Cash Closet, at 37B W. Quincy Ave. in Westmont within the next couple of weeks.

The clothing consignment shop will focus on resale and new high-end women’s fashion, and will also carry some men’s and children’s clothing as well, selling clothes and apparel that she describes as “old, funky and cool.”

“I have always had a good sense of fashion and style, and once I started going through my own clothes, I realized that they could be resold. This is were the name Cash Closet came from,” Curtiss said. “The idea just took off from there, and now is a new career for me.”

The store will also be used to share her story of overcoming the disease and her new mission to raise money and awareness for cancer charities — it will feature a “cancer wall” where customers can post pictures of people they know who fought cancer.

“We’ll probably get a lot of people just stopping in to talk, and to share their stories and experiences,” Curtiss said.

While other consignment stores in downtown Westmont have not been able to survive — two others recently have closed in less than two years after opening — Curtiss believes she can make Cash Closet successful.

And if she can’t make it work, Curtiss said she will still be proud of being able to open her own business after all she has gone through with her health.

“After surviving cancer, I’m grateful just to be able to get up each morning,” she said. “I appreciate so much more now, with my family, and the little things in life.”

Curtiss is accepting clothing. Anyone looking to sell clothing can visit her website at www.cashcloset.net.

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