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15 minutes with Chrissy Lugibihl and Janette Reineke

Discussion centers on attention-getting videos and window display - but you are in for a lot more

This Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs edition of “Fifteen Minutes With...” is a video installment with Chrissy Lugibihl and Janette Reinke of the Et Cetera Shop. Watch the video at the bottom of this story.

The BCE asked for tips on producing attention-getting videos and window displays, as well as for background information on the thrift shop located at 327 N. Main St., phone (419) 358-4201.

Chrissy has produced informational and tour videos since June 2020. Some feature volunteers, including the “kids” who test electronic toys. Saturday videos often include Chrissy’s sidekick (husband) Jeff. The pair sometimes go by screen names Polly Ester Sheets and Burl ApBagg.

Janette has masterminded window displays for the Et Cetera Shop for many years. Her ingenious displays reflect the wide variety of items that are for sale at the thrift shop.

CHRISSY: Hi everybody, we’re answering some questions from Paula Scott of Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs. 

BCE: All items in the shop have been donated. And proceeds go to....?

BOTH: Mennonite Central Committee.

BCE: How long have each of you been working for the Et Cetera shop?

JANETTE: Well, I retired from teaching in 2000, so I would say I started small time work after that in the windows uptown.

CHRISSY: And I started managing the shop in fall of 2003.

BCE: Were you producing videos before the pandemic? How have they developed in the last year?

CHRISSY: I was NOT producing any videos before the pandemic. I started probably soon after we came back to work and then I invited Janette to start helping me when she would decorate the windows.

BCE: Tell us about the reaction to your videos. Is there a most popular or most commented on video?

JANETTE: Well, probably the very first one Chrissy and I did together was the one with “Darling...” And we had masks on. That was, for sure, one of the favorites. A lot of people commented. Click here to watch: 

CHRISSY: Whenever I do a video that has a volunteer in it, those seem to be very popular as well.

JANETTE: Plus because of the pandemic, it was the first video we did, so I think people really were tuned in to it because it was something different and funny. And getting them out of their doldrum moods.

BCE: What advice do you have for folks who’d like to try their hand at making tours or other videos?

CHRISSY: [Laughs] Honestly, and it should be very apparent to all who watch, I do not have a plan. I just start talking and often it’s just... you know, maybe does not make a lot of sense, but just go around your shop and talk about what you have that’s new.

JANETTE: And I think that has really drawn people into our shop. Because, you know, I’m here a lot, but I see a lot of things that [Chrissy] points out that I would never look for before. So I think it’s a really great guide for our shop.

CHRISSY: And also I think that since we have a limit of 17 people in the shop at one time, they can go directly to the item that they saw in the video when they come in and hurry through their visit.

JANETTE: There might be a stampede, but they’re gonna get it!

BCE: Your window displays are much bigger in the North Main location. How do you develop themes and what happens to the items in the display?

JANETTE: Here’s what I always say: when something unusual comes into the shop, I usually base my theme around that item. Whatever it is, you know it’s something really quirky or quite weird. That, you know, my windows are sometimes very weird but that’s just the way I am. I base it on whatever comes in and then my theme goes around that item.

CHRISSY: So as we’re sorting, she might say “I’m gonna do a window all shoes.”

JANETTE: That’s true and you know we do get a lot of quirky things in and that’s what makes the shop so much fun, because you never know what’s gonna come in.

BCE: What happens to the items after they’ve been in the window?

JANETTE: I usually change the windows on the fourth Thursday of the month. And then the things go on sale on Friday at 1:00 p.m. They are to the left when you come in the door. We don’t have auction items any more. 

BCE: Remind us of your hours for donations and shopping.

CHRISSY: Our hours for shopping are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. And our hours for donations are Tuesdays and Fridays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

But we also have added that you can call and make an appointment. If you can’t make it during those times, we appreciate you NOT leaving donations after hours. That has helped a lot. 

We might in the near future, after volunteers have been vaccinated, open a little bit more. That might be coming in May.

JANETTE: I just want to say that this is a life-changing place for me. We have fun. Chrissy and I work well together. Unfortunately [laughs] we have the same quirky personality and we think alike. You know when we do weird stuff, we don’t care what people think.

One of the weirdest [videos] we did together and laughed so hard, was the upside down faces on the chins. We couldn’t even get through it.

CHRISSY: So if you didn’t see Chin-a-Claus, go back and look at that. It’s totally stupid and I put the extended uncut version onilne too. And that got a lot of hits as well.
Watch it here: 

JANETTE: See, I’m laughing now thinking about it. So I hope you think it’s as funny as we did. Even if you don’t, we do!

CHRISSY: Have a great day everybody!

BOTH: Bye! 

Suggest an entrepreneur for our series: email [email protected].
The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs serves emerging and growing businesses in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, and Putnam counties by providing networking, mentoring, and education services.

For more information:, [email protected], (567) 525-6667.

15 minutes with the Et Cetera Shop, BCE Edition