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3 Beaus & A Belle fills local need for upscale consignment shop

Stephanie Howell is the owner of 3 Beaus & a Belle, a local, full-family consignment shop that focuses on sustainability and quality customer service. Grice Connect's Jeneane Brown went behind the scenes to find out more about the store and its beloved owner, who is currently facing a stage 4 cancer battle with tenacity and positivity.

Stephanie Howell has a joie de vivre. Her excitement and enthusiasm about life are genuine and contagious, and she extends the same characteristics to her business. Her store, 3 Beaus & a Belle, named for her three sons and one daughter and her love for all things French, located at 57 Granade Street in Statesboro, is the first consignment shop of its kind in Bulloch County. 

"We started in 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, which was not a good idea, but the Lord blessed it and it has grown tremendously since then," Howell explains. 

Howell displayed optimum customer service from the start, even during the most challenging time in recent history: quarantine. 

Howell & her staff welcome customers and are eager to help them find the items they're looking for. 

"There was a huge need in our community for affordable clothes, and during the pandemic, you couldn't go to stores because they were all shut down," she continues. "So I was opening, and people were able to call me and request. Customers would say, 'I have $100. Give me all I can get of size five," and I would bag it up and put it outside and they would stop and pick it up."

The shop's client base has grown so much that last year she relocated 3 Beaus & a Belle to its current location -- the former Medical Center Pharmacy -- which has over 4,000 square feet for her steady flow of inventory. Dividends of 40% are paid to the consignors, which helps area families who may be struggling in today's economy. 

3 Beaus & a Belle's storefront

In addition to providing the community with inexpensive, quality items, 3 Beaus & a Belle also helps the environment. With the "fast fashion" epidemic of rapidly produced and, ultimately, discarded clothing, the consignment shop offers an alternative to those clothes ending up in a landfill.

Howell partners with a local recycling company who picks up articles of clothing that don't fit the "no stains, no holes" criteria and upcycles them for new items like couch cushions.

Howell, who is a mother of four, used to buy her children's clothes on consignment to save her family money. When the opportunity came along to buy the business she currently owns, she felt led to find a way to make it happen. 

"I had not a penny to my name; it was not a 'me' thing," she says. "In two weeks, I had found the funding after being 'no' told numerous times."

Howell's son teams up with Howell's mother, Frann Folsom, to entertain his little sister. 

She credits her faith with not only being able to purchase the business, but also to fill the store with inventory, which happened within three months of Howell taking ownership. 

Hard work and determination have propelled 3 Beaus & a Belle, which operates with a small team of less than five, to sustained success. However, life circumstances have changed things for Howell, who can no longer be in the store every day as she once was. In December of 2023, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma. 

"I still get to go sometimes, and my staff has been amazing in keeping it going," Howell says. "All my customers send me the sweetest cards and they help me stay looking on the bright side of things."

Howell has been transparent about her challenges, sharing updates on Facebook via posts and videos. Recently, she found out that the aggressive chemotherapy is not working, and once she finishes her scheduled treatment, her health care team will try a new approach. 

"The devil is coming at me hard, but the Lord made me tenacious," Howell says of her health struggles. 

Owner Stephanie Howell and her husband, Seth Howell, have four children.

Howell says she is trusting the Lord, continuing to run the store, and keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity. 

"I want everybody to know that the devil's trying to put a limit on us," Howell says, "but God is right there with us, keeping us strong."

For more information about 3 Beaus & A Belle, please visit their Facebook page. Donations for her medical expenses can be sent to Stephanie Howell's PayPal account at @stephanieDhowell.