Lisa Laflin stands at her counter ready for customers at Wears and Wares on Thursday, May 18. Originally the executive director for UWTVA, Laflin says much of her experience in that position helped her transition into this role very easily. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — On Thursday, May 18, Lisa Laflin hustled around the newly renovated Wears and Wares, greeting customers and folding clothes while reflecting on the time since she purchased the storefront in December.

Since reopening Feb. 7, Wears and Wares in Farmington has been under new management with Laflin, formerly the executive director of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area.

According to Laflin, the shop had been a staple of the community for over 35 years, and she was a longtime patron and a consigner of the shop before the thought of buying it came up.

“I was semi-retired,” Laflin said. Before purchasing the shop, she had left her position at UWTVA in June of last year after serving as executive director for 14 years. “I was doing some organizational planning and strategic planning, consulting.”

Laflin purchased the location on Dec. 30 after taking her 95-year-old mother to lunch one afternoon and both had noticed the shop was up for sale.

The renovated space of Wears and Wares on Thursday, May 19. Wears and Wares offers high-end clothes and antique items through consignment with members of the community. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

“I saw the sign, and she [her mother] saw the sign and we came in,” Laflin said. It was her mother who put the idea into her head while they had lunch that afternoon. “I always had it in the back of my head, but I talked to the former owner and the next thing I know I’m buying it.


“It wasn’t anything I had planned on. It was meant to be though,” she added.

Described by Laflin as a great secret that was slowly getting more attention, Wears and Wares is the only consignment shop in the region. All items in her inventory are consigned with members of the community, who then receive a portion of the proceeds when their items are sold.

One patron told Laflin that the only alternative she could find for consignment was in Waterville, and the shop had a ten-item limit. Wears and Wares has a 30-item limit, which Laflin says keeps her busy.

“I’m really blessed,” she said. “I had over 100 people at my open house. As you can see by the flood of wonderful consignments I’m getting, people have found out that I’m taking vintage items, antiques collectibles as well as beautiful high-end clothing.”

Laflin also allows the option of having the proceeds from consignment sales be donated to a local organization, such as LEAP, Safe Voices, Old South Church, and the Greater Franklin Food Council. She calls the program the Wears and Wares Cares program and hopes to keep establishing accounts with other organizations and community partners.

She will also be working closely with the University of Maine in Farmington with a “Professional Closet”, which will provide professional clothing for low-income students who need clothes for job interviews and other career opportunities.


Anna McKee folds cloths for Lisa Laflin at Wears and Wares on Thursday, May 18. A friend of Laflin, McKee met her through UWTVA and volunteers her time to help out Laflin and learn a few tricks about running a business. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

On top of that, Wears and Wares also hosts workshops with a variety of different activities that change from day to day. Her next upcoming workshop will be on Friday, June 16, and it will be an introduction to landscape quilting.

In the future, Laflin hopes to have workshops on the basics around power tools and crafting with old computer parts.

“I have motherboards down here that I’ve been collecting,” she said. “They are amazing, they look like little cities.”

Laflin says she welcomes any volunteers who wish to learn more about the inner workings of owning a business, and some have taken her up on the offer. Laflin is passionate about growing new business owners and passing on whatever knowledge she can to them.

“I support local small businesses,” she said. “I believe we are a state that has a huge proportion of small businesses, and we have to realize that they are the backbone of our economy, and they are our neighbors.”

For more information on Wears and Wares, workshops or to become a consigner, please visit its website at You may also reach Laflin at [207] 778-0262. Wears and Wares is located at 413 Wilton Road in Farmington.

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