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January 29, 2019

We’ve been very busy shopping for Indian Lake Resort! We thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak of what will be coming and allow you to shop for some of the items that we have picked out. New merchandise will be posted as we order it for the resort! 

Follow our Instagram & Facebook feeds to watch the process of renovating the resort! Step one is shopping 😊. We will be heading up there to work as soon as the weather breaks. These items are available on the CLOSET TRADERS website under Resort Picks 🎁📦 

This weather makes me want cute but comfortable clothes! These styles will all be in the store on Saturday but you can grab yours before they are gone. They are all only $29!! Great Valentine’s Day gifts 🎁 ♥️💝 or treat for yourself! These items are available on our website and are some of my picks for the week. 🛍🎁📦 Don’t delay... we only have TWO OF EACH SIZE!!! 👚

Since we will be closed tomorrow due to the cold ❄️, it’s time for some more online shopping!! Tory Burch, Doc Martens & Jimmy Choo- who could ask for more??? Great Valentine’s Day gifts 🎁 ♥️💝 or treat for yourself! These items are available on our website and are some of my picks for the week. 🛍🎁📦 Don’t delay... we only have ONE OF EACH! 👜 🥾 👢 👛


January 28, 2019

I spent yesterday at the Merchandise Mart sourcing great new products for the store. I absolutely fell in love with these necklaces!! I love the positive message that each one carries. Great Valentine’s Day gifts 🎁 ♥️💝, friend gifts, daughter gifts, or treat for yourself! These necklaces are available on our website and are some of my picks for the week. 🛍🎁📦

January 28, 2019 

As I sit at home with my kids on this snow day ❄️ ⛄️ , I thought we needed something to make us laugh. These shirts are available on our website and are some of my picks for the week!! 🛍📦

January 27, 2019

Behind the scenes pic of the day we decided to make @indianlakeresort our second home. Mike and I were both so excited that we ended up taking pictures of each other taking pictures 😂 📷 🚣‍♀️ 🎣 🏡


January 26, 2019

This Dooney & Bourke bag is one of my picks of the month because it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift 🎁 💝! It is BRAND NEW with the tags and the gorgeous. Dooney 🦆 bags are always classic. This bag is available on our website and is one of my picks for the week!! 👜🛍📦 There is ONLY ONE of these so don’t delay!!

This Dooney & Bourke bag is one of my favorite things that walked into Closet Traders this month. It is BRAND NEW with the tags and the MOST AMAZING LEATHER! Dooney knows how to make a quality bag that will stand the test of time. (I have a bit of a purse obsession & I’ve seen a lot of expensive designer bags that are not made well - this bag is not one of those). I actually know because I bought this same bag in another color 😂. This bag is available on our website and is one of my picks for the week!!👜🛍📦 There is ONLY ONE so don’t delay!!


January 25, 2019

Closet Traders began 10 years ago as an online resale boutique that I ran from home while I raised my children. I thought it would be fun to start incorporating that side of the business with the store you know today. We will start adding “Mellysa’s Picks” to our website so that our customers will have the ability to shop from home. We are also going to SHIP ALL ONLINE ORDERS FOR FREE!!! We will constantly update the website with new finds. It will be a combination of amazing resale items and eclectic items that we source from our suppliers. Follow our Instagram and Facebook feeds for first dibs on these items! As with our store, many items will only have one available & the first buyer wins 😊. I’m excited to share this other side of Closet Traders with you. Happy shopping!! 


January 24, 2019

Working through my new favorite planner & came across this question. I’ve decided my word for 2019 will be POTENTIAL. I’m going to remind myself to see the potential in everything.... work, life, home, people. I thought it might be interesting to hear what you would choose for your word???

January 20, 2019

Working on my new favorite planner and got stumped on this question. I’ve read so many fantastic books over the past couple months, but realized I don’t have many left on my list... Please let me know if you have books to suggest? P.S. the rest of the planners that you ordered will be delivered tomorrow and ready for store pick up on Wednesday. We have a few available on our website as well in case you’re interested. 😊✍️


January 18, 2019

I saw these glasses and couldn’t resist. This should be the Closet Traders mantra! Everyone who supports us at Closet Traders by selling us your clothes, shopping in our store, and sharing our posts has followed this mantra with us, AND WE APPLAUD YOU!!! 👏👏👏 We opened up 2 years ago without a Facebook or Instagram page, no advertising, no ribbon cutting, only open 2 days a week and the store was 1/3 of the size it is now. We had a vision and you helped us succeed!! Sharon and I are so grateful to all of you because you didn’t Underestimate Us. We can’t wait to keep sharing our finds and ideas with you. PLEASE KNOW HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU & EVERYTHING YOU DO TO SUPPORT US WHILE WE FULFILL OUR DREAM 😘

January 17, 2019


I’m super excited to announce that the planners are on their way to Closet Traders! I’ll be emailing everyone who ordered in advance as soon as they are delivered (I expect them to be ready for pick up when we open on Wednesday 1/23). In case you missed out and didn’t get your order in, I ordered a couple extra for the store & they should be in next week as well 😉

January 16, 2019

Ever wonder why the word “eclectic” is part of our name? I think this word perfectly describes our store and my life. We strive to bring you the best merchandise we can while keeping the prices reasonable. We think everyone should have access to amazing merchandise, and know that we all have our own unique & eclectic style. Continue to follow our posts as we plan to bring you access to lots of new fun stuff this year!! Since the store is only open Wednesday - Saturday, we are planning to make more of our items available online to help out those of you who have a hard time making it in. Please let me know if there are specific items that you’d like to see in the store & I’ll do my best to get them for you. Can’t wait to share more of my favorites with you!! ~ Mellysa 😊

January 13, 2019

We are super excited to announce the 2 year anniversary of Closet Traders! We would not be here without all of you!!

It’s time to celebrate YOU with lots of great deals!! Since the store is only open Wednesday-Saturday, we will be making many of these deals available on our website so you can grab them before they are gone. Be sure to follow our posts. This is going to be fun!

January 12, 2019

One of my favorite things about a new year is the renewed sense of purpose and excitement. The best part of my job is sourcing new merchandise that I hope our customers will enjoy. I am absolutely in love with my new 2019 Planner!! I ordered this for myself from one of our suppliers and it dawned on me that this is exactly the type of thing that all of you might enjoy too. It lets me organize my year, set my goals, create my vision and reflect on what makes me grateful. I love my phone but there’s nothing like an amazing and gorgeous book to make me feel good. Please let me know if this is an item that you’d be interested in purchasing. If so, I will have them available in the store and on the website. 


January 10, 2019

Why can’t I quit my corporate job and raise my children? Why can’t I open a resale store? Why can’t I buy an RV and travel the country? Why can’t I buy a resort? Why can’t I build a company that puts family first? ..... I think about how different my life would be (and boring) if I had listened to all of the people who told me why my ideas were not good.... DON’T LET OTHERS DEFINE YOUR LIMITS... what would you like to do that scares you or others have said is not a good idea?

January 8, 2019


January 5, 2019

It's been an exciting few months at our house.... The Kaniok's have a new adventure. We now own Indian Lake Resort in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We hope you'll come visit us this summer!

You can follow our Facebook & Instagram pages for updates as well.

What is your definition of wealth?

April 28, 2018

Those who know me well can attest that I am passionate about business.  This does not mean that all of my friends are business owners or that I am not passionate about other aspects of my life… It does mean that running a small business ignites a fire in me and I know this is what I am meant to do.

As small business owners, and especially women small business owners, many of us have a tendency to downplay the work that we put into turning our passions into reality.  Most of us did not grow up thinking “I want to work hard every single day of my life and eventually I may make some money”.  So what keeps us going?  It’s hard to explain but a friend recently told me she did something amazing for herself and her business and it made her feel for lack of a better word… “high”.  Did I scoff at her and wonder if maybe she has a substance abuse problem?  No, I absolutely knew what she was talking about.  When you are in the moment and on the right track creatively or professionally there is a euphoria that comes along with doing what you love in that moment.  I have experienced this feeling many times over the past 20 years of my career but have only recently learned to embrace it. 

To me, this feeling and entrepreneurship go hand in hand.  As much as I must listen to my gut and the feedback of others, it is imperative for me to stop and embrace the moments when this euphoria hits me.  These divine moments of clarity happen at the oddest times but for me they are usually first thing in the morning when I let my mind wander. 

I was recently faced with a dilemma at Closet Traders… we needed to freshen up the store but I wasn’t sure what that really meant.  Early one morning, I realized that I have a storage area full of interesting items that our customers have never seen.   For the past 2 years, I have avoided putting these items in the store because I didn’t think we had the space nor did I think they fit into the experience I had created for our customers.  These items are not clothing, shoes, jewelry or purses so how can I put them into a women’s clothing boutique???  The answer is that as a small business owner I am taught to constantly grown and evolve therefore Closet Traders, as an extension of me, should be able to do the same.  Hence, Traders’ Treasures was born.  I hope you will enjoy a peak into another aspect of my business, the eclectic and vintage home décor items that I have been selling online for years. 

You may wonder, what does this mean for the future of Closet Traders?  We hope it just means that we can keep offering you amazing items at affordable prices.  I hand pick every item that comes into the store and hope that the store is an extension of my passion.  We truly want you to enjoy browsing our treasures and do welcome your feedback/suggestions (please try to be kind as I do put my heart and soul into creating a space that I hope you will love).  We want Closet Traders to be a destination in Grayslake for years to come. 

As a favor to me, if you have enjoyed this post please share this with a friend.  Closet Traders’ success is dependent upon our amazing customers and we truly appreciate every single one of you!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 


January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a relaxing winter break!  My holidays were wonderful and I enter 2018 with a renewed sense of purpose and drive.  We are excited about new ideas that we plan to implement at Closet Traders this year.  Stay tuned as we reveal these changes over the coming year and please send me an email if there is something you think we need to be doing :)


December 1, 2017

When I was a little girl, I loved to play store.  We would play for hours... setting up the store, taking turns as cashier and I always loved to pretend I had an office in back where I did all the "paperwork".   It was a long and winding road from those days to Closet Traders but it wouldn't be what it is if I hadn't walked that path.  

A good friend of mine is a yoga instructor and gave me a great mantra to repeat to myself every day, she told me to "trust the journey".  I took this advice a couple years ago and stopped worrying so much about what the next step would be.   I truly believe that the brick and mortar Closet Traders would not exist if I hadn't embraced this concept. 

I grew up in Buffalo Grove and moved to Mundelein at the end of 8th grade.  I graduated from Mundelein High School in 1994 and then Southern Illinois University in 1998 with a major in Accounting and a minor in Finance.  I attained my CPA and worked in public accounting for Arthur Andersen from 1998-2000.  I spent the next nine years working for a private equity firm in Chicago where I was promoted to partner.  In 2009, I chose to leave Corporate America to raise my children, Jack & Cassie.  The work fire inside of me continued though, so in 2009 my sister and I started Brand Name Consignments children's resale events.  This was my first taste of running a small business and I was hooked!   Closet Traders emerged in 2012 as a full service online consignment business and later evolved into the store you see today.  I now live in Grayslake, work in Grayslake and my kids are in Grayslake schools.  I "trusted the journey" and feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  

Over the next several weeks, I would like to tell you the stories of the other women in our Closet Traders Shop Small family.  I love to hear about what makes people tick and how they got to where they are today, and hopefully you will too.  Small business owners are a breed of their own. We work harder than most people realize and usually don't get paid for the first several years of our businesses lives (sounds glorious right?).... but it is. We also enjoy our jobs so much that we aren't thinking about the paycheck and the fire inside of us propels us forward every day.  I hope you'll enjoy getting to know these amazing women as much as I have!