Stage 2, Fort Madison

Stage 2, Fort Madison

Phyllis Gorrell has been working at the Stage 2 Consignment Store for more than 30 years. She was hired at age 16 to work afternoons and weekends, and eventually worked her way up to the position of manager. “I like what I do,” says Phyllis, and it shows.

When previous owner Joanne Flaherty decided to retire, it didn’t take Phyllis long to decide to take over the business. In the two years since, Stage 2 has maintained its popularity among locals and visitors to Fort Madison. Clearly, Phyllis was able to carry on the tradition of excellent service Stage 2 has taken pride in since 1985. Having worked there for so long, it’s a small wonder. However, there were challenges for Phyllis in switching roles from manager to owner.

Joanne put Phyllis in touch with Janine Clover of the SBDC to help Phyllis learn the ins and outs of business taxes. Janine was able to teach Phyllis Quickbooks and important tax information. “My experience was really, really good,” says Phyllis. “[Janine’s] always available if I have questions.” She credits Janine with being a big reason that she did not fail.

Aside from taxes, there has been little that has phased Phyllis since she took over the business. “It’s everything I thought it would be,” she says. She admits that she’s working a lot more, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. When asked what her future plans for the business are, Phyllis simply replied “Keep on keepin’ on.” It’s likely that this will be more than enough for the Fort Madison staple, Stage 2.

For more information about Stage 2 Consignment Store, please visit their website at or their Facebook page at

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