- A Second Look -
Business owner, Judy Rhodes had a great spiritual awakening as she entered her “golden years.” When she was in her mid-sixties, Judy found herself forced into a position of self evaluation. At the time, she was emerging from a season of grief and loss, which left her wondering what to do with her latter years. Over a three-and-a-half year period, Judy lost six close family members, and she had come face-to-face with life’s fragile nature. Weighing her own mortality, she gave serious consideration to retirement and began to plan how she would step away from the consignment store business she had started thirty years earlier. God’s plan however, was quite different.
Judy is the mother of five children, and her season of grief began with the passing of her youngest son. When the youngest of her first three boys was eight years old, Judy was blessed with fraternal twins, Mandy and her fourth son, Mickey. Mickey, quadriplegic from birth, was the first to pass away; he died in his sleep at age 30. Seven months later, Judy’s brother, Jim, lost his battle with cancer. Two weeks after Jim’s passing, Judy’s mother, Helen, died. Ten months later, Judy lost her father, Jerry. Six weeks later her 32-year-old son-in-law, Zac passed away. And, 11 months later, Larry, Judy’s husband of 46-years, died.
Throughout the troubling times, Judy’s best friend, Janet, did what she could to comfort Judy as she endured the compounding emotional strain of her losses. As Judy contemplated what to do with the remainder of her life, Janet gave her an audio teaching series from one of Andrew’s 2010 Gospel Truth Seminars (GTS). The gift Judy received from Janet changed her life.
After listening to the teaching and being encouraged, Judy wanted to know more, and she began visiting Andrew’s website. It wasn’t long before she found out that Andrew was hosting a GTS near her home in Arizona, and she made plans to attend. It was at the 2012 Phoenix GTS that the Lord began to reveal His plans for Judy’s future. Andrew’s teaching for the weekend was Taking the Limits Off God X 10, and the messages were such a revelation to Judy that she had a complete change of heart with regard to her future.
Before attending the conference Judy felt that she was at the end of her life. She realized that she was now the oldest generation in her family. Crippled by her limited thinking, she thought she needed to plan an exit strategy from her business. Judy said, “When I went to the conference, I learned three things: First, that God could make the latter years better than the earlier years; Second, that there is no retirement with God; and third, that God is able to do far more with my life and my business than I had realized. Since I had a renewed hope
for an exciting future, I decided to ‘go for it’ in my business—and my personal life!”
Judy’s business is called, A Second Look, and what she started out of necessity, with seven boxes of used clothes in the early 1980s, has become a prosperous consignment superstore with more than 38,000 consignors. Although the business was Judy’s idea, it has also been a family endeavor since the beginning. Judy came up with the concept for the store and took the initiative to set things in motion, but her finances were restrictively tight from the get-go. Judy didn’t have the means to purchase enough merchandise to sell or to lease a storefront on her own, but her mother, intrigued by Judy’s entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity, helped with the start-up costs. At the time, Judy and Larry were buried under nearly a half a million dollars of debt, the majority of which stemmed from the birth of the twins and Mickey’s subsequent health issues. The medical bills coupled with the fact that Larry, a real estate developer, had run into hard times and severe legal issues, forced Judy to seek an alternative source of income—A Second Look was her answer. In 1989, Judy’s sister, Jeri, joined the team as the store’s office manager.
In 1982, A Second Look opened its doors, humbly housed in 800 square feet of retail space. Judy’s consignment business was blessed and it prospered over the years. As business increased, Judy and her family expanded the store. In 1994, Jeri became Judy’s business partner when Helen retired. Over 30 years, and up until the devastating loss of family members, the retail space required to house the inventory continued to grow to 26,000 sq. ft. Judy was content with the success of the store—until Andrew’s GTS teaching challenged her to believe God for more.
In 1993, Judy and her staff moved into a 10,000 sq. ft. space. Soon after her change of heart, Judy announced to Jeri that she was ready for more; rather than throwing in the towel, Judy wanted to move forward with the business. The two women began to dream bigger and planned another expansion of their retail space.
Currently, A Second Look occupies 37,000 sq. ft. of space at the Paradise Hills Shopping Center in Phoenix, and Judy and Jeri have no plans to slow down. In fact, as A Second Look continues to prosper, so too do ministries in the surrounding area, thanks to the ladies’ generosity. True to Malachi 3:10, the Lord has poured out His blessing upon the sisters, to the extent that they cannot contain it. Surplus beyond their capacity is distributed to 28 local ministries.