LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — When Dolores Bueller bought Act II, she didn’t know much about owning a business, let alone one that involved buying and re-selling clothes.
“I had never heard of a resale clothing store before; in fact, some ladies thought it was strange that you’d wear someone else’s clothes,” Bueller described.
But “strange” was welcome in her life at the time, following a divorce.
She recalled, “I had to find something to do, and while playing bridge in Mount Helix one day, some lady had this store for sale because her husband was getting transferred, and it was only two weeks old.”
Never did she imagine 41 years later, it would still be up and running. But one thing she knew at the time was there had to be a reason the store landed on her lap.
“People would come in with no money, nothing. I would help them with something to wear. They would have an interview to go to or this and that. I tried to help people,” Bueller said.
Those habits kept people coming back generation after generation.
“We just started getting customers, and people started bringing us clothes. We were having a good time,” Bueller added.
Bueller held a fashion show each year since 1982 and eventually got more involved with the community, becoming a La Mesa Chamber of Commerce member, an ambassador for new businesses on the strip, and became a regular host for female empowerment groups like the Girl Scouts and college classes that encouraged female entrepreneurship.
“It’s such a blessing that God was so good to me, and that’s why I tried to be good to people. I believe God gave everyone something, and they have to utilize it,” Bueller said.
She’s now in her 90s and not in the store as much as she’d like. Her daughter Deanne runs Act II full-time, but you’ll often see a glimpse of Dolores visiting her home away from home.
“My daughter will, say, ‘So and so came to see you. She always asks about you.’ When I come here, I feel like I’m going home. In this neighborhood, I feel so connected with everyone here,” Bueller told ABC 10News.
Bueller said her team loves hiring teenagers interested in fashion as their first job.
Click here to learn more about Act II.