Kathie, Carol and Janet
by Jane Kendall
Photography by Christian Lee
Once upon a time there were three sisters, Kathie, Carol and Janet. They were raised in a small town in Martins Ferry, Ohio by two loving parents, John and Betty Petras. They fondly recall the days growing up, watching and helping their parents collect treasures in the house, garage and a storefront building. They developed a taste for beautiful and unusual things and an eye for quality from both parents.
Years passed. The sisters grew up, moved in different directions, established their careers, married and had children. Kathie Tofaute was employed in banking all over the East coast, first as a bank cashier and later a branch manager and bank officer. Carol Monahan’s career was in purchasing and contracting for the Air Force in Georgia and Washington, D.C., and later the Smithsonian Institution. Janet’s nursing background served her well in the health care marketing field and as liaison for physicians in Indiana and surrounding states.
Kathie, Carol and Janet reconnected each year at Thanksgiving, Christmas and their parents’ anniversary; their parents were their primary nucleus for connection. They also got together occasionally for marathons. Janet is a runner. Kathie and Carol always came to cheer her on. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2011, the three sisters met for a marathon in Pensacola, Fla. Following the post-race celebrations, they decided that a trip to Hungary to explore the land of their ancestry was long overdue. Their parents were now deceased, and they were all longing for a deeper connection. Janet did an Internet search and found fantastic fares to Budapest. They booked their tickets immediately. Their time together in Budapest six months later became the inspiration for a new chapter in all of their lives. They rented an amazing apartment in the back of the Gucci store on Andrassy Avenue, across the street from the Budapest Opera house. For two weeks they indulged their senses in incredibly beautiful stores and restaurants, and took in ballet and opera performances. The trip totally reconnected them as sisters.
While the sisters were in Budapest, Carol and Kathie’s husbands were playing golf on Hilton Head Island. Upon their return, the husbands announced their desire to relocate to the Hilton Head area. When Janet learned of this, she decided to quit her job and move also. All three sisters landed here within a few months of each other in 2012. Once relocated and settled, they began to think about how much fun it would be to have a store somewhere. As they look back, the seed had been planted in their minds from the time they were small. Their father had always wanted to open an antique store, but it never materialized. Their magical shopping trip in Budapest was the inspiration for them to look for space to rent for a resale shop. When the unit with the loft at the Village Exchange became available, they quickly signed a lease.
The Three Sisters Resale Shop officially opened its doors on Nov. 1, 2014. Nestled snugly among other boutique shops, the store is filled with beautiful and unusual antique and vintage items. The upstairs gallery features items from local, national and international artists, artisans and authors. Kathie, Carol and Janet definitely have a passion for repurposing, reclaiming, up cycling and collecting. Their skillsets in banking, purchasing and marketing are well matched for their new venture. Their enthusiasm is fueled by the excitement of finding new treasures and the delight of discovering connections with their customers. Many people say they were very brave to make the move, open the store and make it work. It certainly takes a great deal of courage to listen to one’s inner guidance and take action. The three sisters now feel closer than ever, have acquired a deepened appreciation of each other’s unique qualities, and they intend to live happily ever after.