The much-needed rain may have come as a relief to most Californians, but for one local business owner, the recent downpour was not a welcome sight. After being mired by a five-year drought, the last big storm caused more than 3,000 gallons of water to flood the basement of Go2Girlz on Dennison Road.
"We had mud everywhere and anywhere, and to top it off, the storm ruined our two floor heaters and our hot water heater because they were flooded in the basement," owner Michele Borquez said of the family-operated estate sale business.
Borquez said she found out about the problem after receiving a phone call from her alarm company in the middle of the night when the power went out. With no heat or hot water, Borquez said, she was forced to look for a new location in which to run her large operation.
"Our insurance company will not cover natural floods," Borquez said. "This was our third winter there."
To secure an immediate space for her inventory, Borquez said she was fortunate to find her old warehouse available in the airport industrial park on Green Street. She signed a new lease immediately, and she and her crew went to work salvaging her stock.
"Our old landlord welcomed us with open arms," she said.
Still in need of a showroom, Borquez said she found the perfect location in the 1908 historic home located at 211 Curry St., next door to Jake's Steakhouse. She purchased the charming dollhouse from former resident Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, the attorney who is known locally for competing as a contestant on the reality television show "Survivor."
Said Borquez, "We are closing escrow this week, and will use this location as our home base filled with antiques and gifts like Auntie Em's."
Auntie Em's is owned and operated by Borquez's father and mother, Doug and Alice Middleton.
Borquez said she plans to call the new Curry Street store Go2Girlz Antique Boutique, and will feature high-end art and collectibles.
Said Borquez, "We will also use this location to meet with clients, do online sales, etc, but we will not use it for our liquidation sales."
To keep up with the needs of her growing business, Borquez said she is searching for a larger warehouse were she can hold her once-a-month liquidation sales.
"If we don't find a reasonably priced warehouse, locally, we will have to move our liquidations to Bakersfield," she said.
Borquez said she wants her customers to know she has not gone out of business. In fact, she says she doesn't plan on leaving the area for a long, long time.
"I really like Tehachapi," she said. "I love the people here, and it has served as a perfect place to own and operate Go2Girlz."
Estate sales are just one of the many services offered by Go2Girlz.
Said Borquez, "We offer an important service to our community of not only estate sales, but consignments and helping the local seniors with downsizing when they make their own moves to new locations and can't take everything with them. In those cases, we sell it for them and move their items to our location."
For more information, visit the website at Go2Girlz.org.