Miss Daisy’s: Moving Your Dresser and Your Heart

By Charles Rous   |   July 5, 2022
Glenn Novack and his orbit of furniture, artwork, and energy

For locals in the know, Glenn Novack has been heard to say, “Miss Daisy’s is kind of like May Madness, all year long!” Upon entering Moving Miss Daisy’s Consignment and Auction House, I first saw Glennstanding at a 360-degree checkout counter, the center of a vast solar system of furniture, artwork, and energy. Here, new objects are consistently coming into orbit because Glenn and business partner Louis Almaraz, of Louis John Boutique, are committed to finding the right buyer, making price adjustments, and curating a fresh space. 

A brief look around the store uncovers designer clothing, a towering railroad station clock, a beautiful yet sturdy couch that could probably sleep four, and a stage cleverly constructed from old mannequin bases that is lively even when not in use. 

This unique energy is no coincidence, Glenn has always gravitated towards eclectic work. With experience in catering, event architecture, antiques and collectibles, and 13 years as his mother’s primary caregiver, a slight nudge from his sister brought Glenn to open Moving Miss Daisy’s. This initial business brought an interpersonal touch to helping seniors downsize. 

Though pandemic complications in early 2020 unsteadied this work, Glenn quickly adjusted. Three months later, he had acquired a small, inspiring consignment store, and by early 2022 was set to expand. Smiling, he delivered, “Did you hear the rumor? Miss Daisy is jumping into bed with Mattress Mike, and they are doing it at Sears, putting all other rumors to bed.” Thus, Glenn ended public speculation over La Cumbre Plaza’s much discussed Sears Building. 

With new space and resources, Glenn is now crafting his playground. In addition to luxury consignments, he can take on full estates and is equipped with a kitchen and stage for auctions, music, and after-hours functions. Louis plans on using the stage for fashion shows, helping the community live his sentiment that “fashion is art,” and “people can express themselves through fashion: to either create image, shift mood, or to just have fun.” 

In the three months before Glenn bought the store, he asked Louis to join him as a full-time volunteer. The pair took away many stories and insights from the experiences. It began on March 16, when Glenn recognized his senior clients were sheltering in place. Using the vans that powered Moving Miss Daisy, they began doing “free grocery shopping and medication pickup for all seniors.” Glenn and Louis created an early, free version of what eventually became an essential business. 

Their temporary volunteer delivery service expanded as they reached out to C.A.R.E.4Paws. Here, the lifelong dog lovers shuttled large quantities of canine grub between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. 

Glenn also took on an ambitious slice of work at the Santa Barbara Food Bank. Mentioning this, he hit me with a variation of what was becoming his classic refrain: “We got into delivery because we had a big van.” He seemed to wonder, “How could we not put it to use?” Glenn then revamped the Food Bank’s discontinued backyard picking program as generous gardeners invited him to their homes to harvest, pack, and transport produce. 

Though they had put their professional lives on hold, Glenn and Louis appeared grateful for the opportunity to give back. Glenn was born and raised in Santa Barbara County after all – the land of 2,000 nonprofits. Thus, even as the man who specialized in downsizing, upsized his business in 2022, his love for giving remained. 

The new Miss Daisy’s store is part of Glenn’s “giving back” narrative. In a massive commercial space, it would be easy to get lost in profit margins, but Glenn still considers the small things that enhance human experience. For example, he has taken it upon himself to perfect the use of chalk paints to fix and modify furniture. With this knowledge, he plans to teach his customers to properly alter furniture they buy in the store. He chalks it up to simple “awareness,” explaining that his focus has never been about “just the bottom line” or “solely about making money.”

This all finds its center in Miss Daisy’s newest service for charities and nonprofits, “Consign for a Cause.” Through this program, development directors have a timely and creative opportunity for their patrons. Free of charge and with great care, Glenn and crew will transport donated items and label them “Consigned for a Cause,” with the desired cause listed. Sold in the store, most of the proceeds then go to that nonprofit. Being the culmination of Glenn’s skills, knowledge, and giving nature, this new program looks to jump on center stage at the store – it just has to wait for those four stiff dummies to get off… it feels like they haven’t moved in hours.  

Charles Rous is a UC Santa Barbara student and Isla Vistan with interest in community exploration


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