I want to ensure that shoppers have access to a constantly changing inventory, as well as give customers exposure to savings in addition to the current 70% off retail model. So, I am instituting an inventory rotation model typical of other consignment/resale shops. Tags are marked with color-coded labels that indicate that an item is 20%, 40% or 60% off the marked price. This information is also entered into the POS system so there is no confusion. No code indicates that the item has only recently joined the reFresh inventory. Signs are placed throughout the store as a reminder of what the tags mean.
This becomes a bit of a game for customers. “Do I dare wait for this item to be marked down?” It’s like gambling only your odds of winning are 100% better regardless of whether you decide to buy now or risk losing it to another customer. Come play!
Want to share in a little Hollywood glamour? Escada has been gracing the red carpet for years.
I’ve searched high and low and I am one of only a few who has this beautiful suit for sale as a complete set. The listings I’ve seen on the popular sites offer only the skirt or the jacket. If you were to buy them like this, there is a good chance that they won’t match in color as they have been cared for differently, and one may have been worn more than the other. I’m putting it up for sale on Ebay with a starting bid of $700.
The skirt is a European size 36, which is equivalent to a US size 4. The one flaw in the jacket is that the size tag is removed. The model is a size 6. The jacket and skirt fit her perfectly.
New with tags, this delightful suit sells for $2500+. You can buy it now for $700, and you have the advantage of seeing for yourself what excellent condition it is in. The is suit is like new.
About two hours of filming and interviewing not only me, but customers as well, results in a well done piece by Mark Miller. He is absolutely right, the reason I wanted the boutique is that I love the interaction with my customers. And, I always will.
The original article that engendered the news segment is available here.
I’ve been waiting ever so impatiently for this day to come. It’s fall! I promise, no pictures of turkeys today. (That will come later.) What I will tell you, is the boutique is utterly decked out for fall. With over 200 sweaters; beautiful coats, furs and leathers; over 100 scarves, more than 130 jackets and hundreds of tops and dresses; you can deck yourself in as much fall style as the trees bedeck themselves in bright, bold leaves.
Wrap yourself in cashmere, buttery leathers. Cocoon yourself in silk. This is the time of year to pamper yourself, and put on your best display for the parties, auctions and events that mark this and the season to come. And at reFresh you can do it without pillaging the household budget.
I occasionally hear someone say, “I don’t care about labels.” There are many reasons to rethink that philosophy. The difference between a $6 low-end brand blouse and a $75 designer label blouse are like night and day. Of course, I realize that many people can’t afford or even desire a blouse that originally costs more than $500., but others can and do. There is, however, a wide range of offerings in between that meet most budgets.
“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” —Bill Cunningham
Fabrics used in low-end clothing lines are of a looser weave and lower quality than those found in upscale labels. This means that the lower-end item will give you much less wear for your dollar. As well, there is a difference in the “feel” of the fabric. Have you ever felt cotton that you would have sworn was silk? This is the quality you’ll find in the designer labels. The fabric will feel good next to your skin and has a sheen about it. It is less inclined to pill with washing. Dyes are of a higher quality in high-end labels, which means that dark colors stay dark far longer than in their cheaper cousins. You are also less likely to find natural fibers on low-end clothing, and when you do, they are generally on the lower-quality spectrum — again affecting the long-term wearabily of the item. For example, high-end labels use wools sourced from reputable dealers, whereas low-quality wools are often repurposed from old wool fibers, creating an inferior wool product.
There is a difference in the fit of the garments as high-end products use more complex patterns to ensure a nice fit to the body. Simpler patterns result in lower production costs, but at the cost of a good fit.
“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.” —Carrie Bradshaw
So what labels live at reFresh?
Why do I care about the labels that we carry? Quality becomes even more important in the resale environment. If a garment is of low quality to begin with and has seen several to many washings, then it has little left to offer its next owner. It is important to me that clients get good value for their dollar. Value, or a good deal, is not necessarily defined as a cheap price. Rather value is better defined as the remaining useful life of the garment or the opportunity to own a designer piece at a price that may have been otherwise out of reach.
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” —Rachel Zoe
We’ve made every effort to do away with low-end labels, although the occasional one can be found lurking in a dark corner. What you will find is Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, BCBG Paris, Cabi, Classiques Entier, Liz Claiborne and more of this ilk. In addition, you will find designer labels such as: Kate Spade, Escada, Joanna Chen, Diane vonFurstenberg, Elie Tahari, Philip Lim, Michael Kors, Coach, Dooney & Bourke and many more. We also have vintage furs and fine leather. Items are in like-new condition and are carefully curated, and cleaned.
It’s taken me a spell to sit down and write this. I just wasn’t sure how to approach the story. The word “princess” does not always carry a positive connotation in today’s world where women still struggle to overcome certain stereotypes that hold us back in the workplace. However, when coming from the lips of an older gentleman who had recently lost his wife, I knew there was no need to hesitate over the intended meaning of the word.
Kylie. When the perfect little princess comes into the store, I want you to give her that purse. You’ll know who she is.”
Danny called and asked me if I’d be interested in a collection of Coach, Dooney and Bourke and an assortment of other top-brand purses. Of course I was! He came by that same day. While I referred to him as “older”; his smile, effervescent personality and physique defied labeling him with an age. There was a jovial kindness to his nature that was appealing and contagious. I went through his collection and purchased all but one — a small wooden box purse. A quick bit of research revealed that I had a vintage piece on my hands that I could easily sell for $85. I told him I had decided against it, because as beautiful as it was, I was not sure it would sell in my store.
We agreed on terms and I cut him a check. I was about to hand him the purse when he said, “Kylie. When the perfect little princess comes into the store, I want you to give it to her. You’ll know who she is.” I was taken aback not only by his generosity, but by his trust; and I was honored by it.
I turned my princess radar on.We really don’t get a lot of little girls in the store, which made it even more interesting when just a couple of days later a mother and daughter came in. A dazzling jean jacket in the display window that had caught the child’s eye. So, indeed it was the little girl who chose that moment to come in, neither had ever been to reFresh before. She was exceptionally polite. She asked if I thought the jacket would fit her. It was a size two, so it was conceivable. I pulled it off the mannequin and she tried it on. She wrapped it around her in a warm hug. Alas, it was too large for her. She was disappointed, but handled it with the calm grace of . . . well, a princess.
Her curious eyes began to survey the store with it’s glittering chandeliers and displays, stopping from time to time to alight upon a particularly beautiful item. It was clear to me that she had a deep appreciation for beauty for one of such a young age; I’d guess her to be between seven and nine. Danny was right. I knew.
“I have something I’d like you to see,” I said as I went to the back to get the princess’ prize. I wasn’t about to give it to someone who did not love it. The moment she saw it her eyes flickered with the light of delight. I told her the story about the kind man who had made the very special request, and handed it to her. She was utterly shocked and I could see she realized the value of the gift — not its financial value, but the fact that someone had set aside a special gift for a special person, and that she was its recipient.
Her name is Sophia. I certainly believe that this will be a tale I will long remember — the tale of Danny and his princess, Sophia.