Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

March 6, 2010

Consignment shops thrive

Old is new again in this economy

TRAVERSE CITY -- Spring's approach means decluttering closets and updating wardrobes.

Traverse City's consignment shops offer a two-fold way to save the billfold.

"This industry thrives during slow economic (times)," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the St. Clair Shores-based National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops.

Consigners who bring in items to local shops generally will receive 40 percent of the item's price when it sells. Stores keep the remaining 60 percent. Currently, area resalers are accepting clothes for spring and already have racks of clothes for the upcoming season. Savvy shoppers can save on sundresses and sandals, prom gowns and pajamas. Here's a guide to a few of the local consignment shops and what they offer.

Zany Consignment Boutique

Location: 318 Vine St. in Traverse City

Prices: Most items under $20, with designer pieces priced higher.

Sizes: Women's clothing, mostly sizes zero to 16.

Vibe: Owner Kate Kohler's eclectic shop is located inside a light yellow house with green shutters built by her husband's great-great-grandfather. The painted wood floors are covered with rugs. The shop gives off a boutique-y feel, with styled displays and a chandelier with dangling prisms and funky floral wallpaper upstairs.

"Casual clothes are really our speciality -- tops, pants, denim, cute dresses ...," Kohler said. "Those are what sells for us."

She looks for one-of-a-kind items, unique accessories and clothes. A colorful belt decorated with a USA flag and Route 66 sign was among a stash of waist cinchers.

"We want things that are a little different than... anybody else," she said. "Special items, that when you are out people ask, 'Where did you get that?'"

Kohler mostly stays away from ultra-formal pieces and career wear. The shop carries semi-formal attire, like a size 12 belted black cocktail dress by Apostrophe with the original tags still attached. The shop also features home decor items such as plates, pictures and pillows.

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