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This article was prepared for the December 5, 2001 edition of U.S.
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Queens of Consignment
Many retail merchandisers are apprehensive about the
holiday shopping season, hoping against hope that they can somehow
persuade shoppers to open their wallets. But some very small retailers
are not worried about the downturn in the economy or the public’s
mood. Consignment and resale shops, it seems, prosper in economically
To both buyers and sellers these stores offer savings and emotional
solace. For bargain hunters, they are more convenient than flea
and garage sales. And buying "gently used" apparel and
yields a certain psychological satisfaction. Each item is a
being passed along to neighbors.
For sellers, it’s comforting to recycle cherished favorites and turn
them over to someone who will appreciate them. Says one shop owner:
"The one thing I hear over and over is `I’ve used it, we’ve had
it for 20 years, I’m looking for it to get a good home."
With two brand-new boutiques joining a group of more than a dozen,
the time seemed write to send writer Michele Alperin to explore the
consignment world. Along the way she met some fascinating
a retired naval officer and his wife, four women who turned a 20-year
tennis game into an entrepreneurial partnership, a professional
and a former designer for Michael Graves.
First, Alperin offers a caveat. Shopping is not her favorite
by Michele Alperin
Bluntly stated, I mostly hate shopping, and, deep down,
I don’t like to spend money either (a leftover, no doubt, from my
parents’ Depression-era childhoods). On a day-to-day basis, I have
little patience for fashion. But when ready to get dressed up, I’ve
finally adopted as my own the fashion excesses to which my height
apparently obligates me ("You’re tall; you can wear that!").
When forced into shopping for clothes, I have mostly haunted sales
and discount stores, but have lately found my way to the occasional
natural-fabrics boutique. In truth, even my recent dabblings into
style are traceable to early influences — for casual wear, a
"Chico" look that draws from the hippie that I never was in
the ’60s and for dress-up, a taste for high style that reflects a
rather conservative Atlanta childhood and a mother who made most of
my clothes, leaving me with a taste for quality and for the unique.
Having introduced my "shopping" idiosyncrasies, I can share
my first experiences with consignment and resale shops, leaving the
reader to adjust for my particular perspective. After all, consignment
shops reside somewhere in the netherworld between imagination and
reality, and any assessment of their "quality" is contingent
upon the singular human being who beholds them at a particular moment.
On an unconscionably warm day in late fall, I find myself on a
street in downtown Pennington, standing in front of a store window
whose cheery red-and-white painted sign announces "Second Time
Around." Its windows, stocked artfully with merchandise and
include an attractive woven Mexican-style coatdress in Halloween
and yellows, with a pattern of Indian chiefs on horses riding across
the fabric. (Volunteer Jacquie Weber, former manager of the Discovery
Shop, designs these windows, working magic every six weeks or so by
turning a theme and a pile of related items into a well-turned
The front door is held open by two unusual creations — one
in the form of a dog and another, a china flower arrangement. Every
small detail in a thrift shop lends itself to the total ambience that
defines the store.
At the doorway, I am overwhelmed by the plethora of stuff, mostly
clothing, either hung along the walls or on racks in the middle, or
folded in baskets around the room. I note some jewelry that I want
to examine more carefully, but then proceed to check out the goods,
trying to free my imagination and open myself to the experience. A
little daunted perhaps by a not-so-unconscious fear of
I start to explore.
A pair of Nine West heels on the shoe rack would have made the Wicked
Witch of the West proud — black suede with satin ribbons for only
$12. The manager of nine years, Pat Hornyak (first a customer!),
that shoes are the store’s best kept secret. According to Hornyak,
it is much easier to determine the quality and wear on shoes than
on a piece of clothing, and many pairs haven’t been worn beyond the
hour it took for the owner to realize that they didn’t fit.
In the back is a rack of "fancier" children’s clothes as well
as several baskets of play clothes. Children’s clothes don’t stay
on their racks very long, says Hornyak, and only certain sizes are
consigned; boys size 5 to 8 clothes, for example, usually get beaten
up before they might get to the store.
Rummaging among the masses of clothes, I see a Christmas sweater,
with some pilling, for $8; a classy man’s straw hat with fancy
feathers for $25; china dolls for about $25 each; and a whole rack
of funky fur jackets for varying prices. After noting a man’s jacket
in blaring cranberry (46 regular, $15) and a couple of garish baby
dresses, I spend a moment wondering why people had ever bought these
things in the first place. But, then, style is such a personal thing.
I ask Hornyak why she thinks people donate clothes to consignment
shops. Sometimes, she says, children grow so quickly that they never
get to wear certain outfits, or they have grandmothers who give them
too many presents. Women may ditch clothes because they like change,
or they may simply change sizes. But the fact is that many people
consign clothes; Hornyak has consigners from as far as Park Avenue
and Seattle, Washington.
Second Time Around, owned and operated by the Unitarian church in
Princeton, celebrated its 25th anniversary in October. "It’s
to have such longevity, " says Hornyak, citing two other stores
that had gone under since she’s been at the helm.
To what does she attribute the store’s long life? It’s a place where
people really talk to each other and share information. Recently,
when one customer mentioned she was looking for a piano, another
offered a piano that was sitting in her home, unused.
And customers feel supported by Hornyak and her 19 volunteers. She
remembers hemming a dress on a customer who had purchased the garment
to wear at a picture shot for a commercial. Foreign-language-speakers
appreciate efforts by the staff to speak to them in their native
and "find the store easier to maneuver in," says Hornyak.
As a skeptical first timer, always overwhelmed by the
sight of rows upon rows of clothing, I ask Hornyak what brings people
to consignment shops. The regulars — and she knows all these by
name — are usually women who work part-time, are married, have
a family, and are shopping for more than one person. Hornyak says
they come to shop for work or for special occasions. "Everyone
has something to wear to the supermarket," she explains. But
looking to deck out their sons for a wedding should be forewarned
that she can’t seem to keep boys’ navy blue blazers in the store.
Often people come in looking for costumes — to portray characters
in a book, for re-enactments, for school and community theater; and
for murder mysteries that people stage in their homes. Hornyak keeps
at her fingertips three reference books on costumes, including
Through the Ages.
And the real truth is, as a customer standing nearby piped in,
love to get a good bargain." If you are wavering about a purchase
and the price is cheap enough, you buy it.
But what really draws people is the magic. Comparing it to department
store shopping, Hornyak says "it is more whimsical." Certainly
some people are more comfortable at Macy’s or Lord & Taylor’s, Hornyak
admits, where they can "see things put together" and buy the
most current styles. "But," says Hornyak, "those who find
a department store limiting, come here." At a consignment store,
she explains, you can try on something that you wouldn’t ever try
on elsewhere. Recently a grandmother tried on a long skirt —
she had never done before. It looked great and she took it with her.
Or, the girl whose mother was sick of Bolo-Bouncers and jacks as party
favors and sent her to the consignment shop with money and
wrapped in a plastic bag. She went home with nine sterling silver
rings for $3 apiece, the maximum her mother had set.
Hornyak says her customers are also attracted to the variety and
of her merchandise; clothes that are consigned must be seasonal, less
than five years old, clean, and in good repair. And because each
functions, in essence, like the buyer in a department store, variety
is endemic. "In Macy’s, they have 12 buyers; here we have 286
buyers," she explains. Customers trust that Hornyak will be
with them. "If something doesn’t look good, we tell them,"
she says. "If something is new or a dress was just taken out of
a cleaner’s bag, we tell them."
Well, I hope they were being straight with me when they told me they
liked the $12 Guatemalan embroidered vest that I walked out with
the hippie influences) — and it just needs a couple of tucks in
the back so that it will really fit. I also bought three pairs of
earrings (one for me and two for my daughter, priced at 50 cents,
$3, and $4). I now feel a sense of camaraderie with Hornyak and her
volunteers, as I remember her gleeful comment: "It costs us all
a fortune to work here." I may end up spending more on this
venture than I get paid for the article.
08534. Pat Hornyak, manager. 609-737-2828. Open weekdays from 10:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In perfect counterpoint to Second Time Around, the
Shop in Pennington provides aid and comfort to the department
From a window that mixes Christmas and patriotism to the beautifully
displayed clothes and decorative items, the front room of this
Cancer Society resale shop has the feel of a fancy boutique —
a rattan display case, attractive rugs on the floor, and tags on the
front rack that run from "real designers" to those that flood
department store shelves, e.g., from Albert Nippon to Liz Claiborne
on down to Talbot’s.
At this store, I’m a little flabbergasted by the quality of the
donated clothes. Lovely sequined dresses, dressy shoes, wool suits
in top condition. Who can afford to give up such lovely clothes?
The underside of charitable donation to this resale shop is a consumer
society where everything is fungible. But philosophy and ethics aside,
my own mildly stunted fashion consciousness awakens at the sight of
a dressy silk outfit for $30 — a high-fashion affair by Adrianna
Papell (sounds like a designer, anyway) with big shoulder pads and
a top that closes like a kimono (I later found similar suits
for consignment on the Internet at varying prices, up to $100). I’m
not sure it’s my style, and it hits me mid-knee (which may not work
that well at 50, but what the heck?)
Repressing my qualms, I decide that it really looks great on me; it’s
cheap; and I only have one other dressy outfit; so I buy it.
Besides the draw of high quality merchandise that you pay for with
a check to the American Cancer Society, this shop is neat and well
organized. Each clothing genre has its own rack-dressy outfits, suits,
sweaters, skirts, and even exercise clothes and sweats (having tried
on several pairs of sweat pants at Marshalls, leaving in failure,
I jump at the chance to buy a pair of cranberry sweats with painted
flowers on the left leg for a mere $2.50).
Among the carefully sized clothes are also some glassware, jewelry,
china plates, hats, books, tapes, and a small selection of children’s
and men’s clothes scattered in the back.
While checking out, I encounter a habitual consignment store shopper,
Beth Potter, and ask her what has kept her coming. She confides,
takes a certain kind of person." As the second-to-youngest child
in a large family, she says, "I am accustomed to the idea of
being used and re-used." Her hand-me-down childhood also frees
her from a fashion code that dictates the discarding of clothes after
three years. She bought stuff for her kids at consignment shops, until
they reached a certain age and "starting having an attitude about
used things" and were drawn to malls and brand names.
At the Discovery Shop, Potter also knows that the monies she spends
are recycled, doing something helpful. Probably the bottom line for
Potter is that she is an artist and likes to either wear what she
finds or turn it into a piece of artwork. "I like the discovery
aspect; it’s like a treasure hunt," she explains. She ended our
conversation with a nod to the Goodwill store, an exemplary thrift
shop in Bordentown frequented by those in the know. "At Goodwill,
they don’t know Calvin Klein from Oscar Mayer; it’s all $5," sums
up this aficionado of the secondhand.
Shopping Center, Pennington 08534. Kelly Gauber, manager.
Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What I first notice about this brand-new consignment
shop is the handwritten sign that proclaims its existence in
glittery letters. Not disappointing any expectations raised by the
opening herald, the shop within has a dreamy quality, clearly put
together by someone with the strong visual sense that I completely
lack and therefore admire. Walls in varying shades of purple, a
lantern, and netting laced with tiny, glittering lights on the ceiling
— they give me the sense of walking into a special place.
Everything in the two-room store is placed with loving care —
a cello in a velvet-lined case leans against one wall, a crocheted
afghan ($8) is draped over the drawer of an antique wooden chest
a framed Lou Gehrig picture and postage stamp ($20) and two funky
purple dresses hang on the walls; and an open trunk displays folded
Owner Jennifer Clark admits that she places a premium on ambience.
She tries for a Bohemian aura, "a place where people feel it’s
magical when they come in." She wants her customers to feel like
"it’s fun, not just a shopping place." The decorations reflect
her own life experience. The cheesecloth and Christmas lights were
inspired by a high school big band function. The idea of a wall
in two shades of purple (her favorite color) came from work she did
for a painter, but realizing that sponges cost $10 apiece, Clark hit
on the idea of using plastic bags instead.
The combination of life experience, pragmatism, vision, and the
to take a risk combined to make the 28-year-old Clark decide to leave
her job as a receptionist and try consignment again. As a child in
Bernardsville, she had helped out in her parents’ hardware store,
and she had worked in a consignment shop in Mendham from ages 15 to
19. For this young woman who played shop as a kid, writing out her
own receipts, it was time to follow her heart.
The experience of September 11 also played a role. With the
of her boyfriend, Michael Bertoni, a salesman at Computer Associates
on Route 206, she decided to move beyond a secure paycheck and
and leave a job she didn’t like for the job of her dreams. It was
the right move. "Every day I come here, I feel happy," she
Clark’s creative bent extends to generosity to local artists. She
provides display space for Ursula Kaplowitz’s pottery, for Amy
art glass beads, and for Fred Cuniglio’s painted glass, and she gives
her consigning artists the best deal of all her customers — she
keeps only 20 percent of proceeds and they get 80 percent.
Since the shop’s opening, with little advertising, she has gotten
plenty of merchandise, with about 40 consigners in the first two
She varies what she pays a consigner, according to the type of
and how attached to it the customer might feel; the split for clothes,
costume jewelry, shoes, and small collectibles is 50/50; for furniture
it is 60 to the consigner/40 to Clark; and for antiques, furs, and
wedding gowns, 70/30. "They mean more to a person so I try to
be generous," explains Clark.
What does Clark think it takes to be a successful consignment shop
proprietor? An appreciation for quality ("If I won’t buy it
she says, "I won’t put it out"); the personality to create
relationships with clients; understanding (particularly when
items from the estate of someone who has recently died); and good
pricing (which she bases on quality, brand name, fashion dictates,
and her own instinct and experience), with room for negotiation.
Hopewell 08525. Jennifer Clark, owner. 609-466-9640. Open Tuesday
to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open until
8 p.m. on Fridays in December.
My Lily and the entrepreneur whose vision informs every
square inch of the store’s small, but carefully designed, space —
Susan Szymanski — are two sides of a coin. Formerly a graphic
designer for Michael Graves and Associates, Szymanski felt she had
"too many ideas of her own" and set out to build the very
business that reflects her multi-faceted self. "I love children,
recycling, reusing, and living responsibly," she says.
My Lily, at 6 Gordon Avenue in the Main Street section of
opens on Thursday, December 6, with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m.
Szymanski grew up in Ewing and has lived in Princeton since she was
about 21. She has worked for a marketing firm and for U.S. 1 in
As an adult, after her now 15-year-old son was born, she studied
at the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.
Having thought for a year and half about opening a consignment shop
for high-quality babies’ and young children’s clothes (through size
6), Szymanski felt the time was ripe. Her close friend Mary Harrison
— with whom she collaborates on the design of wedding invitations,
baby announcements, and the like — had rented a building to open
her own gift and stationary store, Euphorbia. Szymanski realized she
could sublet the empty upstairs quite reasonably, reducing startup
costs and enabling her to launch her store sooner.
Szymanski quit her job at Michael Graves and Associates — it was
time, she says — and wrestled the space into shape, transforming
ugly pink walls and wall-to-wall shag into a soothing, child-focused
environment. "It’s all about children, gentle images, color,
and poetry," she says, weaving a visual image for the listener.
For Szymanski, presentation is paramount — communicating who she
is and what she values.
Citing the simplest of details — the matching hangers that will
distinguish her from many consignment shops and the tiny clothes
on the racks by color — she says, "It shows the client I
Every aspect of the store’s physical design communicates with the
viewer. The colors are restrained, drawn from Szymanski’s favorite
William Morris wallpaper. White scalloped cornices above the wall
racks and at the divide between the two rooms — she designed them
herself on the computer — are stenciled with verses from "Moon
Song" by Mildred Plew Meigs ("Zoon zoon cuddle and croon over
the crinkling sea. . . ."). She came upon the poem in one of the
old books of children’s poetry that she collects. And on the floor
between the two rooms she is painting a pond to harmonize with the
store’s name, "My Lily."
Standing in the middle of one room is a crib — Szymanski’s own
— that has been converted into a hanging rack. Another piece of
furniture, with shelves on the customer side and space for a computer
on the other, was originally a large veneered bar, whose decorative
"splindley things" at the top attracted her to its potential
for transformation (today it could pass for a changing table). Another
closet-like structure Szymanski found on the side of a road, and its
owner, a stranger, took time off on her birthday to help Szymanski
cart it to her store and carry it up the stairs. She has also ordered
small garden gates for the doorways to keep babies away from the
A bulletin board will serve as an exchange for items like furniture
that are too large for the store.
What will make Szymanski’s store different, she hopes, is the quality
and uniqueness of the clothes she is selling, "a notch above
consignment," as she explains it. Her clothes will not be more
expensive, she emphasizes, but she wants to control the esthetic.
"No faces" is her watchword — nary a Barney, Bullwinkle,
or Big Bird. She will carry classic designs and natural fabrics —
To Szymanski, any secondhand object carries with it a piece of the
lives it has been part of. "Everything has a story, a past, even
if I don’t know what it is," she says. For her, each piece of
clothing is a mini-heirloom being passed along to neighbors. And in
the face of a disposable society, she will encourage her customers
to use the clothes, care for them, and then bring them back to her:
"I would love to see the same thing back three or four times."
Szymanski has some other ideas. One is brand-new baby dresses,
from vintage patterns, and tote bags in vintage material, all handmade
by a seamstress close to Szymanski. These delightful dresses —
one even uses a pattern from one of her own baby dresses — are
also fun. She is also thinking about selling refurbished wooden cribs
and cradles with doll bedding made from vintage fabrics.
As for herself as an entrepreneur, Szymanski loves it. She says she
invests, makes decisions, solves problems, and evaluates on a daily
basis, without red tape. "Every day I accomplish something,"
she says. "Every day I feel so good, looking forward to tomorrow.
It’s a gift to love your work." And she sees her store as a gift
to her compatriots in re-use, recycle shopping: "It is an
for those of us who are avid flea marketers and yard salers to do
it any day of the week."
Susan Szymanski, owner. Open Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Opening reception Thursday, December 6, 4 to 7 p.m.
With an antique-store feel to it, this shop, located
at the intersection of Route 571 and the Great Road, offers a large
variety of sometimes pricey but good quality furniture and
Items stay in the store for a maximum of four months, with prices
going down by 10 percent a month.
Jason and Beverly Kidder opened the store in 1993. A 1964 graduate
of the U.S. Naval Academy, Kidder worked for Johnson & Johnson’s
division as director of engineering. His wife Beverly, a
major from the University of Wisconsin (Class of 1971) had had a
in advertising and marketing, with Goodwill Industries (one of the
world’s leading resale shops) among her major accounts.
When Jason’s job disappeared with a corporate merger, he spent a year
looking for another job. "Then," says Beverly Kidder, "we
said . . . why not? His dad had been an antique dealer."
Now they have a two-building 5,000 square-foot enterprise, the biggest
furniture and household consignment shop in Central New Jersey. Items
offered here range from salt and pepper shakers for $5 and a $50
soup tureen to a $9,000 Georgian bookcase, a bronze statue at $2,000,
and a set of 12 mahogany dining room chairs, $6,500. An Oriental-style
Henredon four-poster bed is $900.
"Our prices are competitive but I don’t price things to collect
dust. We work off our history," says Kidder. Perhaps 25 percent
of their business is in antiques, but the consignment business is
different from the antique business. "We are not adversarial with
our customers, we are not trying to buy low and sell high."
"Gentle wear" is accepted, she says, "but our customers
are purchase and plunk people. They have no time or resources to get
things brought up to standard." Sometimes the Kidders pay the
upfront costs to have an item refinished.
In addition to individual consignments, the Kidders also deal in
and just took in the contents from "a huge estate from a fabulous
mansion in Princeton."
The Kidders’ geographical reach is into Long Island, up to Vermont,
and down to Maryland. They market to working couples with credit cards
— particularly those with the newer, larger upscale houses —
and to New Yorkers on the way to New Hope. An experienced radio
Beverly Kidder records her own voice commercials.
Since September 11, the number of calls for consignment appointments
have risen dramatically, and in response the Kidders will limit their
store hours even more after January 1. Hiring additional help is not
a possibility. "The point of my business is not to have
She has also been doing a brisk business in Christmas presents.
this year, with people edgy about going to malls and into New York
City." Gift possibilities include Steuben glass, Waterford
Boehm figurines ($150) and a Herend china condiment bowl and plate
with spoon, $125.
On one recent visit, Kidder was heard rejecting a potential consigner,
but then advising her on how to sell her furniture, by putting up
an ad in the fanciest grocery store she can find and never, never
letting a potential buyer know that she is single.
518 and 601, Box 242, Blawenburg 08504-0242. Jason and Beverly Kidder,
owners. 609-466-4400. Open Thursday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
After January 1, the store will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
from noon to 6 p.m.
This Skillman shop has a department store look (size
is indicated on each hanger), with the mostly dressy and business
items of excellent quality and well arranged. Noteworthy is a
maternity rack. Clothing accepted must be dry cleaned or washed and
ironed, in season, and "of the current style, within the past
The late Kitty Forward started this shop in the early 1980s in a tiny
shop in Kingston and about 10 years moved it to the Village Shopper
on Route 206. Lamis Faris, the current owner and an Equity actress,
was a part-time manager. "Kitty was the only person who would
give me a flexible schedule," says Faris, "so I could work
in New York." Now she coordinates her work schedule with four
employees. She trained at the Playmakers Rep in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina, and just finished a three-week one-woman show entitled
"I think theater develops a flair for knowing how to assemble
an outfit," says Faris. "We get a lot of people who come
an outfit for a particular effect. Our main competition is the
We bring it all together and put outfits together that would fit the
need, from the ball at the governor’s mansion to the first interview
for a job."
Consignment shops will always have what she calls "the chop wood,
carry wood element," of taking in the clothes, checking them for
spots, pricing and hanging them. "But the fun part is dealing
with someone who wants something special."
The Village Shopper, Skillman 08558. Lamis Faris, owner. 609-924-2288.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursdays to 8 p.m., on
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.
Founded in April by four women who had been tennis
for 25 years, this Princeton Shopping Center store offers merchandise
true to its name: interesting and varied. The inventory includes
as well as many international knick-knacks and accessories at prices
ranging from what you would pay in an antique store to what you would
snap up at a flea market.
On hand in the store during one visit were: a Chinese tapestry (final
price, $176); an Oriental painted desk ($459); a sleeper sofa
a gorgeous Rosenthal dinner set for $1,255 or $28/dinner plate (but
there was also a set of stoneware for 12 on sale for $35); a large
screen, covered with huge flowers ($480); and a Japanese doll labeled
as "quite old" ($48). Each tag has three prices. If an item
is not bought in one month, the price goes down, and the customer
knows exactly what the price will be at any particular time.
The four partners are quite firm about doing everything together.
"We met on the tennis court, and we still play tennis on Monday
nights and go to dinner afterward. We go off at least one weekend
a year to New York," says Maryann Whitman. "We have just had
a wonderful relationship."
"Three of us have always liked furniture, going to auctions,
out the paint bucket and fixing something, giving it another life.
We have always said — wouldn’t it be fun to do something."
One of the partners, Altina Noel, had opened her shop in a tiny space
at Princeton Shopping Center in 1989 when her daughter went off to
college. Now Altina’s Custom Interiors, a full service interior design
studio, has 3,800 square feet.
When Noel moved to her larger space, the partners tried their wings
by opening in her former space for the remaining months on the lease.
It did so well that they moved it next door to 2,200 feet in the
Princeton Bakery space, with 17 feet of window front and double back
doors on the parking lot side for easy loading.
"We are holding our own," says Whitman, "and we are
whatever we make back into the business." The managing partner
receives a salary and two other employees are paid. "After a
eight weeks we are still able to meet our demands. As we grow, we
learn what is more desired by our market."
Each partner contributes a different skill. Noel is the retailer.
Whitman was a speech pathologist and therapist who worked at the Rock
Brook School and then joined the board in a fundraising capacity.
Her dentist husband belongs to a large practice in Hamilton. After
working with the front desk people there, she has made medical office
work a specialty of her speech therapy consulting practice.
The third partner, Phyllis Chase, "is the person who steps in
to do whatever has to be done," says Whitman. With a full-time
job coordinating the athletic schedules at Princeton University, she
is married to Rice Chase, an attorney who is also an assistant to
Princeton lacrosse coach Bill Tierney.
Linda Halstead, a retired nurse, is the managing partner. The mother
of four and grandmother of five children, she and her husband, retired
Summit Bank executive Peter Halstead, have always been interested
in antiques. Halstead works two or three days a week and is the only
partner who gets paid.
"The one thing I hear over and over," says Whitman, "is
lovely people saying, `I’ve used it, we’ve had it for 20 years. I’m
looking for it to get a good home.’ These consigners aren’t looking
to make a bundle. They just want their possession to find a place
where it is appreciated."
301 North Harrison Street, Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton 08540.
Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4
08542. 609-924-5720; fax, 609-924-7278. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
This is the grandma of all the consignment shops — it was founded
during World War II, and its proceeds benefit the Princeton Day
In this store, much of the plentiful inventory had the feel of tired
clothing, one step away from a give-a-way box, and the racks were
very crowded. But a friend swears by the $4 pair of jeans she
there — fine for gardening. Of interest were some funky sequined
tops and black dresses suitable for teen dress up.
08611. Joe O’Toole and Rudy Costabel, partners. 609-392-3838. Home
The partners in this 20-year-old retail enterprise say their major
profits come, not from face-to-face sales, but from E-bay. Brands
beloved in Princeton, like Laura Ashley and Pringle, don’t sell well
in Trenton, but do sell on the Internet. Prices are sometimes 1,000
percent higher in an online auction, says Rudy Costabel.
In Trenton, they offer new and very lightly used upscale clothing
for women, and also for men and children. Such brand names as Chanel,
Liz Claiborne, Adrienne Vittadini, and Jones New York are priced,
new, at 25 percent of retail. Used clothing is 10 to 15 percent of
retail. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is a
half mile south of the Sovereign Bank Arena on Route 206.
Bordentown 08505. Linda M. Simon. 609-298-9422; fax, 609-298-9425.
Home page: www.consignmentshops.com/secondhandrose.html
Linda Simon opened this store nearly seven years ago and splits the
sale price with her customers 50/50. In addition to new and
for" clothing and accessories for women, sizes 4 to 24, she also
has new gold and silver jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics, and giftware,
all at below retail prices. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and
on Thursdays and Fridays until 7. It will be open Sundays before
from noon to 4 p.m.
Shopping Center, Robbinsville 08691. Susan Bernet, owner.
fax, 609-758-5705. Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday
from 10 to 4 p.m.
08505. Bill Stevenson, manager. 609-291-0099; fax, 609-291-1850.
goods, clothing, appliances, furniture, and books. Located next door
to Jaron’s Furniture and the old Bradlee’s building. Open 10 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
08650. Mary Gay Abbott-Young, executive director. 609-695-1436. Open
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 9 to 2:30 p.m. Household goods,
clothing, appliances, furniture, and such kitchen items as toasters
08601. Lieutenant Charles Balcolm, commanding officer. 609-599-9801.
Open weekdays and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clothing,
appliances, bric a brac, shoes, bicycles, and books. Also at 15 Route
33, and at 2607 and 1842 South Broad Street.
Farm, Rosemont 08556. Mary Hartom, owner. 609-397-9383. Clothing and
accessories for women. Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
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