Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Luxury Garage Sale

I was perusing through my DuJour magazine when I came across an article on Luxury Garage Sale, an upscale consignment service specializing in selling new and gently used contemporary, designer and vintage clothing and accessories.  I have been extremely fascinated by the world of consignment and the gems that people seem to find but never really took the leap and began shopping for consigned items.  After reading the article, I took a trip over to their online store and bid on my first item within the first 30 minutes.  The next day I had won a new gorgeous cashmere Chris Benz sweater dress for a quarter of the price!  I WAS HOOKED.

I now visit Luxury Garage Sale on a weekly basis to preview their new merchandise and perhaps place a bid or two.  This month they even took their business to the next level and opened a boutique in Chicago, which I WISH I could visit (next trip out there for sure!).  I am fascinated with their store and the entire business of consignment so I reached out and asked the owners, Brielle Buchburg and Lindsay Segal to give some insight into their business, their passion for vintage and a little about themselves.  

Tell me a little about yourselves and how LGS came about.

Brielle: We have been friends since we were three years old. I was previously working as a corporate event planner and in my spare time was helping my grandparents sell their overstock from their home interior store on ebay. Lindsay was doing visual merchandising at Bloomingdales and on the side was personal styling and helping clients clean out their closets. Her fashion background and my newly learned expertise of the resale market and ebay led us to join forces and launch Luxury Garage Sale.

Where does your inventory come from (both consignment and NWT)?  Are there challenges to ensure you always have new and fresh pieces available for your clients?

Lindsay: We work with individual clients as well as stores. After the end of each season, we take store overstock from boutiques nationwide that hasn't moved after their last sale. Mostly though, we get our unique stand out pieces from individual consignors going through some sort of life change and wanting to pare down.

Authenticity is sometimes hard to confirm these days.  How do you make sure the items being consigned are legitimate designer pieces?

Brielle: This is EXTREMELY important to us. We have an authenticator on staff who is trained in finding the markings and other details that separate a real item from a fake item.

I feel many people get scared of buying consignment pieces for the first time.  What are some suggestions you have to those who may be new to it all?

Lindsay: Find a consignment store you can trust that sells unique and authentic items. Prior to starting Luxury Garage Sale, I was never a consignment shopper, so I totally understand why people may be hesitant. We always get shoppers that our really surprised by the quality of our goods and our selections. We have seen a lot of converts!

If someone has something to consign but they are not in Chicago, is it possible for them to work with you?

Brie: Absolutely! We make the entire process hassle-free whether a client is in state or out of state. Out of state clients can email us by clicking here and we will coordinate getting a pre-paid UPS label sent to them. All they need to do is put the items in a box and we will handle the rest! You don't even need to leave your house.

Your first store has opened this month.  Please tell me a bit about your plans for the store and the client experience you are looking to offer.

Brielle: We are so excited for our doors to open! We have put so much effort into designing every aspect of the store with the help of our architect/designer Audrey Godwin. We will be stocking the store with unique new, gently used and vintage clothing and accessories. We feel the Luxury Garage Sale store will re-define consignment because it will be so highly curated -- this is not your typical consignment store! We will be getting new merchandise in every day, so our shoppers can come in every week and see new items

What are some of the best and hardest parts of running your own business?

Lindsay: Hardest is definitely work/life separation. I never leave my job at work. It is with me 24/7. I think about it all the time and sometimes it is hard to relax and just turn off my phone! The best part, is most definitely, seeing all of our hard work come to fruition! Seeing our sign driving down Wells Street is such an awesome feeling. We took a concept and executed it, and now we are able to go to work every day knowing we have developed a real, sustainable business.

What are your personal styles and who are your style influencers?  Finally, what is your most favorite piece in your closet?

Lindsay: I like patterns and bold graphics. I love black and gold. And most of all, I am obsessed with costume jewelry. My Style idol is Iris Apfel, and I am currently developing a collection that I hope will someday rival hers. My favorite piece is a new necklace with a giant hand on it that I bought in a boutique in Paris. It is awesome!

Brielle: I appreciate various different styles but know my body type and dress for it. I'd describe how I dress is "classic with a twist." I invest in pieces I can wear season after season and spice up my outfit with a great pair of shoes and statement jewelry. Most recently I've appreciated how Kourtney Kardashian was able to pull of being pregnant and put together. I'm working on that!

If you are not in Chicago you can shop like I do at their online store but if you are in the Windy City, I HIGHLY suggest stopping by their new boutique at 1658 N. Wells Street.  But is incredibly addicting.

Thank you Lindsay and Brielle and congrats on the new store!


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