Having a consignment boutique that offers “something for everyone” was Deb Pursley’s goal when she and her daughter Meg Webber opened their Green Hills-area Designer Finds ladies consignment shop 18 years ago.
And they say that offering an eclectic mix of apparel and accessory merchandise at varying price points has been a constant all these years.
In the shop, you could see a $1,200 Valentino handbag (originally priced at more than $3,000).
But you could also put together an entire trendy outfit for under $70. And the merchandise is constantly changing as consignors bring in their pieces and shoppers snap them up.
Some of the most sought-after brands in the boutique-style shop (which on any given day has an estimated 10,000 items in stock) are Lilly Pulitzer, Lululemon, Johnny Was and Anthropology. The shop also has a large assortment of high-end handbags such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, jewelry ranging from cool costume pieces to fine David Yurman and Tiffany pieces, and designer sunglasses like Prada and Gucci.
“We do have high-end handbags, but we also have J. Crew, and we have department store brands, too,” said Pursley, who said the shop’s staff often helps shoppers put together trendy and creative outfits using pieces from various categories of apparel, shoes and accessories.
The shop, which is located in the Gallery at Green Hills, in the shadow of the Mall at Green Hills, now has more than 5,000 consignors and a steady stream of loyal shoppers.
“And that is growing,” said Webber, who handles most of the creative merchandising for the shop.
Pricing in the store is generally about 30% of what the retail prices would have been at first price, and many items come in with tags still on them.
Pursley and Webber said they are picky about what items they will agree to take in on consignment and that they reject about 20% of the items that consignors bring in.
“We are next door to the Mall at Green Hills. They are our competition, and so we have to be particular,” said Pursley, who said having a wide variety of sizes (zero to 16) and high and moderate price points has made their store a destination for all kinds and sizes of shoppers all these years.
“From the beginning, I wanted to be sure we had something for everyone who comes in,” she said.
Bargain shoppers should also know that there is a special on one category on most Saturdays and there is always something on sale. (The tags are color coded, so be sure to look on the wall to see what colors are in the 25%, 50% or 75% off markdown categories.)
That’s where the real deals are. A dress that was originally $150 might be priced at $50, and then if there is an additional discount of 25%, 50% or 75%, the shopper has a serious bargain.
Webber said hundreds of items are added to the sales floor each day and that almost 20% of her consignors are from out of state, regularly shipping their clothes and accessories to Designer Finds.
“We get things form New York, California, Mississippi, Arkansas,” said Pursley, who has a number of celebrity consignors and said that influx of merchandise from them and from consignors from other cities is a draw for shoppers.
One change over the years is that today’s shoppers are younger than the ones who shopped when the store first opened in 2004.
“I see a lot more people in their 20s and 30s shopping now. They are big into recycling,” said Pursley, who said many of her customers are also consignors.
She said, “Nashville shoppers are more eclectic and like to mix and match. You might see a Chanel jacket with a pair of J. Crew jeans. It’s not all matchy.”
If you want to consign
Consignment is by appointment only. There is a minimum of 10 items, and items must be clean, pressed, on hangers and not more than 2 years old. Consignors receive 50% of the selling price, with the shop receiving the other 50%.
The consignment concept “really is a win-win situation,” Pursley said. “People get to shop without spending a fortune, people get to make some money with their unwanted items, and we get to have a business.”
This is a shop to check out.