From crayons to consignment, just who is Consigning Women? Born and raised in the Niagara region, I left the area for Toronto to pursue a career in sales. What followed was a 25-year sales career with Crayola, Lego and Liz Claiborne consumer brand products. Toronto was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure but it was time to move on.
I returned to the Niagara area 25 years older with my spouse Al, our miniature schnauzer Ozzy and all the stuff that we had accumulated over the years. The province’s Niagara wine region was very inviting so we settled into a home in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was very fitting because we love wining and dining!
Niagara-on-the-lake is known as a tourist destination. The area offers hotels, B&B, wine tours, shops, and is home to the Shaw Festival, a premiere Canadian theatre. Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the most well-preserved 19th-century towns in the country.
Several years ago, Niagara-on-the-Lake was given the distinction as one of the top 10 most beautiful towns in Canada.
My first impression of ‘consignment’ came from a former manager whose mom ran a designer consignment store in Montreal. Suddenly, I was seeing consignment, vintage and thrift shops everywhere. Living in a metropolitan area gave me the added benefit to speak with as many consignment shop owners as possible. This was an industry that was large enough to actually add to Canada’s GDP.
I felt that the Niagara area could use a high-end consignment shop that sold ladies designer clothing including handbags, jewelry and accessories. There were no upscale designer consignment stores in St. Catharines, Ontario and so the story goes, Consigning Women was born in 2008.
Hundreds of consignors from near and far, thousands of items sold and a gazillion stories about why they were consigning. It was a very fast-paced environment season after season. Over the years Consigning Women rejected hundreds of items that were brought in for consignment because the items did not meet our criteria.
In addition to consignors and customers there were a number of thieves. We had two types of thieves: those who stole from Consigning Women and those who stole from either retailers or private homes to consign with us. The police were involved in several incidents.
While working for Liz Claiborne I developed a huge love for handbags. It was here that I learned about all the different styles of bags. That knowledge served me well because Consigning Women at any given time would have a 100+ designer handbags for sale. Handbags was my biggest selling category!
Fast forward to 2018. Following 10 years of selling in-store and online, a decision was made to close the physical store. Thanks to my consignors and customers who made the brick & mortar store what it was. I couldn’t have done it without you! Below are a few responses to my closing the store.
Today, Consigning Women is a one-woman show with an online consignment store selling authentic pre-owned designer and luxury handbags, jewelry & accessories.
On a personal note, our family has expanded to include a standard schnauzer named Grady. Niagara-on-the-Lake is growing by leaps and bounds and so have the number of wineries. The town is also allowing the development of distilleries and breweries. Cheers!
Now shipping globally from one of the most beautiful towns in Canada!