Businesses transform from fledgling startups to consignment meccas

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By Jeff Theodore, Contributing Writer

Consignment Gallery at 56 offers a variety of items and a unique shopping experience.  (Photo/submitted)
Consignment Gallery at 56 offers a variety of items and a unique shopping experience.
(Photo/submitted)

REGION – Ann Ward was there from the beginning.

Fifteen years ago, Consignment Gallery at 56 had only a dozen pieces of furniture to sell as it opened its doors in a renovated mill space in nearby Clinton. Ward was the fourth person to enter into a consignment agreement with the new business.

“Today, half of the furniture in my house is from there,” said Ward, who visits the Consignment Gallery twice a week to inspect incoming home furnishings. “It is an unreal business that grew, grew and grew each year.”

“It’s packed with people who come from all over, especially during weekends,” she continued. “I just can’t say enough good things about it.”

Owner Nancy Kosiewski says the business is nothing without the support of Ward and the 17,000 others in her client database.

“We foster a family-style atmosphere and try to get to know as many people as we can,” Kosiewski said in a recent interview. “Once people find out you’re legit, the word-of-mouth spreads.”

The message that Kosiewski wants to spread is that consignment shopping is by no means second-rate. We pride ourselves on “Customer Experience.”

When Kosiewski enters into agreements with consignors to sell their furniture, home goods and other wares, the items must meet a threshold of excellence. In other words, everything on display in the consignment gallery or in Six 20 Six Consignment Boutique, the consignment clothing boutique that Kosiewski also runs, must be clean.

“My philosophy is ‘quality sells, style sells’ and that I must always have clean stores,” Kosiewski said. “We’ve gotten many unsolicited compliments from people who say that when they walk into our stores, they like the quality and the ambiance. They’re pleased that they haven’t wasted their time.”

Consignors who work with Kosiewski receive 60 percent of the proceeds on sales $25 and up and 40 percent for items sold under $25. Items priced over $50 can remain on display in the Consignment Gallery for 90 days while items under $50 can remain for 60 days.

Both the Consignment Gallery and Six 20 Six Consignment Boutique are owned by Kosiewski, and her husband, Don runs the transportation end of the business. They employ an assistant manager, assistant visual merchandiser, personal greeter and a sales associate.

Kosiewski says she and her staff are always looking out for new trends in home furnishing and clothing.

“Farmhouse furniture is hot now and in style, but it’s hard to get because it’s in style,” she said. “It’s important to pay attention to trends because you keep learning. I’m dedicated to learning what the people want.”

That may be one reason why Kosiewski’s stores are popular. At least, that is what Ann Ward thinks.

“From the very beginning, Nancy has been very particular about the quality of the merchandise she accepts,” Ward said. “She stuck to her guns about not taking junk. Everything in her stores looks brand new.”

Learn more about the Consignment Gallery at 56 www.gallery56.com.

Learn more about Six 20 Six Consignment Boutique at www.six20six.com

 

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