Upscale Resale: Georgetown’s Boutiques
With crisp temperatures and the holidays quickly approaching, nothing is quite as refreshing as updating your fall and winter wardrobe. And while it sounds festive, a closet makeover may not bring much cheer when shopping for high-end items on a budget. However, five second-hand stores and consignment shops here in Georgetown are keeping resale upscale, trendy and, most importantly, affordable.
Ready to update your fall wardrobe? Let’s get shopping.
Buffalo Exchange is a national chain that opened its store at M & Potomac a year ago. The store has both women’s and men’s clothing and shoes as well as women’s accessories. The store is not consignment, but resale where trades are made over the counter and sellers paid on the spot. Those selling items can either receive 50 percent of the sale price for store credit, or be paid 30 percent in cash. Store credit never expires and can be used at any Buffalo Exchange. The Georgetown store’s associate manager Sade Persad says the store buys in items based on what is current and trendy.
“From Target to Saks, we don’t look for certain brands.” Persad said. “If it’s something that we feel reflects our customers, we buy it in.”
The personal aspect is appealing to Persad, who said the store interacts with customers to cater to what they are shopping for. Inventory reflects local shoppers, making every Buffalo Exchange store different.
Persad advised to check out the store frequently as inventory is constantly changing and items can sell within five minutes of being on the floor. Buffalo Exchange works with local charities and also holds a number of promotional events.
Buffalo Exchange is located at 3279 M St., NW. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 7 p.m., Sunday.
Krista Johnson opened Ella-Rue, a high-end consignment shop, in November 2010. The boutique is named after Krista’s two rescue dogs: Ella, a Pit Bull, and Rue, a Jack Russell terrier.
The store is light and bright, and clothes line both walls with two small curtain-drawn dressing rooms at the back.
“I designed the store to emulate your super fabulous, hardworking and maybe famous friend’s closet,” Johnson said.
Opening a store had been a dream of Johnson’s since she was a little girl. When the economy went sour, she decided to open a high-end consignment store.
Both Johnson and store manager Lolly Amons are local, yet their consigners span beyond Georgetown.
“We have clients all over the country so our store has closets from Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Hawaii, Palm Beach and South Hampton,” Johnson said. Ella-Rue carries new with tag items from top designers like Shoshanna, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.
Most of the women’s clothing and accessories in the store have an East Coast vibe, according to Amons, and consignors get a 50-50 split of the final sale price. Ella-Rue holds fundraisers for charities and often supports animal rescues. It will host a third-anniversary party in early November.
Ella-Rue is at 3231 P St., NW, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
The newest consignment shop on the block is Reddz Trading, which opened in June. Owner Wendy “Red” Ezrailson opened her first trading store three years ago in Bethesda, Md. But Ezrailson’s retail experience didn’t start there. She and her husband owned Commander Salamander and Up Against the Wall in Georgetown for 40 years, before taking on consignment.
Back in her “old stomping ground,” Ezrailson said her vision for Reddz was to make it look like a boutique. “I wanted to make it look really nice inside so people shop in a good atmosphere,” she said. The store boasts bright red doors with accents of red décor on the inside.
Reddz merchandise includes brands from J. Crew through high-end designers. Ezrailson said the store is diverse— you could be looking for anything from a Chanel suit for $800 to a J. Crew top for $18. “I like that we have a nice variety in the store—letting everyone in— not feeling rejected in anyway,” she said. The store carries women’s clothing and accessories and men’s clothing, however Ezrailson said she’s waiting for men to bring in items. Shopping at Reddz is all about looking for the treasure, according to Ezrailson. Sellers receive 30 percent for the item or 45 percent in the form of a trade card to use in the store. “You will have a great experience selling your clothes with us,” she said.
Trading at Reddz happens at 1413 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.
Back on M Street is another consignment chain, whose flagship store started just outside of Boston 40 years ago. Second Time Around has seen a lot of foot traffic in Georgetown, according to the store manager Lauren Broccoli.
Broccoli said college students are catching on to the idea of resale. “Clients are telling their friends and it’s a great way to replenish your wardrobe,” she said. Second Time Around carries women’s clothing, shoes and bags at their Georgetown location. Broccoli said the store is special because people are “on the hunt” for something unique but always walk out surprised. The shop stands out because it has a little of everything, catering to an age demographic of 17 to 75, according to Broccoli.
Consignment payment with the store is monthly and consignors receive 40 percent of the final sale. Consigning a high-end designer handbag will get you 50 percent of the sale. Clients can keep the sale as in-store credit for wardrobe recycling.
Second Time Around is at 3289 M St., NW, and open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. The last stop of chic consignment in Georgetown is Tari.
The boutique feel of Tari causes many customers to walk in unknowing it’s consignment.
“We try to find our balance within it,” Alida said. “Overall it’s a positive and people enjoy the shopping experience.”
Tari takes in moderate brands to high-end designers and vintage pieces.
“Always expect to find some little treasure here,” Alida said.
The store is affiliated with D.C. Fashion Foundation and supports local designers by featuring their pieces every season. Tari has both women’s and men’s clothing as well as women’s accessories.
Owner Sara Mokhtari builds relationships with clients through the store’s unique consignment process. Consignors have a 50-50 split. Items in the store are marked at 65-75 percent off retail and new items with tags are marked at 50 percent. Consignors get a 60-40 split if they make the sale for store credit. “It’s always great to take a peek in because you never know what kind of deal you will find,” Alida said.
Tari is located at 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW., and open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through