January 19, 2013 in Business

Ritzy at the right price

Event to launch upscale consignment business
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tyler Tjomsland photoBuy this photo

Susannah Stoltz, left, and Meredith Banka have launched GLAMagain, a consignment business that hosts consignment sales, selling near-new clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories.
(Full-size photo)

Two Spokane women have launched a business that marries consignment sales and upscale fashion.

Meredith Banka and Susannah Stoltz worked as managers at Spokane’s Ambassadors Group, and both stepped down in 2012 to take care of young children.

They love to shop. They love wearing stylish clothes. So they decided to partner on GLAMagain, an event that aims to give shoppers quality items at modest prices.

In addition to generating some income for Banka and Stoltz, the event, held March 1-3, will help women consign their mildly worn items in exchange for 60 percent of each sold item’s price.

In their recent business careers, Stoltz and Banka discovered they worked together well. While staying home, they began brainstorming ideas to keep them involved in the community.

It took them about six weeks to go from initial concept to launching the business, Banka said. “We also wanted to move quickly so we could leverage the chance to do two events in 2013,” she said.

The partners plan to hold a second GLAMagain event in the fall. Both sales will be in the Luxe Ballroom, 1017 W. First Ave.

The idea is to make the event fun and social, Stoltz and Banka said. For $8 admission, attendees get a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres while listening to music during the sale.

Consignors will have the option of donating unsold items to either Catholic Charities or the YWCA.

The hope is to get a range of well-made, like-new items, from business suits and handbags to outerwear, shoes, gloves, jewelry and even high-end athletic apparel.

“We saw this as a timeless idea,” Banka said. “People always need clothes, and a lot of people have things in their closets in like-new condition. We want to give them a way to sell those items and earn some money.”

Upscale items would certainly be one of their preferences, said Stoltz and Banka.

For instance, someone looking for a Tahari business suit might find it on retail racks at $70 or more, Banka said.

At GLAMagain, “we’d want to have an event where you could buy that suit for $42,” she said.

The first consignment event will have a small section set aside for men’s and kids’ items. If those items are popular, GLAMagain will start including them as part of the mix.

Consignors get the advantage of being able to attend the presale before the public event starts, said Banka.

Consignors can arrange drop-offs of items via the GLAMagain website or Facebook page.

Banka, who was vice president of marketing at Ambassadors, said she’s found examples of similar consignment businesses in the Southeast and California. In general, consignments themed to a segment of the population are gaining popularity as consumers watch their pocketbooks and look for deals, she said.

Stoltz, who was vice president of business development at Ambassadors, said they’ve spent about $10,000 getting the business running and preparing for the first sale.

If the idea takes off, the hope is to extend GLAMagain beyond Spokane, the two women said.

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