8.03.2009

Consignment: A pay-off for both parties

A bath and body care business in Franklin Square is spreading its wings into the world of consignment and getting a boost in business as a result.

Queens native Robyn Colonell opened Aroma Bird downtown in 2005 and is among the growing ranks of local store owners who say they’re seeking to offer customers more for their money at a time when people have less of it to spend.

“I go above and beyond for my clients,” Colonell said. “I’m here seven days a week.”

In June, she took over the space vacated by Sunflowers florist shop and added consignment to her growing list of offerings. A full room in the suite is devoted to men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.

“If clients want something new, it makes it more affordable,” she said of the service. Consigners receive 50 percent of the sale price of their clothing.

With the addition of the consignment shop, Aroma Bird is more like three businesses in one: In a maze of comfy back rooms, one can get relaxing hair, nail and spa services. Up front, Colonell sells a line of candles and body care products that she makes on the premises, plus handmade jewelry, herbal teas, clothing from Indonesia and prayer flags, among other items.

Colonell said she’s noticed a trend toward vintage clothing and jewelry in recent years, which means steady growth for the consignment business.

“It’s only gonna get better,” she said.

Check out the store’s Facebook page or call 583-3888 for more information.

Soulful art house opens on Van Dam

Jessica Golden has a positive attitude about her family’s new business venture: all competition is healthy competition.

Golden, 26, is the local half of a pair of sisters who are running a new art gallery downtown. At House of Creative Soul, Golden is director while her sister, Kristy Golden Urgo, acts as marketing guru and Web master from her home in Philadelphia.

Golden said her family bought the property at 38 Van Dam St., which includes apartments in addition to the gallery space, from glass artist Gary Zack this winter. It opened in late July after a series of renovations to the building. A grand opening is planned for Aug. 20, and will feature a variety of mediums including photography, painting, sculpture and furniture.

The paintings are largely contemporary and abstract, in line with Golden’s personal tastes.

“We’re going in a different direction than equine art,” she said. “We’re open to everything.”

Cross-marketing is forefront in native Saratogian’s business strategy. She plans to use the spacious two-floor gallery as a venue for art classes and musical performances, all while working with other local gallery owners to share artists if their work fits the space, she said.

“The idea here is to market with everyone and get a flow of different types of artists,” Golden said. “It’s a pay it forward attitude.”

Call 226-0010 for more information.

New mom opens baby clothing store on Phila Street

Here's an interview I did with Jennifer Marcellus, the owner of Miss Scarlett boutique at 19 Phila St. yesterday afternoon.

When did you open the store?

I just opened the store Saturday night. I just relocated here from San Diego, where I lived for 14 years. I grew up here and went to high school in Saratoga and moved back a few days ago with my fiancé, Ben Hailstone, and my daughter, Scarlett, who is 4 months old.

Why did you decide to move back and open the store?

Well, I had the baby and so I wanted to be closer to my family. And also, for the last four or five years, I’ve noticed a definite need in Saratoga for different brands at lower price points. This is a designer boutique and most of the items are at least 45 to 65 percent off of retail prices. So it’s got the boutique feel, but at an outlet price.

Where is the clothing from?

Most of the lines are from California. I have an assortment for everyone, I think, as far as children’s clothes go. I have some stuff that appeals to grandmothers and some funkier clothes. Our main focus for women is premium denim. We’re offering it at half of what its retail price is — between $50 to $70 for brands like Blue Colt, Hudson, Sacred Blue and 1921. Now, because of the economy, we’re trying to offer things at a lower price point.

What is it like returning to Saratoga after so many years?

I haven’t even had a chance to think about it, I’ve been so busy. I’m most nervous about the snow. I haven’t lived here since 1991. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a degree in fashion buying and merchandising and then moved to the West Coast and then back here.


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