New To You - 27th Anniversary Designer Clothing & Handbags
I’ve owned New To You consignment boutique for 27 years; it sounds like a long time but it certainly doesn’t feel like it because it has been so much fun.
When I started my resale business in Northern Virginia, my daughter Arianne was little, my mother had just passed away and I had just left my husband. I knew I needed to work but I didn’t want to give my daughter to somebody else to raise while I was earning money so I decided the next best thing was to start a business. Going to thrift shops and digging through a bunch of stuff was always a passion for me; finding something really great such as a red lace petticoat, or a Pucci scarf or a beautifully tailored wool coat – treasure in trash, so to speak. This passion became the spark of New To You.
In 1991 I started looking around for a spot to rent for my new store, but didn’t have much luck until I met Barbara and Steve Cram. They were delightful and easygoing and rented to me the old Greenscape space in Falls Church without the usual rigmarole. The Crams are two people that are kind and generous in thought, word and deed. I am grateful to them from the bottom of my heart. The fabulous family that owns Corbett Construction were my next landlords before I moved into our present location, next to Browns Hardware on Route 7. I have enjoyed being Mr. Brown’s tenant, as I admired his work ethic, his humble demeanor and his kindness.
Now that I had a space, I put some stenciling on the walls, bought some racks and started selling “used” clothing; not just any used clothing though – the word “used” can have a negative connotation that can be quite unjust; I much prefer to say “peoples buying mistakes” as mediocrity was not an option for me. I wanted to sell only high-quality fabrics, stylish pieces that were clean and in excellent condition. This is where a little problem began as saying “No, thank you” did not go over particularly well with some. I was so determined to have only clean items, and I would have to turn away many pieces that were not up to the standards I wished to present.
I hit the ground running and before too long, New To You began to flourish. We would soon be written up in The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, various style magazines, blogs and such; it was great! One day out of the blue we received a phone call from a producer of the NBC Today Show. At first, I thought it was a prank call, but eventually realized that it was on the level and could not have been more pleased to be included in a segment along with Ina’s in New York City. To say that things “blew up” from there would be an understatement.
Through all of New To You‘s 27 year run, one thing we are the most proud of is our ongoing commitment to reducing our impact on the environment. Buying consigned clothing is one of the easiest and most powerful actions you can take to minimize your environmental footprint, as it reduces the amount of waste and pollution necessary to make new clothes. In addition to reusing clothing, every day we make our best efforts to recycle or re-purpose all plastic and paper that comes in our door.
We have had so much love and support from near and far. It is a special honor to know that when ones’ friend comes to visit from out of town, New To You is one of the first places they want to visit; hearing such a compliment is always a joy. Many of our best consignment items are mailed in from all over the country, adding a special variety of unique pieces to our store. Our vast network of consignors over the years have opened our eyes to so many one-of-a-kind pieces we couldn’t find anywhere else – a 40+ personal collection of Hermes scarves, the most luxurious purple Dolce & Gabbana reversible shearling-to-mink coat and vintage jewelry accumulated over decades. It continues to be an exciting landscape of change on a daily basis.
I have also been blessed with a cast of creative, intelligent, talented women and men over the years. They have been a fun group – hard-working, and totally dedicated to creating a positive shopping experience to countless people year after year. One of our primary goals is to provide honest feedback to each and every customer to ensure that they look and feel great in everything they purchase.