Where All Our Stuff Comes From
Inevitably almost every customer asks us this question at least once in our relationship usually in the beginning. It’s a happy question that I enjoy answering now. In the first year of Pretty I had a hard time explaining. Now the answer rolls off my tongue….”everywhere”.
Anyone starting a new business has to figure out how to source the product to sell. Most stores sell new items that they purchase from some wholesaler. I happen to buy my things from everyone. Now that Pretty has grown significantly since we first opened (we opened with barely 1000 items now we have over 12000!) there are far more stories to tell. Many things have come and gone their stories apart of the items selling provenance.
We opened the store with vintage fine jewelry, handbags, sterling silver, antiques and a small amount of gently used clothing. Shortly after Pretty opened the partners and staff agreed a few lines of new clothing was something our store needed. Now Pretty has 6 lines of new clothing, an area for gently used luxury brand clothing and second hand luxury shoes.
Handbags are bought all over the country and now world. When I (elizabeth) decided to dive into buying and selling bags sourcing bags was the first obstacle. Having connections in the jewelry industry helped immensely. Bags slowly started trickling in through the front door and via private messages from friends. Now I enjoy finding specialty bags requested by customers. I enjoy the find almost as much as the sale of the bag. I enjoy telling the customer about how I found a specific bag and some of the provenance.
Vintage jewelry always has a specific allure and tale to be told. In my years of studying art and costume history I learned about stylistic trends through the ages. Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouvean, Art Deco, Retro, Mid-Century/Modern styles of jewelry are all represented in our store. Many pieces having a specific use or meaning for its original owner. Where we find them varies from piece to piece. Jewelry floods in from customers drawers of long forgotten jewelry a relative had given that they no longer cared for. A large portion of the stores inventory is meticulously chosen for the store based on Elizabeth’s eye or David’s ideas. As much as we hate to admit it, many of the items we kept on a whim or thought would ultimately be sent to the fire end up selling the quickest. It’s the nature of retail sales. As much as we think we know what our Pretty customers want, they always keep us guessing.
I suppose having items from all over the world and country is fitting. Pretty sees over 1000 visitors in an average week! Many of our 1000s of visitors in a year are from diverse backgrounds which makes them a great fit for our Pretty little store in the Old Market.
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