NORTH ADAMS -- Grab that sweater that doesn't quite fit anymore -- a new consignment shop is coming to North Adams.
Adams resident Stephanie Melito is aiming to open Once Around the Block Consignment Shop on March 15 at 18 Holden Street. Melito was given a site plan approval by the city's planning board this week, leaving only a resale license from the city council before the store is open for business.
Melito envisions Once Around the Block as a community-oriented and buyer-friendly shop, with 10 percent of proceeds being given to a local nonprofit organization. First up, Melito said, will be United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County, and then maybe the Boy Scouts and other organizations.
Melito saw the need for another consignment shop and jumped at the opportunity to move into 18 Holden Street, formerly the space of MCLA's Branch Gallery. She was inspired to start a consignment shop by the purchasing habits of her own children.
"I have kids who grow out of their clothes before their even worn," Melito joked.
Recognizing economic challenges in North Adams, Melito thinks her store would be an excellent option for local families.
"You invest a ton of money into your kids," Melito said.
But beyond children, Melito hopes to have gently-used clothing for adult men and women. Although the prices are meant to be fair -- about a third of the sticker price if the item were bought new, generally -- the consigned clothing has to meet a standard, according to Melito.
"If you wouldn't buy it or wear it, I pretty much don't want it," Melito said.
Although nearly empty as it undergoes a makeover, Melito plans to have different clothing sections, a sale display, window displays, and dressing rooms, so patrons can try on clothes before they buy.
For sellers, Melito invested in software that will allow people to track their items online. They'll be able to see what's sold, for how much, and what's left of their inventory. The consignment period will run about 60 days, with incremental markdowns. Sellers keep 40 percent of the final price, according to Melito.
Using the software, buyers will be able to create a wish list and, when that item comes in, they will be notified.
The store is also generating quite a bit of local interest on Facebook, garnering 333 likes in just a couple of months.
"I'm thrilled about it," Melito said. "I really hope the excitement lasts."
While Melito admits that running a consignment shop is not an easy business, she's looking toward the future with a positive attitude.
"I don't know what to expect," she said.
The former bank employee is just happy to be her own boss.
"I was kind of sick of sitting at my cubical," she joked.
Interested consignors can find Once Around the Block on Facebook or by email@example.com.
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