Don’t call it vintage! Why you should make consignment an essential part of your shopping routine.
- Written byTanya Monaghan
Photographed by Lauren Pressey | Makeup by Blair Berndes
Imagine a place right down the street where you could find a chic black leather moto jacket for half the price you would find online … or a Chanel bag in great condition from one season ago for a steal. These are the kinds of pieces available at the treasure trove FindersKeepHers in Manhattan Beach.
First let’s demystify the difference between vintage, thrift and what you would find on consignment at a store like FindersKeepHers. I love shopping online—don’t get me wrong. But for these one-of-a-kind, pre-loved pieces, I feel it is very important to see them, feel them and try them on in person. The hunt is what makes it fun.
And you don’t need to shop on eBay or drive all the way to West Hollywood to score these pieces. Fortunately storeowner Cathleen Gillies-Olaya has done all the digging for you—bringing the best right to your fingertips.
“I started FindersKeepHers seven years ago,” she says. “I was always into fashion and always loved Manhattan Beach. I used to own a store right out of FIDM when I was 20—over in North Manhattan—called Pink Pineapple. I knew that if I ever opened up another store, it would be here.”
Growing up with three sisters and a mother who loved designer handbags, Cathleen discovered the charm of quality hand-me-downs early on. Now as a mother of two and lover of designer items, she appreciates the concept even more—both for the price point it offers and the time it allows her to spend with her family.
“Most of our clientele live locally, though many clients drive from all over just to come and shop and consign with us,” she says. “They also love that there is a place to bring their pre-loved designer goods and that someone else could take a turn in appreciating these pieces that they once cherished.”
I walked out of her store with that All Saints leather moto jacket, and it was a complete thrill for me as I had recently lost my beloved leather jacket—one I had worn and loved for years. What is wonderful about shopping consignment is that you never know what you are going to find … and therein lies the thrill.
At FindersKeepHers inventory changes on a daily basis, and Cathleen has done a wonderful job organizing the product. The clothing is sorted by color and the shoes by size, which makes the product easy to both see and shop.
If you have an eye on a specific designer bag, Cathleen can take your information and let you know when one comes in. On the flip side, as a consignor you can make some great cash for unworn pieces. For people like me who love to shop, this is a great way to keep your closet clean and make room and budget for new pieces.
“We are very picky with the selection that we take in,” notes Cathleen, who consistently stocks pieces from high-end designers like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès. “We make sure that they are current and in season.”
Though the store offers a variety of pieces, handbags and accessories tend to go the fastest. “One of my favorite pieces to come into the store was a vintage red Chanel bag in perfect condition,” shares Cathleen. “It was one of the pieces that I wanted to take home but didn’t need at the moment, and now kick myself every time I think about it. But I don’t doubt that things come full circle when it comes to consignment. I will see it back in the store, and once I see it I will get it!”
1. Dust off the good stuff.
Sort through your closet and pull out the quality designer items that have worn out their welcome in your wardrobe but may brighten another’s. FindersKeepHers will come to your home and do it for free.
“We pick out what we think we can sell for you instead of you coming to the store,” Cathleen says. “We tell our clients that if you haven’t worn the items or used it in the last six months, you probably will not use it again … so why not have someone else take a turn and appreciate these pieces that you once loved?”
2. Make an appointment.
It’s always nice to schedule a time with the store before bringing in items to sort through.
3. Price it.
After identifying pieces that have a potential to sell, both you and the store price the items together … offering the consignor a nice take-home and an incentive to get it out the door quickly.
4. Wait it out.
FindersKeepHers offers a 90-day period for first-time consignors. A check is cut for anything that sells, and unsold items can be picked up or stay on the racks. After the 90 days consignors can keep bringing in items to consign and check with the store every month to see what sold and what is still there.
“The fun thing about consignment is our customers know that they can negotiate with us,” says Cathleen. “But when they do, we take it off our end and not the consignor’s take-home price.”
FindersKeepHers | 1008 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach | 310-798-4000 | finderskeephers.com