Fashion Forward Fridays: ecoChic Resale Boutique

Hey everyone! Today I am really excited to bring you an interview from owner Terry Chesky and an inside look of her fabulous resale boutique, ecoChic. This wonderful boutique is located at 401 Home Drive, in front of the Best Buy and Home Depot in Robinson, and hopefully this post encourages you to take a trip there soon! In Terry's interview for Fashion Forward Fridays she explains how ecoChic came to be, how you can become a consignment partner, and how this store is helping transform the fashion scene in Pittsburgh! You guys know that I am all about saving money and still wearing great clothes, thrift shopping is my favorite hobby so you know that I am all about helping out a locally owned consignment shop. Plus, Terry is a great woman who seems really interested in meeting the needs of her shoppers, how could you not want that kind of loyalty to you as the customer while shopping? 

Outside ecoChic in Robinson - all photos provided by Terry.
How did ecoChic get started? My mom and I had been in the consignment business for almost 20 years when we opened ecoChic resale boutique in 2010. We loved second-hand ANYTHING.... antiques, thrift stores, flea markets, and consignment shops. Our first shop, Consignment Cottage, located in Moon Township, is a great store, but off the beaten path. We opened ecoChic with the idea of creating a smaller, boutique resale experience in the heart of the busy Robinson shopping area. We hoped that it would appeal to a greater audience by being in one of the busiest shopping communities.... and it has! 

Why did you decided to open shop in the Pittsburgh area? Native to the 'Burgh!

What are some goals for ecoChic in the coming years? We are rapidly outgrowing our existing space and may consider an expansion to allow for other departments, such as furniture or more selection in home accents. We would also like to increase our community exposure by being involved in local fashion shows for women's organizations and by offering special events such as bus tours, after-hours events and private shopping parties. We are also looking for more charity partners  to support with our donations of unsold items. One way of doing this would be to open a consignment  account in the name of your favorite charity. 

What makes ecoChic unique/better than other resale stores? While I am very proud of ecoChic and of COURSE think that my stores are the best (wink, wink)  I am actually a firm believer in working together with other stores within the resale industry. On a national level, I belong to NARTS (Nat'l Assoc. of Resale and Thrift Stores)  which is an invaluable resale association. Locally, we have a group of about 10 consignment shop/resale shop owners in Pittsburgh who meet quarterly to discuss ways to work together. We refer back and forth and share educational information. We have some GREAT resale/consignment shops in Pittsburgh! ecoChic will be participating with 3 other shops (Savvy Fox, Fashion Fix and Kindred Spirits) in the 3rd Annual "Shop Til You Drop" Consignment Bus Tour on Nov. 23rd.

What kind of clothing can someone expect to find at ecoChic? Anything from GAP to Gucci! ecoChic carries an eclectic blend of better label and designer fashions mixed with home accents and women's accessories. We carry a nice range of styles, labels and prices. You can find LOFT, J.Crew, Anthropology, Chicos, Coach and Talbots.... and you can find Gucci, Prada, and boutique labels.   You can buy a dress for $15 or you might fall in love with a $150 dress that was originally $600. You can pick up a cute handbag for $8 or spend $400 on a Louis Vuitton. We reduce items if they have been in the store awhile and we put new items out every day. It's like a treasure hunt every visit!

How does your consignment partnership work? Who can become a partner? What are it's benefits? Consignment is a great way to recycle clothing and other items that you no longer love or have use for. Our complete guidelines can be found on our website www.ecochicrobinson.com, but briefly, clothing should be cute, current and clean! We take seasonally and anyone can be a consignor. We just ask that you follow the guidelines (better label or designer, no more than 2 years old, excellent condition, on hangers, in season).  We accept new consignors on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 and 3pm. There's a $10 fee to open your account and you earn 40-50% of the selling price in the 90 days period. Benefits? Money back on items you no longer have a use for, more room in your closet, and the satisfaction of knowing that your clothing is being loved by someone else! For customers, it's easy on the wallet and easy on the earth! Buying an item second-hand is very environmentally friendly!

Pittsburgh was named the 3rd-worst dressed city by GQ. First, do you agree with this statement, why/why not? And second, how is ecoChic helping to change that statistic? 
I actually disagree with the concept! How can you rate a city by it's inhabitants' dress? And the implication with the rating is that people can/should be judged by what they wear and not by what kind of person they are. Snobbish and silly. The US is so richly diverse from city to city, state to state, and region to region. We have different  climates, ethnicities, and cultures, what works for one area certainly isn't going to work for another. So it's really apples and oranges. Who else but another Pittsburgh native would understand our affinity for black & gold, anyways! (And if other cities had to deal with our weather they might be a bit more sympathetic.) On the other hand, ecoChic does help Pittsburgh fashionistas by giving them more value on the dollar. You can save 50-90% of retail and try out labels that aren't even sold in Pittsburgh, as our consignors move, travel and bring us really interesting merchandise. 

Anything else you'd like my readers to know about ecoChic... JUST TRY IT! We're low-key, friendly and helpful. We're a small business so we end up knowing our frequent shoppers by name. And it's just so much fun! You'll never know what you can find. But you have to come in and see for yourself. I had a customer come in the other day who kept repeating, as we helped her into a fitting room with 20 items, "I can't believe I'm doing this!!! I NEVER thought I'd buy anything second-hand!  But everything here looks sooo great and it's so clean and so organized....." You get the picture! Every time you buy even one thing from your local consignment shop you support your local business owner and you reduce the environmental impact of the production of a new item. You'll save time, energy and money by finding everything you need in one place. And if you don't find it the first time... come back!  We'll be delighted to see you!

This is a partnered post, but all opinions are my own.
Hope you fabulous Pittsburghers give ecoChic a try...possibly this weekend? 
Happy Friday!


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