Vol. LXIV, No. 3
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
CHARMING CHOICES: Business has been incredible. December was just wild, with tons of people Christmas-shopping. It has been unreal just non-stop with customers buying things. People were even shopping on New Years Eve day. Jane (left) and Isabelle Kenyon, of jane, the consignment shop on Spring Street, are enthusiastic about their popular new shop.
Recycling is great everyone agrees. Maybe one of your Christmas gifts wasnt just what you had hoped for. Theres a perfect new home for it, and a win/win situation for everyone.
jane, the consignment shop at 7 Spring Street, offers a wonderfully eclectic selection, with clothes, accessories, housewares, framed art, books, and varied miscellany. With its focus on high quality and a variety of prices, it is a boon to shoppers, especially in these difficult economic times.
I always wanted to open a store, says co-owner Jane Kenyon. The idea of a consignment shop came to me a year ago. In my other life in real estate (Ms. Kenyon is associated with Henderson, Sothebys International Realty), I see how many wonderful things in the basement and attic go unused. It just seemed like a great idea, and I never could have done it without my daughter, Isabelle, who is co-owner.
A location in town was important, and their decision to open on Spring Street has been ideal. There is a lot of foot traffic from Witherspoon and Nassau Streets, and the inviting shop welcomes customers to buy or browse. Indeed, shoppers always seem to linger. There is so much to see, and the setting, with its blue decor and emphasis on green products is charming.
We totally renovated the space, and made it as environmentally-friendly as we could, says Isabelle. We removed three levels of flooring to get down to the cement.
From the beginning, they wanted to offer a varied selection a one-stop shopping opportunity for customers, adds Jane. We always meant to have a mix of clothing, jewelry, art, and household items excellent hostess gifts as well as furniture. I think we are set apart by the variety of items we offer. And, in fact, everything in the store is for sale, including all the tables, shelving, etc. that the items are displayed on. Everything is ready to go home with you!
We got started with items from friends, she continues, but now things are coming in all the time. We have had 7500 consignment items since we opened in October. The consignors are from all over, with many from Princeton and the area, but even from New York. We currently have 380 different consignors.
The customers are also from all over, and they are a true blend of the community and beyond, she reports. Theyre everyone kids, Princeton professors, Princeton University students, high school students, and realtors.
And, apparently, they like everything. Sales continue to be up. Handbags are the current favorite, with jewelry, dresses, and shoes also very popular.
Sometimes, people come in, and say theyre going to a party that night, says Isabelle. Theyll get a dress, jewelry, and shoes. It really is one-stop shopping.
Quality and Excellence
The selection is fascinating. The owners have emphasized quality and excellent condition. Everything has to be beautiful, is their motto. Clothes for men, women, and children are available, and lines include Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Yves St. Laurent, and Tory Burch, among others. Many items have never been worn.
We have a line of childrens clothing, Big Enough, that has been discontinued. Its all new, for boys and girls, and all are $20, says Jane.
There are also baby sweaters and adorable red velvet dresses for little girls, among other choices for boys and girls. Guys will find lots of shirts and jackets, and a handsome navy pea jacket is on hand for winter wear.
Gucci handbags, Hermes scarves, Jimmy Choo shoes are on display, along with other shoes from Christian Louboutin, Ferragamo, and Manolo Blahnik, and bags from Chloe, Cartier, Balenciaga, Prada, and Bottega Veneta.
Belts of all kinds are popular, including the colorful Hip Happy line in vibrant colors and designs.
Jewelry includes both costume and fine gemstones, including pieces from Tiffany, David Yurman, Elizabeth Locke, and Barneys. Area designers are also represented.
The eclectic selection continues with gorgeous hand-blown Steuben martini glasses (with the signature tear drop), available singly or in a boxed set of six; also Waterford crystal, Spode, and Wedgewood china. A complete set of 1930s Wedgewood plates featuring Princeton University scenes will surely please Old Nassau alums.
And there is a special section devoted to Princeton memorabilia, including vintage postcards, books, pictures, ashtrays, etc.
Books and Art
Books of all kinds new, vintage, coffee table, fiction, non-fiction are very popular, and customers take time to browse through the selection, says Isabelle.
Art is another specialty, with the work of area artists and photographers featured. Fay Sciarra, Kathleen Liao, Kate Leigh Cutler, and Nancy McLaughlin are among those represented. I just cant say enough about having the artists here, notes Jane Kenyon.
In addition, there are intriguing items from the New Jersey Barn Company, including vintage mantels, windows, doorknobs, and knockers, and a charming small spiral staircase that would be a perfect plant stand.
The imaginative creations of Peter Abrams, made from recycled elevator cable, include a handsome fire screen, a little tree suitable to display jewelry, and a fire bowl/fireplace for the patio.
One-of-a-kind candles from Rae Padulo, ceramics artist, charming handmade aprons, quilts, vintage hat boxes the list goes on!
Customers are enthusiastic enough to come in at least once a week, and some even come every day, report the owners. We put new things out every day, so there is always a different look. And with prices from $5 to $7500 and up (and everything in between), there is surely something for everyones pocketbook.
I love making a sale and helping people find just what they want, says Jane. I look forward to many, many years ahead and having jane become a way of life for people shopping in Princeton. We also have had private parties for charities, with proceeds from any sales going to the charity. We did an event for Princeton Young Achievers and for the cancer association at Princeton University.
Consignors may bring in items Tuesday and Thursday, or by appointment. There is no minimum or maximum requirement. The consignment split is 40 percent to the consignor for each item sold for less than $250; 50 percent for items $250-$500; and 60 percent for items more than $500. Consignments are available for 60 days for clothing and shoes, 120 days for everything else. If an item is not sold within that time, it can be picked up by the consignor, or donated to charity.
Sales are held from time to time, and currently, the first batch of expired clothing is offered at lowered prices.
jane is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Sunday 12 to 5. (609) 683-5263. Website: janeconsignment.com.
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