Business

New consignment shop aspires to be Class Act

"The women of Port Orchard have a new outlet for name brand business and casual clothing in Class Act Consignments, located on Mile Hill Drive above All About Spas and Billards.The business, which opened on Dec. 1, is owned by Debra Searles, who has mixed feelings about the location of her store. We have an excellent mountain view, she said. There are drawbacks from being upstairs, but it hasn't lost me any business.Searles, in addition to working full-time at All About Spas and Billards, has Class Act Consignments operating in a very organized manner. Consigners come to her, and she spends a great deal of time making sure the clothing accepted is on par with the standards of the store.I go through everything individually with the consigner, said Searles. I want a certain reputation for high-quality clothes, and I want to keep it that way.According to Searles, Class Act Consignments has a goal of displaying quality name-brand clothing, with styles aimed at the business and professional woman. With brands like Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, White Stag and Jones of New York, Searles doesn't have room for items with missing buttons, spots, holes, or any of the other substandard fare that some businesses try to pass off as good clothing.It's got to be high-quality and in excellent shape, said Searles of the clothing she accepts. I will take quality non-name brand clothing only if it's in mint condition. It's not a thrift store.Consigners, who must bring their items into Class Act Consignments washed and in what Searles calls hanging condition due to high overhead costs, get 50 percent of the profit of their clothing sold. If it is not sold after six weeks, Debra Searles calls them with the option of putting the item on sale or taking it back.It's so we can keep the stock revolving, said Searles.Searles keeps a spreadsheet database of information for each article of clothing for easy and quick reference. I've always shopped (consignment shops) and enjoyed them, says Searles. There's the art of the deal, getting something you know is worth more than you're paying.Class Act Consignments presently features only women's clothing, but Searles says she may expand to have a section for men within the next six months.Blouses, slacks, dresses and skirts make up much of the store's features, however, there are also formals, wedding gowns and accessories for sale like shoes and costume jewelry.I will accept anything that has to do with women, said Searles, noting her store would most likely appeal to women from their late teens to their 80s. I think all women could find something up here, actually.Searles is planning to build up the range of sizes of the store, from small to 3x, and anything in between.Complete with a fitting room and a restroom, Debra Searles talks of her upstairs location. It's tiny and cozy, but I don't think cramped, she said. There's lots of windows, and it's light and airy...it's a good little shop.Benefits of this business for Port Orchard appear to be crystal clear, according to Searles. There's a lot of people who commute out of Port Orchard (for clothing), she said. (At consignment shops) it's like brand new, but a fraction of the cost. They don't have to leave town for something made well. "

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