If Shelly Briones gets a hankering for a Coach handbag at about one-third the list price, she knows where to check first – that is, if her customers at Another Time Around don’t beat her to it. Top-brand items quickly vanish from the consignment store’s shelves.
Opening the business six years ago marked a major turn in Briones’ career path. She and her husband, Norman, worked in the pharmaceutical industry; when she was laid off, she decided that a consignment store would be a good alternative.
“I’ve always loved garage sales and finding bargains, so this was the best of both worlds,” she said. “I get to shop every day.”
After choosing a location in the Middletown Shopping Plaza (12340 Shelbyville Road), she set about advertising her new enterprise by stuffing flyers into mailboxes and leaving them in pediatricians’ offices, day care centers and craft shows. Ads in The Voice-Tribune and other local publications, as well as word-of-mouth publicity among friends, enabled her to gather children’s and maternity clothing as the foundation for her inventory.
“It took off pretty well and has done better than I expected,” she said. “But consignment has changed. Before the economy took a downturn, shopping in consignment stores was kind of an afterthought for most people. Now, lots of them turn to it first.”
Another Time Around has new as well as consigned clothes and accessories for youngsters, with brands such as Under Armour. Grandparents receive a 10 percent discount if they mention that their purchases are for their grandchildren.
Briones included a playroom, complete with wooden train set, action-figure castle and wall-sized blackboard, to keep kids busy while grown-ups shop for BabyLegs tights or Melissa & Doug toys. The Briones children – Kaitlyn, 9, Carson, 7, and Camden, 3 – often stop by to see what’s happening in there.
“I like change. I added women’s clothing and accessories three years ago because people were asking for them. Now we’ve added a juniors’ room,” she said. “A lot of people think we’re mostly maternity, so we have a hard time pushing them across that threshold. Once they cross it, they’re surprised to see Juicy Couture clothes and M. Andonia handbags at deep discounts.”
Another Time Around has instituted a frequent-buyer program that awards one point for each $15 spent; with 10 points, the customer gets a $10 discount. That kind of incentive keeps shoppers coming back. Business has been so good, Briones may broaden her horizons.
Another Time Around is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit www.another-time-around.com or call (502) 253-9900.
Category: Business Profile