V.22 No.10 | March 7 - 13, 2013
Annual Report 2013
What Goes Around ... A Consignment Boutique
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Type of business:
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Women's Consignment Boutique
6300 San Mateo Blvd. NE, Suite D-4
Albuquerque NM 87109
Number of Employees:
What was your first job?
My first summer job was at Miller's Outpost when I was 16: I swore I would never work in clothing again! Little did I know!
Why did you choose this business?
I chose this business because I truly enjoy consignment and resale of any kind. I'm all about getting a deal! Another important point to consider is the “green factor.” We have an extremely low carbon footprint since our merchandise is all local, and shopping consignment is a fabulous way to recycle! The interaction with so many wonderful women has been a great bonus! I feel so blessed to come to my store and have it not feel like work.
What is your business philosophy?
I believe in shopping for quality clothing and accessories in a pleasant environment and finding that perfect treasure!
What is your greatest asset?
My customers. My favorite thing to hear is that the shop has been recommended to them from someone else, or how many complements they have received from a particular item.
Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?
I was born and raised here, and I moved to the East Coast for four years. The last winter we were there, the snowdrifts in front of our house were four feet high. We said, “That's it! We're moving back to New Mexico!" As soon as I saw the Sandias, I knew I never wanted to leave again. Albuquerque also has a strong resale following; I knew I could make it work.
What motivates you to succeed besides money?
I take joy in the fact that everyone involved in the consignment process is happy. The consigner makes money, the shopper has found a fabulous new item and I can keep providing this service.
How is operating your own business different than you expected?
I never expected to meet and get to know so many wonderful people and hear their amazing stories.
What significant changes have you implemented recently?
We have updated our computer system to allow consigners access to their accounts online, anytime. They can check their account balance, and see which items have sold.
What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?
I'm proud of introducing people to what fun it can be to sell and shop consignment.
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
We are continually presented with quality consignments, and have a high turnover for new product daily.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in operating a successful business?
I think many people do not understand what consignment is. They think “thrift store.” We are different in so many ways. We only take excellent-condition, current-style, name-brand clothing. We can be quite particular! Many items still have original store tags attached.
What was your best business decision?
Our location is ideal. The Far North Shopping Center has many businesses with women in mind, so we complement each other well.
What was your biggest missed opportunity?
Men's consignment? Bridal?
What contributions to the community are you most proud of?
If items are not sold after 90 days, we can donate them for you. (We do not take tax credit for this service.) We usually donate to ABQ Assistance League, Barrett House or Clothes Helping Kids, all well-known Albuquerque companies. Since the clothing we accept is top quality, I'm happy to donate these clothes other women could really use.
In what area of your business do you invest the most energy?
I do my best to keep the store organized at all times. I can be a little OCD when it comes to keeping clothing in order and presentable. I also make sure we are taking the best merchandise possible. We strive to maintain a positive and pleasant shopping experience.
If you had to choose another career, what would it be?
A civil rights lawyer.
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?
Make sure you are doing something you love, use your common sense and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Do you have a mentor—business or otherwise?
There is a woman who owns a chain of resale stores in Phoenix who’s created quite a name for herself. I would love to take her out to lunch and pick her brain.
What inspires you?
The women who come into my store. I love to hear their stories and advice. I aspire to be like them.
Three passions outside of work?
I've been on an "Explore New Mexico" kick for the last few years. I've been to places I've never seen, even though I was raised here. Tent Rocks, Chaco Canyon, hiking La Luz Trail, sailing in a Jack and Jill race with my Dad at Elephant Butte, skiing Taos and catching up on Oscar movies!
Any secrets to your success?
The support of my family, particularly my husband Troy, has been so wonderful. Thanks so much!
Anything else you would like to add?
I would invite everyone to try shopping consignment at least once. Our store will quickly become a favorite!
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