Desiner Consignor Gets New Look In Local Owners

As one of six children, I was raised to shop for deals anywhere we could find them, including second-hand clothing shops and thrift stores. There were times I resented this and longed for the new trendy outfit in the mall window. But as I grew older, I learned to appreciate the value of “second time around” clothing as much as the value of the dollar. Like driving a car off the sales lot, new clothing depreciates the minute you walk out of the mall. Unless of course you are walking out of a trendy consignment shop such as Designer Consignor, where you can get a half dozen outfits for the price of one from the mall.

I was thrilled to discover Designer Consignor when I moved to Lakewood 12 years ago, and it immediately became one of my favorite shops. In 2005, a new owner (Molly Beargie) took over and a shift occurred in the shop that included a variety of new and consigned clothing for any age and size. The shop then blossomed to over 1,000 consignors that came from all areas to sell and buy. After stopping by one day this past year, I was surprised to learn that Molly was selling the business and moving. Although saddened, I met new owners David and Bernadette and knew immediately that this Lakewood gem was being placed into wonderful hands.

David, a 30-year resident of Lakewood, lit up as he spoke about his love for Lakewood and its eclectic mix of small businesses. One random bus ride home from David’s corporate AT&T job of several years changed the course of his destiny when he overheard a conversation about Designer Consignor being up for sale. Instinctively, David knew this was the change in careers he had been seeking. As an avid shopper of thrifty consignment and resale shops, David jumped at the chance to be owner of one of the best shops around. David’s wife Bernadette, a full-time mother of two, has been volunteering in classrooms throughout Lakewood schools, serving on the PTO and working as a lunch monitor at Horace Mann Elementary. Her love of children is evident and the energy of the couple is hard to describe, except to say they have the warmth of the “small town” feel that attracts many people to Lakewood. They have genuine love for Lakewood and life. The couple likened Lakewood to the Little Italy neighborhood Bernadette grew up in, filled with the charm of unique shops that set it apart from suburbs. They have never considered leaving Lakewood, a town with walkability, diversity, and shops that, “Meet all needs yet still have recognition of customers and neighbors.”

“Designer Consignor represents this melting pot,” David stated, and added that shoppers and consignors come from many different places including Put-in Bay, Amherst, Brecksville, and even West Virginia! As a life-long thrifty shopper, I get it. As Designer Consignor turns a new corner, it must be noted that Irene, the long-time Sales Associate, is still the cornerstone of the shop. Irene is responsible for all window displays--which are always top notch and brighten the block--and serves as your personal shopper when you enter. As Irene gets to know customers, she pulls out outfits that meet individual styles. Who needs Rodeo Drive? Unlike other specialty shops though, Designer Consignor donates all unsold clothing to various women’s shelters and has been a generous donor to Cinderella’s Closet, a collection of formal dresses distributed to girls in need at various schools. The owners also donate business attire to Dress for Success, Towards Empowerment, and Ministry, while sending surplus clothes-hangers to a local dry cleaners for reuse. This socially conscious business is a shining star of Lakewood, so stop in to meet your newest neighbors.

Designor Consignor

171118 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107; 216-228-1309

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 8:19 AM, 06.29.2011