By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: Consumer News | Issue: November 2006
Robyn McAdow and Terri Turner put the finishing touches on the newest addition to the Clothesline family at 41st and Sheridan.
“Clothes so good they deserve a second chance.” This is the stated motto of Clothesline Family Consignment at 91st and Sheridan in Tulsa’s Chimney Pointe Shopping Center. The store has been living up to its words, providing the highest quality previously owned clothing for three years, and the response has been so overwhelming they are opening a second location at 41st and Sheridan.
“At our original location, we have over 1700 consignors on record, and most of them are active,” says Terri Turner, who owns Clothesline and has been in the consignment business for fifteen years. “We’ve had such an overwhelming demand from consignors that we’ve decided to open a second location. We have consignors that are so happy with the results they get from our consignment process, that they ship clothes in to us from other states.”
Clothesline Family Consignment carries a wide variety of choices, including items you don’t always find elsewhere, like maternity, “preemie,” nursing scrubs, formal wear and plus sizes. They are also one of the few consignment shops in Tulsa to carry men’s clothing. Other items include accessories (belts, purses, scarves, etc.) and new jewelry items. Many items have designer labels and Terri points out that they get brand new items, with store tags still attached, in every day.
Sales Associate Robyn McAdow buys some of her own clothing at Clothesline and says, “People are always asking me where I got my clothes and they can’t believe it when I tell them. It’s amazing what you can get here.”
Clothesline Family Consignment only takes current in-season clothing. “That way, whatever the weather, we’ve got what you’re looking for right then,” Terri explains. For instance, right now a person could bring in a pair of shorts that is in great condition but not suitable for the approaching cold months. In this case, Terri would simply suggest that the consignor bring it back late next spring.
No matter what the season, however, all clothes must be in excellent condition before they can go on a Clothesline rack. Each piece must pass extreme scrutiny for rips, tears, missing buttons or signs of wear. “Even though we ask that everything consignors bring in be clean, we still steam each piece before it goes out on the floor,” says Terri. “During that time, they go through a final check for flaws.”
Does this mean a tiny flaw will stop an item from ever being sale-worthy? “Not at all,” says Terri. If the item is in otherwise good condition and can be repaired easily, by removing a spot or attaching a button for example, Terri will advise the consignor of what needs to be done and then welcomes them to bring the item back in for a second try.
Once an item has made it into stock, Terri and her staff work hard to sell the item as quickly as possible, making sure clothes are out on the floor within twenty-four hours. “If you’re going to take the time to bring in your clothes, I want to get them out on the floor so you can start earning money right away,” says Terri. “We often have things sell right away, just barely after we get them on the hangers.”
There are many great benefits for customers at Clothesline as well, like the “Wish List”. Terri uses this example to display how the Wish List works, “Say you’re looking for a white mink coat but we don’t have anything like that right now. We will put your request on the Wish List and when the item becomes available, we will call you.” In addition, Clothesline offers “Comeback Bucks,” in which the customer receives a percentage of their purchase to be applied toward future purchases. Layaway and gift certificates are available, and Clothesline has implemented a sure-to-be-popular return/exchange policy. After buying an item, customers have until the end of the next business day to bring it back if it does not fit and exchange it for another item.
The satisfaction of both consignors and customers have contributed greatly toward Clothesline’s success, but Terri points to the support of family and friends as the greatest factor of all. One example is Bob Sunker, an eighty-five year old friend who was one of her first consignors. He has been doing numerous handyman chores to get the new shop ready. Nick Haas, another family friend, has been at the shop every day until opening helping with preparations. Those who try on clothes in the dressing room will see the gorgeous, hand crafted benches sent to Terri by an uncle.
Many friends and family have all pitched in to make both stores a success, and Terri’s husband and children have all worked toward the same goal. Terri’s cousin, Joyce Callahan will be helping run the stores full time. “There are no slackers in our family,” Terri says with a smile. “Even my mother-in-law came in from out of town just to help out. She swears this business is in my blood.”
From the looks of Terri’s success, her mother-in-law is probably right.
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