Consignment shops are a growing industry in the St. Louis area, and their lower costs and wider selection compared to retail chains appeal to college students.
Consignment shops and thrift shops are often confused with one another. The main difference between the two is that thrift stores sell secondhand clothing that has been donated, whereas consignment shops give the original owner a part of the profit when a customer buys their item.
Located at 1267 S Laclede Station Road, the Green Goose Consignment Gallery has been in business for almost 11 years. Owner Ronnie Vinton also owns Cool Stuff Period in Manchester, Missouri. Vinton’s favorite part of owning a consignment shop is getting to see all the items that come through the doors.
“We have a nice variety of new and vintage merchandise that is very well-curated, and it’s clean,” Vinton said.
The Green Goose Consignment Gallery prioritizes a healthy, positive environment for customers and employees.
“You can come in and furnish your dorm room for a reasonable price. You could get a lamp. You can get a table, you can get a desk, a chair and not be broke when you leave,” Vinton said.
Spending less and saving more is desirable for any age group, especially students in college. Resale is a great option to prevent spending excess money.
“We’re definitely trying to get more of the younger people, which is what I think is really transpiring. The younger people are catching on and getting into more thrifting,” Vinton said.
Their service options include store shopping, curbside pickup and delivery.
Three miles south on 34 Ronnie’s Plaza, owner Nancy Benz runs Clothes Mentor, a consignment shop that opened in 2014.
Clothes Mentor is part of a franchise that was developed in 2008. There are 120 stores nationwide. The St. Louis location in Ronnie’s Plaza is one of the largest stores in the area for women’s attire.
“My St. Louis location has been a top store in the franchise and we continue to grow every year since we opened,” Benz said.
Clothes Mentor sells name brand items for 50-70% off retail prices. It focuses on women’s resale, such as women’s clothes, jewelry, handbags, designer and luxurious products.
The consignment shop is dedicated to helping women find reusable fashion instead of buying new.
“Our customers love the well-organized, clean space we offer them. Every aisle has a new treasure to find,” Benz said.
Clothes Mentor offers clothing for all shapes and sizes, from XS to 3X, and carries attire for different occasions, from career wear and designer shoes to athletic clothing.
Benz said fast fashion is a top environmental problem. With Clothes Mentor, she gets to focus on improving the conditions of the fashion industry and empowering women.
“I love owning a business that is doing our part by giving great items a second life,” Benz said.
Not only is Clothes Mentor cognizant of the environment, but the shop offers reasonable pricing for fashion.
“Clothes Mentor is the perfect store for a woman on a budget, or even just someone who likes to get a great deal. We cater to all,” Benz said.
With a successful career in management for 20 years, Benz decided to become an owner herself in 2012. She joined the Clothes Mentor franchise, which inspired her to build her own business by opening the franchise’s first store in the St. Louis market.
“Success might have waivered, though, if it wasn’t for my husband and three children. They were amazing in their endless love and pride in our new store, and they still are today. They never once questioned my abilities and only reminded me daily how strong I was and that I could accomplish my dreams,” Benz said.
To learn more, visit the Green Goose Consignment Gallery or Clothes Mentor.