Sunday, February 8, 2015

Riverside deals

Big retailers offer a shopper's dream. They draw us in with slashed prices and online dealers sweeten deals with free shipping and easy returns. How can small businesses compete? By giving shoppers what the big guys can't. Simply put--the small business experience. Second-hand shopping has long been a hobby of mine and one of my favorite shops is Encore Consignments in Matamoras, Pennsylvania.

The store stocks a huge variety: clothes, cookware, greeting cards, books, DVDS, crafts, skincare, kids stuff, and more. The owner, Robin, certainly has a knack for display. Clothes are organized by color and gorgeous custom shelving spread throughout the store gives the place a curated and clean feel. She sets up seasonal and holiday sections, most recently for Valentine's Day. I visited a few months ago during the Christmas season and found not boxes of decorations, but a full-size tree decked with ornaments and garland. I vividly remember touching these handmade Eskimo ornaments, which for some reason I passed over. Like the quote that recently popped up on my Pinterest feed, "Nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy." Maybe I'll see them when the season comes back around.

What I find unique about Encore is that she has a good mens section. I've seen hockey skates, sports memorabilia, dress shoes, and tech gadgets. Pretty cool since I find male customers usually underserved in the second-hand world. The store went through a big expansion late last year, adding a bunch more rooms.

"Can you take my picture? Will I be on your blog? Did you get that camera here?"

Working for a not-for-profit, second-hand office supplies are always a cool find. I recently picked up from Robin's store some colored paper, crayons, stickers, and books to make my "office kids kit" that I pull out when working with parents. Now I can notarize in peace without worrying their kid is bleeding Sharpies through copy paper onto my office's wall and work table (true story).

Though big-box retailers have their advantages, let's be mindful to support small businesses like Encore that add color and creativity to not only our closets, but our community, too.

Encore Consignment:

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