SG resident’s new store makes consignment fashionable
by Keith Beebe
Bataviaâ€”The need for a new career inspired Vicki Ryan to open the upscale consignment boutique R Kids Closet in Batavia in October 2009.
The need for more space to satisfy public demand and further develop her new business led Ryan to move the boutique into a bigger location next door just 13 months later.
â€œI was in the mortgage business forever, did really well and had a good run before I lost my job,â€ she said. â€œSo I took about a year, year-and-a-half off and decided I wanted to work with families and give back to the community and the people. I had a couple of people suggest to me that I should look into doing (a consignment store), and I love kids and love people, so this is how I can (give back) and get my husband and my family all involved.â€
Ryan, a resident of Sugar Grove, established a boutique featuring just about everything, from infant and women’s clothing, shoes and outerwear to children’s jewelry and hair bows. And though the majority of the store’s inventory is gently used, Ryan said she is extremely picky about what items she’ll take into the store. After all, R Kids Boutique is meant to be a fashionable and contemporary store, not a place to find casual hand-me-down clothing. And once a particular item sells, the original owner receives 40 percent of the sale, with the other 60 percent going to the boutique.
â€œRight now, I have a waiting list of people who want to drop (items) off, and I put new stuff out daily,â€ she said. â€œWe get a lot of regular shoppers, and now we’re getting new shoppers through word of mouth. And the boutique doesn’t look like your average retail shop at all. I mean, why would someone pay $60 for Abercrombie jeans when I have them for $10?â€
Ryan had never owned a business prior to establishing R Kids Closet, but her sales background and ability to communicate effectively with clients has adequately made up for any lack of management experience.
â€œI’ve been a sales rep my whole life, so it’s been hard to learn the (management) aspect of things,â€ she said. â€œNow I have a staff, and I have to manage that staff. I have to make sure that staff is treating everyone who walks through the door like I treat those people. And I’ve learned that I have to have tank tops out in February because that’s when people shop for them. It can be such an obstacle, because I’ve never (managed) before.â€
Ryan must be doing all right in her new position, since public reception to the boutique has been overwhelmingly positive over the last 13 months. In fact, R Kids Closet was originally located in a space measuring 1,500 square feet, but the store was doing so much business that Ryan decided to move the boutique next door into a space measuring 3,500 square feet in order to add new sections for knick-knacks and home goods.
â€œI didn’t think I would be expanding after just one year, but we moved two weeks ago to our new location at 69 N. Randall Road, and it pretty much doubled my space,â€ she said. â€œIn my original business plan, my goal was to gradually expand to the level I am currently at and then eventually open up multiple locations. Overall, I’d say the (boutique’s) first year definitely exceeded my initial expectations, and the store has really become a home away from home for my family.â€
R Kids Closet
Thursday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m to 8 p.m.
69 N. Randall Road, Batavia
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