Shopping

Thinking Globally

Three fashionable women have just opened two consignment stores (Cutie Curls and C&E Consignment) in one Tiverton location (3952 Main Rd.). We talked to one of the owners, India Kenyon, about …

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Three fashionable women have just opened two consignment stores (Cutie Curls and C&E Consignment) in one Tiverton location (3952 Main Rd.). We talked to one of the owners, India Kenyon, about shopping locally and thinking globally.

Of all kinds of stores to open, you chose consignment. Did your social conscience influence this?
Yes. I’m really into recycling, reusing and repurposing and have tried to instill these values into my kids. I did my whole shop on a ridiculously low budget - every piece of furniture is repurposed. When someone comes in they are recycling their clothes and it makes me feel like we’re trading goods. The price point was also very important for me to keep in mind when I opened. Regardless of your budget, you can shop here. It’s boutique quality at consignment prices.

Your daughter Nina just returned from Cambodia with fair trade goods. What
has fair trade meant for your family?

My daughter is 19 and I’m so impressed with her. She joined the foundation Water for Cambodia, who is geared towards getting villages clean water. She went there with school and found women that made scarves and bags and paid them full price for their goods. She brought the goods here, and whatever we sell it for, 100% of the proceeds go back to the foundation. It only takes $150 to build a new water treatment center for a village through this foundation.

What is your favorite consignment shop find?
It’s an antique black onyx charm with a silver setting. A couple of diamonds and some crystals are in it too. I bought it for $10 and got it appraised for $700. I had no idea what it was when I bought it. Turns out it was real silver.

Do you notice that the thrifting trend is increasing?
I do. And I think with the way the economy is, people are warming up to it. It was taboo for a long time.

How often, if ever, do you buy new?
I usually don’t! I hardly ever buy new. I will for my kids for special occasions but I’ll wait for the really good deals. Buying new is always my third option.

Do you have any advice for a first-time consignment shopper?
Just have an open mind and be ready to wrap your mind around not having one thing in 20 sizes. If you don’t find something today, you will find something tomorrow. Have fun treasure hunting. My store is boutique-ish and there is space. It is inviting to someone who may be shy about going to a consignment shop.

What are the do’s and dont’s of label shopping?
I always say, if you love it, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a label or not. If you love it, you love it. I personally like certain labels for my kids, because they are good quality. But for those who are labelholics, consign, because that is the only way to get it at a good price.

Explain a little about having a hybrid consignment shop under one roof.
When I was thinking of opening the shop, I wanted to have all of the options under one roof. My friend of eight years, Cara Oliveira, loved to consign. She was the perfect choice to go into business with. So we decided that I would have the children’s consignment on the first floor (Cutie Curls Consignment and Gift Boutique) and she would run the adult section on the second floor (C&E Consignments). But she is a full-time physical therapist and needed a partner, that is where Erin Wordell, Cara’s best friend, came in.

This is the first time any of us have owned a store and we are living our dream. We have fun with what it and love what we do so it makes leaving our kids at home a little easier.

How do you give back to the community?
We have a few fundraisers going on right now. You can drop off your clothes and if you don’t want to pick it up, whatever the piece sells for, you can have that donated to the charity of your choice. Also, if we haven’t sold something for 90 days, we are given permission to go ahead and donate them. Our philosophy is, “If you put good out you’ll get good back in.”