|Pictured: A vintage Louis Vuitton steamer case surrounded by handbags at Adore (photo: M. Hall)|
Every holiday season my Mom and I make our post Christmas pilgrimage to thrift and consignment stores. In Cary, NC, where my Mom lives, it’s amazing the treasures we have found at prices much less than resale stores in New York City, Orange County, Los Angeles or London. This holiday season we discovered Adore Boutique in Cary. This little store is a wonderland of Chanel, Burberry, St. John, Armani, Escada, Louis Vuitton, Celine and Trina Turk, to name just a few. I’ve been thrifting since my college days, and I have rarely seen such a great selection of pre-loved designer goods, in such good condition, at reasonable prices. This is not Los Angeles’ pricey DecadesTwo where you have to compete with Hollywood stylists and stars for high-priced items (nothing against Decades, they are terrific too.) Adore Boutique is hidden away in a little group of shops and restaurants in Cary, NC in a tiny strip mall. And good news readers, soon you can all shop Adore as the owner, Nancy Alinovi will be launching an online store soon. Watch this space for news of the store opening and a special discount for The Recessionista‘s readers.
|Pictured: Come to Mama! Chanel Jacket on Sale at Adore Boutique in like new condition. (photo M. Hall)|
So what’s so special about Adore Boutique. Let’s discuss. First, the amount of quality merchandise is staggering. Usually when I go to consignment stores I am prepared to spend several hours sorting through piles of junk, looking for a few treasures. Great patience is usually required to find the right items at the right price. Not so at Adore Boutique. The store is loaded with great items, and the owner has already thoughtfully done the sorting for you. Rows of St. John suits are marked with signs. Chanel and Burberry items are right at the front of the store. Designer handbags and shoes are placed in separate display areas, they are not all jumbled together. The rear of the store has racks of cheaper items that are vintage, or from retailers like J. Crew, Jones New York, Ann Taylor and the Loft. I asked the owner Nancy, how she has managed to acquire such a great collection of merchandise. ” We are about 75% consigned items and the rest are used items that I buy outright as well as new wholesale and such. I go to trade shows and buy small amounts of items I think would be good for the store and that can have good price points,” says Nancy Alinovi . “I have also bought out inventory from other boutiques that have gone out of business. I have always been a bargain hunter and into fashion so I feel I have a pretty eye and know my labels well.” Clearly, Nancy has an eagle eye and a clear love of fashion. This is what makes her store unique. The other thing that makes Adore Boutique unique is the high-level of customer service. Service is often a rarity when shopping at consignment boutiques. I have wandered into many stores and never been greeted, or asked if I needed help. Sometimes when prices are low, service is also low. This is not the case at Adore Boutiques. We received lots of help, including items being bought into the fitting room by the store’s staff, and pulls of items by specific designers we were looking for.
|Pictured: A case of treasures, Chanel handbags plus Burberry scarves and bags (photo: M.Hall)|
With so much great inventory, I had to ask Nancy if there are items that they don’t take for resale. It’s no surprise that many items are turned away. “Our top sellers are tops and purses. Slacks (jeans not included), skirts and suits are our slowest moving items, no matter what the label is. Many people are bringing in suits because of two reasons, the work force is less formal and also with the unemployment rate less people are working and have the need to look so conservative,” she notes. “We have basically stopped taking suits unless of course it is a fab cut and label. (I have some truly amazing Theirry Mugler vintage suits!)”
|Pictured: The Recessionista Sr., my mom shopping for Pearls at Adore. (M. Hall)|
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area of North Carolina, and you love fashion, I highly suggest you make the trek over to Adore. Quite simply, you will adore it. I left with a quilted Chanel handbag (the winter white bag, in the case above.) The bag is in pristine condition and came with the authenticity card and dust bag. My mom (a/k/a The Recessionista Sr.) came away with a lovely string of pearls from jeweler Jared (in their original case.) We returned two other sets of new, purchased pearls that were flawed, so it was quite a surprise to find a perfect set at a consignment store. As fabu-less as the Adore Boutique is in person, the online store promises more treasures. I asked Nancy to give us a hint at what we can expect. “The online store, should be up in February and will focus on high end collections and collectible vintage,” says Nancy. “For our opening, we plan on highlighting an Etro collection, some Kieselstein-Cord purses and belts as well as some Chanel ready to wear and various collectible pieces (like a vintage mint Roberta Di Camerino handbag!)”
Remember readers, check those consignment shops (and Goodwill too) in your area for treasures. Thrifting at the end of the year and the beginning of the New Year is one of the best times to find high-end goods. The end of the year is when wonderful donations are usually made by donnees/consignees seeking year-end tax deductions and write-offs. Their loss quite simply becomes your gain. Like my new Chanel bag.