Typically speaking, when your closet starts to overflow, it can be viewed as a healthy exercise to purge oneself of excess in favor of a clean slate; that is unless you are like us and prefer to refill your new found space! Well...where do the Chanels
, Louis Vuittons
go? Like your first love on the pre-school playground, they hold a special place in your heart. You want to see them loved and happy, but a fond memory will do just fine.
Veronica Levine of Créme de la Créme Consigners
, imparts to us the idea that the giant luxury handbag you no longer carry can translate to $$$ rather than decadent closet decor. When the store owner started selling her gently-loved, but no longer in use handbags, word got out and next thing you know Créme de la Créme was born. We catch up with Levine as she talks about Créme de la Créme, consignment, and the boutique's convenient location in the luxe shopping area of Bal Harbour, Miami Beach. And honestly, can you think of better closets to go through than the fashionable ladies of Miami's?
1.) Why consignment? What do you find to be the most exciting part of the business?
Luxury handbags, shoes and clothing are desired by many people. The problem is that they are typically out of people’s price range. Selling secondhand luxury enables us to offer these wonderful products to a larger audience at competitive prices. We also like that through our tangible storefront and online stores, the consigners have an outlet to recoup some of the investment they made through merchandise they love.
2.) Is CDLC more of an online presence or do you have a brick and mortar store as well?
We are so fortunate to have a brick-and-mortar store located a block away from the world famous Bal Harbour Shops! We’ve had the store for almost three years and our clients love that once they finish using the products they purchased (from our shop or another retail store), they can use us to consign as well as purchase pre-owned less expensive bags or shoes, skipping retail prices altogether. We are exploring the online world with SNOBSWAP and feel it will expand our horizons nationwide.
3.) How do you decide what to take in and what to decline?
I’ve been in business for almost 5 years so I have a good instinct for what our clients like. Of course we only consign and sell authentic merchandise and we are always on the lookout for one-of-a-kind pieces. Fortunately we have a large client base of consigners and customers so we take a wide variety of products. The lines we focus on are the same lines touted on SNOBSWAP; luxury goods.
4.) What trends to you anticipate will sell this winter?
It’s funny. In our market in South Florida the weather is always the same! Pretty much the same products sell year round! Expanding nationwide with the help of SNOBSWAP, I expect to be able to finally start selling our “winter” inventory of clothing, boots and handbags!
5.) Aside from the obvious plus of making money out of your closet while snagging killer deals, what do you think the benefits of consignment are for buyers and sellers?
We are honest. We don’t want to do a deal if it’s not good for everyone involved. We benefit from getting amazing products on consignment, saving us the expense of purchasing inventory while our consigners benefit from our great customer base as a vessel to easily move their pre-owned merchandise. Our customers get the chance to own the most luxurious handbags, shoes and clothing at a fraction of the cost. The aim is a win-win for all parties.
6.) What was your initial goal when you first opened? Has your vision changed since opening?
Five years ago when the recession hit, I had an abundance of bags and started selling. My sales grew and I started selling for other people. I was living in a unique community with access to high-end luxury handbags. Our business outgrew my home office and I opened a retail store expanding our reach to both consigners and retail clients. Our goals are lofty and I don’t feel we’ve reached them. This coming year, we would like to create a significant online presence. Through our relationship with SNOBSWAP, we would like to begin consigning goods online and would like to significantly increase our overall volume of business. We are very thankful for what we have and G-d willing we’ll be able to keep it going!
Créme de la Créme on SNOBSWAP