International Women’s Day: At the Top of their Shop

It’s International Women’s Day! To celebrate International Women’s Day, LePrix interviewed three inspiring and empowering women who run the show at their luxury resale boutiques. And just in case you’re not 100% sure what I’m referring to, these incredible women OWN their own boutiques and have partnered with us to ensure you have the opportunity to shop their collections, no matter where in the world you live.

Tiffany Keriakos, Owner, Designer Revival, New York City 

Located on E 81st Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Designer Revival is a high-end consignment boutique that specializes in new and pre-owned designer, vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories. Tiffany’s shop is where you’ll find some of NYC’s best-dressed locals digging through designer gold alongside well-heeled celebrities, and top fashion editors, too!

How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?

My husband’s an entrepreneur and he inspired me to take a completely different path with my career. I had always worked in corporate America, but he encouraged me to start my own business. It’s the toughest job, but it’s so liberating and I absolutely love it! I could never picture myself going back to work for a large company.

What inspired your interest in the designer resale industry?

I’ve always shopped consignment and absolutely loved fashion. I had just gotten married, had a child and wanted to do something totally different. I was going to start my own website and sell high-end inventory that I had collected from friends and family, but as luck would have it, the consignment store I used to shop in all the time was up for sale. Talk about perfect timing! I purchased the store, Designer Resale, in 2015.

What was the first designer item you ever purchased? Do you still have it?

A Roland Mouret white sheath dress…I still have it even though it’s covered in stains! It means a lot to me and I love it, so I still keep in my closet because I can’t bare the thought of throwing it away.

What piece of advice would you give women thinking of starting their own business?

Stop with the excuses and procrastination, and just do it! It is very scary starting your own business, and you’re not going to have all the answers! The key is to have a good network and a good sounding board. They’ll help you get through the tough times.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

As you get older, you’ll STILL be discovering things about yourself. When I was a teenager, I thought that I had to figure out what kind of person I was going to be as soon as I finished college. But in reality, I am still learning about myself and it makes life so much more exciting! As a 13 year-old, try to have as many different life experiences as you can, don’t take yourself too seriously and remember to enjoy the little things!

To shop Designer Revival at LePrix, click here!

Maria Ridolfi, President, A Second Chance, New York City

With bustling shops in Soho and the Upper East Side, it’s easy to see why A Second Chance has become a go-to destination for fashion addicts and designer treasure hunters alike. Maria, along with her daughters, ensure the boutiques are floor-to-ceiling with must-have luxury resale items guaranteed to make anyone feel like royalty.

How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?

After working in an office environment most of my adult life, I wanted to be my own boss when going back to work after my kids were grown.

What inspired your interest in the designer resale industry?

Always had a love for designer items that were unaffordable and did a lot of thrift store shopping. When I discovered consignment stores I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What was the first designer item you ever purchased? Do you still have it?

I got the first Chanel classic that came into my store and still have it.

What piece of advice would you give women thinking of starting their own business?

Do your research and maybe get a job in the business you’re interested in.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Follow your dream and never give up…

To shop A Second Chance at LePrix, click here!

Sally Kimball, Owner, Classic Collections, Palm Beach

Located in the heart of Palm Beach, Sally’s ritzy designer and fashion resale boutique can make anyone’s heart flutter…whether they have a passion for fashion, or not. With a meticulously curated selection of luxury clothing and accessories, ladies who lunch and those who aspire to look like one will find top designs coveted by all.

How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?

I have always been an entrepreneur and always worked for myself.  I have started and sold several real estate companies, mortgage firms, tax shelter businesses and twelve years ago, when the “big recession” began, I decided to close my real estate company and open a very high-end luxury consignment store in Palm Beach.

I was very lucky to find a fabulous place about a block away from the world-famous Breakers Hotel (location, location, location!) and be open in time for the season.  I expanded the shop about 6 years ago and have been a dealer on LePrix in fashion and fine jewelry for a number of years.

What inspired your interest in the designer resale industry?

I have always loved the consignment business and when I was a young career gal working in New York City, I would go through all the high-end shops on Madison Ave. looking for treasures. Obviously, I couldn’t afford my own taste…I loved clothing by top designers from all over the world. But with the help of the beautiful clothing the Madison Ave. shops acquired from wealthy NYC women, I got to dress beautifully!

What was the first designer item you ever purchased? Do you still have it?

My first really important suit was a Valentino wool suit that I kept for over 40 years.  I called it my “lucky” suit because every time I wore it I closed a big deal!!

What piece of advice would you give women thinking of starting their own business?

I think the world of retail is in a major state of change and flux right now. I would advise anyone opening a retail business to be very cautious about the marketplace, and keep an eye on the brick and mortar, and online competition, and keep costs as low as possible. Not everything has to be perfect on day one, and part of the joy of owning your own business is to watch it grow with ideas that you develop as you go along. Passion is critical! You must LOVE what you are doing and can’t wait to get to work in the morning. You have to gradually build a staff that you can trust with your enterprise and keep things lean and mean. An incredible work ethic is a must—if you have lived a pampered, entitled life, being an entrepreneur is not for you. You have to work so hard in today’s market, that without the passion and work ethic, you will be looking at a terrible and potentially doomed situation.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Learn the value of time, which just like money, slips away very quickly. And never be afraid of asking for advice—there are so many free organizations that are designed to help guide new businesses and entrepreneurs, and ensure they go in the right direction from the start.

To shop Classic Collections at LePrix, click here!

 

Former NYC fashion writer making DC a little more stylish on the daily.

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