SPRING CITY PA – “Do what you love,” the adage goes, “and the money will follow.” For proof it’s true, meet Anitamarie Butz.
Butz tells how she loved to patronize consignment and thrift shops, finding bargains on everything from clothing to home goods. “I’d regularly visit the stores I knew” locally, she says, “and I’d be thrilled when I found one I hadn’t been to.”
Instilling that sense of shopping excitement in others might be profitable, she figured, so she and her husband went looking for a place to create a consignment shop of their own. They’re residents of St. Peters village and they considered it important to start a business within the Owen J. Roberts School District, where they were comfortable.
Butz was fortunate: she found exactly what she hoped for. After plenty of preparation, the couple in April (2012) opened Loft Consignment, 3807 Schuylkill Rd., Spring City, in a formerly vacant and seemingly cavernous building of several rooms covering more than 4,000 square feet. She’s got ample space to sell gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, household decor items, furniture items (some of them hand-made by her husband), indoor and outdoor toys, and garden items.
“The size of the place surprises people,” she notes. Most first-timers to the store think it is limited to a front showroom only … until they turn a corner and see its space, and the goods that fill it, stretch dozens of linear feet away.
Because it is a consignment shop, Loft markets its’ clients goods in what Butz describes as an attractive, appealing manner so both she and they make money. Consignors do not pay a fee for the privilege; instead, Loft keeps between 40 and 60 percent of the sale price of an item depending on its value.
Butz also has invested in equipment to make the consignment process easier and faster. She and her staff steam-press clothing to ensure it looks best for buyers. They’ve streamlined consignments for frequent clients into what she calls a “drop and run” system. Her computers generate inventory and account information to assure consignors of accuracy.
The result, she says, is not only happy consignors but “wow’ed” buyers.
Butz admits, too, that she’s picky about what Loft accepts for consignment. She will reject items that are torn, damaged, not working properly, or for which she thinks the market is limited. All of these get lumped under the collective category of NTYs -”no, thank yous.” Again, she says, her ability to be selective creates a better shopping experience for buying customers.
Loft Consignment is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Fridays from 10-6; Saturdays from 9:30-4; and is closed Sundays and Mondays. For more information, call 484-932-8744.
The effort is paying off, Butz reports. “The community response has been great, and people have really made us feel welcome,” she says. Her only regret: the store’s schedule leaves little time to do any more thrift shopping herself.