Friday, June 15, 2012

Bien Amie Consignment

I always love Laura's contributions and posts so am thrilled she's giving us this gem about a new (and different) consignment spot in Durham.:
Hi everyone!  I’m Laura, mom to 4.5 year old, sweet as sugar, S, and her 2 year old, wild and crazy little brother, B.  I’m here today to spread the word about a brand new consignment store in the heart of the Brightleaf District in Downtown Durham - Bien Amie.

Through the powers of Facebook, I discovered this gem of a consignment store last week and made it first on my list of errands to run while B was at his weekly Parents’ Morning Out program.  My favorite shopping buddy, S, accompanied me.  The shop is open and airy, complete with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, and conveniently located in the same storefront as Fifi’s Fine ReSale Apparel and Uniquities ReMix right on Main Street.  Upon walking into the store, we were immediately welcomed with smiles from the owner, Amy.  New(ish) to Durham and a mom herself, Amy saw a need for a different kind of children’s consignment store in the area, particularly an “upscale” consignment store.  As she says, “The thrill of consignment shopping is not to get that Wal-Mart shirt for $2.50 rather than $5, but to buy that boutique dress or Ralph Lauren top for 50%-75% off the original retail price.”  As a mom who has been a little bit disappointed with the overall quality of clothes in kids’ consignment stores in our area, I couldn’t agree with her more!

Bien Amie will be specializing consigning children’s clothes from popular retail brands (think Baby Gap, Gymboree, Janie and Jack), high-end department stores (Ralph Lauren, Kissy Kissy, Mini Boden, Lands End) and other upscale retail and boutique brands (Lilly Pulitzer, Petit Ami, Oilily, Kelly’s Kids, Patsy Aiken).  Bien Amie accepts everything from childrens’ tops and bottoms to infant essentials, outerwear to sleepwear, swimwear to footwear.  A long, detailed list of brands accepted is available for pick-up in the store or on Bien Amie’s website.  They will also be offering locally crafted artisan gifts.  At this time, Bien Amie will not be selling baby gear or toys.

For consignors, the process for clothing submission seems fairly simple.  All items must be freshly laundered, pressed if necessary, and carefully reviewed for stains, tears, broken zippers, etc. prior to submission.  If you wouldn’t buy it on consignment, chances are no one else will either.  Items must then be packed in a sealed bag or box with your name, phone number and email address.  Conveniently, Bien Amie is offering a “Drop-and-Go” submission Monday thru Saturday from 10am-6pm.  No appointments or waits necessary!  And that’s it.  No tagging, no hangers, no coding, like some of the big consignment fairs in our area.  Bien Amie does the rest and will let you know which of your items have met their selling criteria.  You can then pick up the rest of your clothing at your convenience.

Bien Amie sets the price of all clothes and keeps 60% of the final sale, giving consignors 40%, less sales tax, paid by check monthly.  Store credits are also available.  Items are consigned for 60 days.  After that, any unsold items will be donated to local charities, or returned to consignors as per their request.
S and I had such a fun morning at Bien Amie, perusing the racks and chatting with Amy.  Of course, we couldn’t leave empty handed.  Check out our score -- a Hartstrings ladybug jumper and NWT Lilly-esque capri pants for S, and Viva La Fete gingham shorts for B.  All for under $20!  This is one happy mama who will be back . . .

Special Note:  As Bien Amie is gearing up for its big Grand Opening later this summer, it still needs inventory and is currently making exceptions to its “upscale” criteria.  So, if you have non-upscale brands (think Carters, Children’s Place), that meet the “cute-enough, new-enough, stylish-enough” appeal similar to high-name brands (has anyone else been super impressed with Target’s summer girls’ line this year?!), bring it in!  Let’s help Amy and Bien Amie stock its shelves and support a new local business in the process!  I, for one, am planning on bringing in a huge bin of S and B’s clothes later this week!  I’ll be sure to let y’all know how my consigning experience goes!

Bien Amie
1000 W Main St
Durham, NC 27701
Hours: Mon - Sat: 10AM - 6PM; Sun: Closed
Major credit cards accepted.
Reserved customer parking available behind the store.



At July 19, 2012 at 8:14 PM , Blogger Karetchko said...

This would be great combined with a trip to Not Just Paper, which is just a few doors away!

At July 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM , Blogger Karetchko said...

This would be great combined with a trip to Not Just Paper, which is just a few doors away.


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