Instead of simply competing against each other for bargain shoppers’ dollars, a number of consignment and resale shops are now banding together with a new association.
“We’re not here to steal secrets,” says Pia Schwamman, who owns Fit for a Queen and had the idea for the group. “We’re here to help each other.”
Wichita Area Independent Consignment and Resale Shops is a free group that will meet monthly, generally at a member’s shop.
The next meeting is Monday at Invio Fine Furniture Consignment, though Schwamman says potential members should call her for details so she can be prepared for it.
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She says there are a variety of ways members could help each other.
That could be “if someone has a better idea on how to do something,” or it could be an idea another store owner never imagined.
At a preliminary meeting to get the group going, Schwamman says, one store owner talked about a consignment crawl she’d heard about in Denver that might make a fun idea here.
The group also is looking at creating a pamphlet of sorts to guide visitors who come to Wichita specifically to hit the resale circuit. Schwamman says that also could be helpful for businesses that can’t afford advertising.
She says a couple of resale shops have closed within the past month.
“It’s like, wow, because you know how hard they worked to get it going.”
Schwamman says she hopes the new group can help prevent more closings.
“We’re all in the same boat.”