In tough economic times, one business is reinventing itself — and more than doubling its size and services.
Chic Consignment Closet, located at 46 Main St. in downtown Andover, is moving one unit north into the previous home of Sotherland & Co., which closed in December. With it, the consignment store — which sells used women's clothing and accessories, and shares the profits with the items' owners — will also expand its business model to sell furniture, men's and teens' clothing and more.
"By expanding the categories, it is going to bring in different people," said Lisa Nardone, owner of Chic Consignment Closet. "More mothers will come in to look at the children's [items]. More men will come in to look at the men's."
The business is also adding services, including closet cleaning — where Chic employees will help customers with cluttered closets simplify and match up items in their collection, get rid of unused or unwanted clothing and more, according to Nardone. The business will also offer styling and interior design.
"That's where I want to grow," said Nardone. "It's just helping people simplify their lives, whether it is weeding out their closet or simplifying their life. It's image-changing."
This is not the first time that Nardone has changed her entrepreneurial outlook. In the past seven years, Nardone has owned three clothing-related businesses downtown. The first business was Giggles, a children's clothing store in Elm Square at the current home of CitiBank. Around four years later, Nadrone moved on to Gig's, a teen clothing store on Essex Street.
"In Gigi's, I had been seeing the trend of consignment kind of popping," said Nardone. "We literally started [doing consignment] in the back closet of Gigi's. I wanted to make it work."
By June 2009, Nardone upgraded to a prime space on Main Street, where she opened Chic Consignment Closet. The previous renter of that space faced a court battle over nonpayment of rent.