As soon as you walk through the doors, you are greeted with warm smiles and a gorgeous retail space. This months Small Business Spotlight features Labels Luxury Consignment, a boutique Bay Area business that caters to fashionable women looking for quality designer clothing, handbags and accessories. Lynn Nice, owner of Labels, shares her experience as a boutique business owner and the relationships she has developed with her fantastic clients over the past 15 years.
Labels Luxury Consignment has been a part of the Bay Area for 15 years. How would you describe your store and what makes it so unique?
Creating a community of women at Labels has always been our number 1 priority. We do this by getting to know each and every client by name and fashion interest. We correspond through hand-written notes and personal phone calls. I personally answer each and every client email or staff relayed client request daily. Great customer service is our number one priority. We offer consignment intake 7 days a week with no appointment necessary and no quantity restrictions. We provide 6 parking spaces and a back entrance at our Walnut Creek location and we physically assist clients with unloading and loading of their items. We have a client wish-list so we can match shopping clients with a coveted item they are hunting for. We offer personal shopping every day. We always have "last chance racks/baskets with $5-$20 items so we can cater to every shoppers price-point. We merchandise wisely and intuitively.
How did you get started in the business of consignment and owning a retail store?
I managed someone else’s consignment shop and learned all about it before I did it on my own. I fell in love with the recycling aspect and the luxury level of consignment, and I loved the creative side of retail. It’s so much fun. I wouldn’t have done this for so long if I didn’t enjoy it.
How do we know if a designer piece we’d like to bring in will be considered for consignment? Are there specific designers that you tend to covet?
We focus on the iconic classic high end designers including Gucci, Prada, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Jil Sander, Escada, St John, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Robert Clergerie, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloe and many trend designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Cynthia Vincent, Theory, Milley, Trina Turk, Tory Burch, etc.
On the contrary, what brands do you not accept as consignment?
What would you recommend to someone who is new to the consignment process and is looking for a great deal on a designer piece?
Visit often. Be on the shops email list, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to befriend a sales expert at your favorite shop and they can call you for your coveted items and do some personal shopping and merchandise matching for you whenever you pop in.
Always ask about special events and sales; we do them every other month! If an item you are on the fence about seems to be at the shop for a month or two, ask for a better price. We often have lee-way as a consignment shop after our contractual agreement term. Most shops and consignors want to move these items at a reduced price when there is a match with a price adjustment!
What can we expect to find at the Walnut Creek and Berkeley locations?
Labels Walnut Creek carries all current women's couture and trend labels from the last 2 years as well as select couture and vintage from the last 10 decades (back to turn of the century). We also carry all women's (and select men's) accessories including handbags, luggage, wallets and leather accessories, vintage, costume and fine jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, shoes & boots, sunglasses and time-pieces.
The Berkeley location is just about to celebrate its 3 year anniversary and focuses on accessories only (no apparel at this location). Accessories include couture and trend handbags, luggage, wallets and leather accessories, vintage, costume and fine jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, sunglasses and time-pieces. There is also a separate level mezzanine shoe and boot salon.
You’ve just recently expanded your Walnut Creek location! Tell us about this new addition and what the thought process was behind the design.
We’ve used local builders and local artists, so everything about the store, our packaging, our product, and our building is environmentally responsible. Because we want it to be really intimate, we only have one pass-through between the two stores, in the back where the fitting rooms are. We’ll be connected, but in a way where people can come in and have a quieter experience. We really did want to connect the energy of the two stores, but also keep them separate.
What do you think your clients most love about shopping at Labels and working with you and your team?
We offer great products for a great price, but I hope it’s also our customer service. That’s the most important thing to me. We have at least 2,000 clients who have been coming since we opened. My first two employees have been with me for 14 years. I feel like our clients are like family. I’ve gone to countless weddings, funerals, and graduations. We know our clients are coming in on their own time, and there is absolutely no excuse for them not to have a good experience.
Thank you for your time, Lynn!
You can find Lynn at either of her Bay Area locations and on the web:
Labels Walnut Creek: 1365/1367 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Labels Berkeley: 2629 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705