Discover luxury for less at Upscale Resale
Women’s consignment shops feeds local micro economy
–On a crisp and sunny morning in downtown Templeton, Tamara Stavrianoudakis arrives at her shop and gets right to work, chatting about new inventory and the jacket she’s wearing, a furry Vine Street piece she picked up at her shop in San Luis Obispo. She wheels racks of clothing out onto the covered patio at Upscale Retail to draw in the public during a busy Templeton Park Farmer’s Market Saturday.
Upscale Resale smells lightly of mango from the handmade soaps Tamara discovered in New Orleans two years ago; they are so popular that she’s sold over 500 bars in her stores. The walls are lined with perfectly-organized designer jeans, handbags, and shoes. The cylindrical racks in the center of the floor boast tops, jackets and sweaters; all previously enjoyed yet in perfect, nearly-new condition.
Tamara opened Upscale Resale nearly nine years ago. The idea for the business came about when two stay-at-home moms joked about how their husbands wanted them to find part-time work. Three weeks later, Tamara and her girlfriend were open for business at the North end of Main Street. Today, Tamara is the sole owner of two thriving consignment boutiques – one in downtown SLO on Higuera at Garden, right in the heart of SLO’s Thursday Night Farmer’s Market, and her downtown Main Street location at 6th Street, a block away from Templeton’s Saturday morning Farmer’s Market.
The majority of the coats, dresses, shoes, tops, handbags, and accessories found at Upscale Resale and Upscale Resale South are obtained through consignment. Upscale Resale stores boast nearly 3,000 consignors from all over the state. “We receive boxes from consignors all over the state, and our customers get to save up to 90% off the retail price.,” said Tamara. “The money then gets spent mostly locally, which helps our micro economy, and we are proud to be a tiny part of that market.”
Upscale Resale Boutiques place a strong emphasis on quality, and this business plan has truly paid off for the team. Upscale has six, soon to be seven, associates that bring their own set of skills; some high-end fashion experience, some marketing experience, some a little of both. Together they have built a great team and skill set to North County and South County alike.
Tamara has a strict consignment policy and only takes items that originally retailed for $65 or more ($100 or more for shoes, jeans & purses), and only from the finer stores and boutiques such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, J. Jill, Talbots, and others.
“What sets us apart from other shops is this: We offer clothing for women only, and the clothes that we carry are very label-conscious. With that narrow criteria, we obtain a diverse selection of top-quality items, of all sizes. Time after time, we have a grandma, mom, and daughter all shopping together, each finding clothing items that suit their taste,” said Tamara.
Superior customer service
Upscale Resale Boutiques pride themselves on providing old-fashioned customer service. Tamara is in the shop most days, and home in the afternoon with her two children. She and the associates enjoy helping women pick out outfits, and of course will help with the always- necessary zip-up or honest opinion. Be careful, though — they will tell you the truth, so don’t ask if you don’t want to know!
They offer coffee in the mornings, a friendly greeting at all times, and a knack for making women feel good about themselves every day. Tuesdays are senior days, with those 55 and up receiving 10% off. Sign up for their mailing list and get an email once a month for a 20% off discount. For an additional opportunity to save — the new VIP Text Club — text the word Upscale1 to 51660 and have discount offers sent directly to cell phones. ”Don’t forget the ‘1’ or you’ll get discounts from the wrong store,” said Tamara.
Perhaps the true beauty of this wonderful shop comes from how often and in how many ways Upscale Resale gives back to the local community. “We have a symbiotic relationship with the community,” said Tamara, “and we are able to support North County women, our local micro economy, and donate 90 -day-old merchandise to local charities.”
While the majority of the items in Upscale Resale are obtained through consignment, the ladies also carry Kristi Reeve’s Vine Street Apparel, designed locally and manufactured in Nipomo and carried in over 500 stores around the United States and Canada. The apparel is one of the most popular line at the stores, with the two stores carrying over eight racks of last-season items at a bargain.
“There is a lot to love about being a small business owner,” said Tamara. “Meeting people and forming new networking connections has been wonderful. I love connecting with the community, and I truly value the opportunity to show my kids how to be entrepreneurs. But mostly, I’m blessed that so many of my customers have become good friends too.”
Upscale Resale is located at 590 Main St. in Templeton; call (805) 434-9898. Upscale Resale South is located at 746 Higuera in SLO; call (805) 545-9898. Find them online at upscaleresaleconsignment.com.