Opening a consignment shop doors down from the salon where Donna Baionno gets her hair done can’t be described as anything other than kismet.
While getting a haircut in 2012, Baionno’s hairstylist at Salon Metro mentioned that vacant space was available in the Penns Briar Shopping Center. Baionno, who had spent 20 years in sales for the Marriott in Philadelphia, jumped at the chance to run a business minutes from her Yardley home.
“It’s a great location,” said Baionno, adding that business from the salon and neighboring Comfort Food & Kitchenette helps in sending customers to her shop, Lilac Consignment Boutique. “I live right down the road. Being that I live here also, it’s neat to meet people.”
Baionno, whose 800-square-foot store stocks high-end and like new clothing and accessories for women, is celebrating five years of business ownership in July. Lilac Consignment Boutique will mark its five-year anniversary beginning on July 27 from noon to 8 p.m., by offering 20 percent off its summer items.
“I had no idea what to expect” in the beginning, she said. “The whole recycling, I feel, is so important.”
Her customers would seem to agree.
New and returning customers alike message her on Facebook inquiring about pricing and asking her to hold items. Handbags are, by far, the most popular items. Coach and Michael Kors bags, which Baionno keeps on hand, are hot commodities.
“My husband says, ‘you could turn into just a handbag store,’” she said, adding that handbags offer a one-size-fits-all dynamic that clothing does not. “You can be a size 2. You can be a size 16 and the handbags are going to fit you.”
Aside from handbags, Baionno stocks items for the season; either spring/summer or fall/winter. At the end of the season, the store holds an end-of-season sale. Items not sold are either returned to consignors or donated. She regularly donates prom dresses to Cinderella’s Closet at Pennsbury High School.
“In the beginning, I was new so every item that came in the door I took,” she said, adding that her approach has since changed. “If they’re not in good-to-new condition I don’t take them because I know they’re not going to sell. I can be very picky and selective.”
Consignors receive 50 percent of the sales price. All items are steamed to remove wrinkles before being added to the sales floor.
The shop does not accept items from Walmart, Target or Old Navy. Business clothes and suits are not accepted because Baionno has discovered that there is “no demand” for them. Popular clothing brands that Baionno accepts include, Chico’s, Talbots and Lilly Pulitzer.
She will begin collecting items for the fall and winter in September.
“I get a lot of boots in,” she said. “Uggs that have never been worn.”
A customer recently marveled at how many items Lilac Consignment Boutique had with original sales tags. Baionno said it’s not uncommon to receive brand-new clothing that’s never been worn, but been in the closet too long to return to the original store.
A hub for shoppers and consignors alike, including a host of regulars that the owner has gotten to know, Baionno has high hopes for business beyond Lilac Consignment Boutique’s first five years.
“This has worked out well,” she said.
To learn more
Lilac Consignment Boutique is located at 429 Alden Avenue in the Penns Briar Shopping Center. The store is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, email Donna Baionno at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-295-6500.