Inspired by her grandmas

Stylish women play a key role in founding of HazelLily Designer Consignment

When it came time to name her soon-to-be-opened boutique, Vanessa Stein took inspiration from her grandmothers Hazel and Lily.

“They’re both really inspiring to me in terms of their style and the way they dress,” she says from her storefront at Yonge Street and Bowood Avenue. “Always coming to dinner wearing something fabulous or new out of their closet. I’m always looking at it and am really interested by the way they put themselves together. They don’t dress like old ladies at all.”

HazelLily Designer Consignment, which will open its doors on Sept. 4, is stocked with brands like Pink Tartan, Theory, Chanel and Maggy Reeves and features clothes as well as accessories.

After working in retail for several years, Stein started shopping for designer consignment pieces because she wasn’t able to afford
high-end items on her salary.

“I would be able to go in and find something that you could buy for maybe $3,000 for well under $1,000 and that always seemed really exciting to me,” she says. “I always found that women have a list of items they’ve always wanted to own, like their top 10 items, that if they had the money they would go and buy them. So I was trying to cross those items off my list consignment shopping.”

As she was debating her next career move, she decided to open her own shop so others could cross desired items off their own lists in an environment that didn’t feel like a secondhand shop and isn’t cluttered with merchandise.

“I felt like it was the time to make the jump and say, ‘I have to just go for it or I’ll always regret it,’ so it just felt like the right time and I found the right space in the right neighbourhood,” she says. “You could get something for $50 in here and you could get something for $2,000. The fun part of it is, it was originally at retail level for three times the price at least so that’s always really exciting to know that you are getting a good deal.”

Even though the shop has yet to open, people in the community are already learning about it from walking past and Stein’s family members like her grandma who has been busy passing out business cards at a nearby hair salon, she says.

Although she admits she’ll miss many items in her HazelLily collection, selling them is going to be even more thrilling, she says.

“I think that’s what is exciting for the women giving me the clothing too,” she says. “They’re kind of sad to let their pieces go. But they won’t wear them anymore and they’re happy to give them a new home with people who will love them even more.”

About this article:

By: Ann Ruppenstein
Posted: Sep 24 2012 7:07 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto