Tampa Bay resale: Premium shops highlight circular economy

Thanks to Marie Kondo converts and classic springtime cleanouts, local clothing resale stores are doubling as treasure troves. Discover vintage Lily Pulitzer, barely-worn Stuart Weitzman, J. Crew shirts in every color of the rainbow. Name that designer; it’s possible that on any given day, a Bay Area resale shop is featuring their masterpiece on a rack.

To elevate your wardrobe status, help the Earth and save the contents of your pocketbook, add the destinations shared below to your shopping itinerary. 

Valhalla Resale

Take the subscription clothing service model, add a dose of surprise, and you’ve got Valhalla. Dubbed the ‘limitless closet with endless possibilities’ by Owner and Entrepreneur Danielle Ferrari, this Tampa store features the classic resale shop experience along with a subscription option. For a monthly fee less than the cost of a low-end pair of jeans, members swap a designated amount of clothing items as many times as they wish.

For member Bryanna Fox, a University of South Florida professor who teaches criminology, the subscription is an antidote to her tiny Seminole Heights closet. Anytime she has a special occasion to attend, she says, it’s straight to Valhalla. A recent cold snap posed no problem, as there was no need to take up valuable closet real estate. She just borrowed a stylish Valhalla coat and exchanged it when the mercury rose.

“I come by here nearly every day,” Fox says. “This is a way to keep my wardrobe posh and affordable at the same time.”

Ferrari sees the success of resale as more than just monetary; to her, getting the most utility out of items makes sense in a circular economy. Fashion is a huge global polluter made worse by the availability of cheap, easily disposable clothing. 

Sustainable fashion, she says, makes business and environmental sense. To make the process seamless, she launders items upon intake and after every subscriber return, in effect making them ‘new’ again.

“I see the store as a catalyst for change in the world,” she says. “The need for ‘new’ clothing doesn’t go away, but this way, you don’t have to own it.”

Designers’ Consigner and Designer Exchange

Jessie Karikas once found an Oscar de la Renta evening gown on the rack with the $10,000 price tag still attached. Her mother’s stores, Designers’ Consigner and Designer Exchange, carry everything from nicer mall brands to high-end couture. It’s prime time for bargain hunters, she says, as increased donations are leading to better bargains -- a win-win for consumers and the Earth.

"Daily, I feel like we're providing such a benefit,'' she says. "We’re breaking the cycle of new clothing manufacturing costs and the fossil fuels necessary to transport them.''

Karikas earned her environment education degree at the University of South Florida. She now works with owner Julie Karikas at the St. Petersburg stores whose roots are solidly in upcycling. Both locations feature furniture and apparel.

“We have end tables, home décor, and everything in between,” Karikas says. “Plus, there are racks of couture.”

Whether another de la Renta dress or similar find awaits is always only a consigner away.

Detox Designer Resale Boutique

Do you live in the Bay Area? Do you have a closet? If so, the owners of the boutique located in the old North Ward Schoolhouse in St. Petersburg have another question: Is your closet full of items you never wear? If so, it’s time for a (clothing) detox. Husband and wife team Kylie and Jacob Walsh invite you to visit their resale destination to cleanse your closet -- and then restock it with their ever-changing fashions. 

The University of South Florida graduates opened Detox about six months ago. Kylie, a professional thrifter, grew an eBay business in online designer consignment to monthly sales of 750+ items. After a decade of success in that realm, the duo made the leap to brick and mortar resale.

“Creating a staple store in our wonderful, small business-oriented community was something we always saw ourselves doing,” Jacob says. 

You’ll find the Walsh team at the store seven days a week. Experts in the market value of clothing and handbags, they pay up to 60% margins depending on the item and stand behind their valuation. And their resale terms are extremely simple: present items you’d like to unload, and if they choose to accept them, expect a cash offer.

“An awesome benefit of shopping at our store is the environmental responsibility (of resale),” Jacob says. 

“Plus, the name is just plain cool.”

Mosh Posh Designer Consignment

Handbag aficionados, make thy way to Mosh Posh. The designer consignment mecca on Kennedy Boulevard updates their store regularly with finds from Gucci, Hermes, and the like. Apparel, shoes, and accessories are featured as well, and even high-end athleisure finds a second home here.

Approximately 400 items each week are added to inventory, and brand authenticity is guaranteed. Mosh Posh elicits the help of social media and a continually updated online store to highlight new finds.

How to consign

Valhalla Resale, 6112 N Central Ave Tampa, FL (open 11 a.m. till 7 p.m.)
Items are accepted each day during operational hours.

Designers Consigner, 2394 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg, FL (open 11 till 6)
Clothing accepted Mon-Fri 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Designer Exchange, 7038 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL (open 10 till 5)
Consignments accepted Mon-Fri 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Detox Designer Resale Boutique, 327 11th Ave N. Suite 101 St. Petersburg, FL (open 10 till 6)
No appointment necessary: Simply bring items to the store and expect a cash offer if they’re accepted.

Mosh Posh Designer Consigner, 2419 W Kennedy Blvd Suite 100 Tampa, FL (open 10 till 7)
Items accepted in-store Monday through Saturday. Non-local sellers should send an email.

You can add recommendations for these and additional local consignment shops in Facebook comments below. Give a shout out to your faves!

Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a feature writer for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida
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