What a difference a day makes.
When the building where Margaret's Place has been a staple for consignment clothing for the past quarter century was sold, many wondered if owner Margaret Melanson would just close up shop.
But as the first ever consignment shop to open in Danvers over twenty eight years ago, Melanson at 75, was not nearly ready to throw in the towel on the business she has loved from the day she bought it from the original owner in 1984.
With a lot of help from her daughters, and some additional little luck finding the perfect space to relocate to, Margarets Place is back on track, and better than ever.
With gleaming wood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings with exposed natural wood beams, and an antique beehive fireplace, the new space is like a "dream come true." According to Melanson, "It's 110% better, honest to God. I just love it, you can see out of the windows, and the light comes in all day. I've only been here for about five weeks, and I went on vacation and I couldn't wait to get back."
Indeed to shop is neat, clean and inviting, with lots of natural light streaming through the many large windows facing Elm Street. The original Margaret's Place sign from the old building was moved here, too, a gift from the owners son-in-law's uncle who used to do signage for Sears. He also created a brand new sign to match that stands out in front of the shop.
Melanson said when the original sign went up, "It fit like it was meant to be there, I think it's a real 'sign!' And the new one was just made for me-It lights up!"
Melanson "discovered" the shop was for rent by chance. She explained that the same week she was informed she would have to relocate her business she was driving down Elm Street and happened to see movement in the window of #85. The building had just recently been purchased and the new landlady was putting a For Rent sign up in the front window.
"I stopped my car, came right in and said I'll take it!" Melanson laughed. "It all came together like I was supposed to be here, it was unbelievable."
Consignors and customers have not missed a beat, as the phone is continually ringing off the hook, while Melanson simultaneously greets the many shoppers in search of bargains. She credits her staying power to a loyal consignment base who have been with her from day one, and an eye for what's trending in the market.
Folks looking for a little bit of everything will be pleased to find antiques and dolls, bedding and housewares for sale alongside the seasonal fashions.
According to Melanson, trending now are junior clothing, like Abercrombie and Hollister clothing, Juicy Jeans, Wet Seal, Gap and designer labels like Liz Claiborne, Steve Madden and Guess. Margarets Place also has shoes and accessories from Steve Madden, Bandolino and Nine West, as well as a large selection of designer handbags from Nine West and Coach. Starting Monday, August 20th Melanson will start her summer sale: all summer clothing will be 50% off, and Margaret's is currently accepting fall fashions from Consignors.
Originally from Canada, Margaret Melanson moved to this country to live with relatives at the tender age of thirteen. She was raised on Liberty Street in Danvers, before moving back to Canada for a time, before finally settling back in Danvers to raise her family. She admitted to catching the consignment bug early on, even passing on the interest to her girls, who all have had businesses of their own.She recalled when her three daughters were babies and she discovered a cute little childrens thrift shop next to Roxanne Shoes, in what is now the Atrium Building in Danvers Square.
She explained, “The owner’s name was Mary, and I used to take my kids there to see her and bring clothes to her. She moved (after the fire) to 21 Water Street, and was only there for a few months when she offered to sell it to me. I named it Margarets Place because...it is! I loved it there (on Water Street) for twenty eight years, and now I love it here. I went on vacation and couldn't wait to get back. Maybe it will fade, but I'm 75 years old-how many years am I going to work? I hope at least ten-who knows?"
85 Elm Street