The sleek window display at Revival Fashion Consignment on Elm Street has been drawing attention since its Grand Opening in April. Customers are treated with an ever-changing assortment of eye-candy, from last week’s collection of cerulean and turquoise tones, to this week’s display of classic black and whites.
Owner Gina Sabbagh couldn’t believe that without formal advertising, the opening was still a huge success. “I thought I’d open the doors, hope for the best- maybe still be able to move things around and continue setting things up, but we had a really great turnout,” she said.
Perhaps because "you never get a second chance to make a first impression," Sabbagh, has changed her window display more than eight times in one month, constantly updating it to present a fresh assortment of inspired fashions to patrons. When asked how long she has been in the business, she laughingly responded, “this my very first store, I've been in the business four weeks!”
Revival Fashion Consignment is Sabbagh’s first ownership venture, and she said it was very important to her first business reflect who she is: a woman with a deep commitment to community who supports local, small businesses; loves to decorate; and is passionate about the planet.
She explained, “Before we were setting up, I bought all the furniture from the Salvation Army, I painted it myself, and put that in the windows so people could look in and know something fun was coming. I’m trying to use all recycled fixtures inside, so all my store fixtures are from Filene’s Basement, my hangers are from other stores, everything in here except the computers are 'Save The Planet Green,' if you’re going to preach it, you have to practice it. Also anything I do I want to support the local community, so I try to hire local carpenters, local painters...to keep the money in the area.”
At Revival Fashion Consignment, customers will find new to gently worn fashions for women of all sizes, from petite to plus and maternity, and even clothing, shoes and accessories for men. Many of the items sport their store-original tags, from high-end department stores ranging from Banana Republic, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Coach and Chicos.
“We have Rock N Republic Jeans, a wall of Vera Bradley, a lot of juniors, designer gowns, cute sundresses, vintage pieces, jewelry and brooches, and purses,” Sabbagh said.
“I'm trying to appeal to somebody who wants to buy that cute old navy t-shirt, but I also have that six hundred dollar Gucci purse,” she continued. “I want people to be able to have nice things that are friendly on their wallet, and to feel comfortable.”
'Oh, this isn’t a consignment shop, the clothes are all new,' is a phrase Sabbagh said she is accustomed to hearing. “Mostly people say it doesn't look like a consignment shop, it doesn’t smell like a consignment shop, and they love my prices,” she said. “A lot of my clothing has never been worn-with the original tags still on them."
Although she realizes she could increase prices and remain successful, Sabbagh said it’s more important to move the merchandise than to keep it hanging on the rack. “I want to have my customers leave happy and feel they got a bargain, and come back, than it is for me to raise those prices,” she said.
Sabbagh said the location for the shop came from a search up and down Route 1 from Somerville heading North, and a chance meeting with a stranger. “I was looking in a strip-mall in Danvers, just trying to find a busy place with a lot of foot traffic. I got talking with a guy who said, Oh, no-you want to be in Danvers Center. He said, ‘It’s a cute little center, go look there...’ I looked at this spot and I loved it, and here we are!”
Sabbagh may have store ownership in her blood. A twenty year resident of Somerville, she grew up in East Cambridge and later Winchester. But her family was known in the Lawrence area for their retail clothing store, a shop where Sabbagh worked at when she was younger called Ned’s, which has since closed. “Everyone from that area knew about and shopped in the store,” she said.
For the new business owner, opening her store in Danvers has gone very smoothly, and the surrounding commercial neighborhood has welcomed her with open arms.
“This has been a really positive experience, overall,” she said. “The fruit mart has the nicest people, and the toy store. I have Simplicity right around the corner, which I think is great for the foot traffic.”
She continued, “Having all these little shops right here; it makes downtown a destination. I don't view it as competition, you never saw Filene’s without Macy's, or vice versa, so it gives you a destination, it makes sense. We can all work together to support local businesses.”
Revival Fashion Consignment
15 Elm Street
Open, 7 days a week
Mon,Tues, Wed, Fri 10-6