On Friday, Lacey Arndt opened Design 2 Consign, a consignment shop located in the Wynding Hill Plaza at 131 Boston Post Road.
“My husband and I have always wanted to open our own business,” she said Wednesday. “Through the research we did (into) the consignment business, it is a very low-risk business to start out. And I enjoy consignment shopping, I know what I look for when I consignment shop. So it seemed like a really good fit.”
Arndt, who lives in Norwich, said she has been seriously looking into starting a business since May 2012. For the past few months, she was looking for the right spot, finally selecting the location formerly occupied by Grader Jewelers.
“This plaza is very busy,” she said. “There are a lot of women already visiting this plaza.”
Along with selling clothes, locally-made art and jewelry will be sold at the store as well, she said. Perhaps people will come in for the jewelry or artwork, and continue to come back for the clothes, she said.
“We are trying to get customers in here who may not come into a second-hand clothing store, coming to purchase a gift or a piece of jewelry,” Arndt said. “And then maybe deciding, 'You know what, second-hand shopping isn’t so bad'.”
Shoes, purses and other accessories are also sold at the store.
Before opening the business, Arndt was a stay-at-home mom for her two daughters. Before that, she worked as a youth and family services director for the YMCA.
She said it has always been her dream to have her own business. In May of 2012, he she got serious about the dream and began to search for the right business model.
She met with SCORE, a nonprofit organization composed of retired business-owners and executives who volunteer their time to give advice to small businesses. SCORE helped her with her business plan, and agreed that a consignment shop – a shop where the owner has to buy no inventory – was a low-risk plan.
“Being a first-time business owner, it gives me a little bit of security knowing that I have experts helping me,” Arndt said.
Arndt said Waterford wound up being a good spot to start her business, as she said there are no other consignment shops for women in town. She opened in February just to take in clothing, and then on March 1st she began selling items.
This is the first business Arndt has ever run, and she gave SCORE credit for helping calm her nerves. Still, with the new venture comes anxiety, but that is being trumped by another emotion, she said.
“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m overwhelmed, I’m a little bit of everything,” Arndt said. “But mostly excited.”
Design 2 Consign is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Arndt is the only full-time employee at the store, although she said she was considering bringing on a part-time employee during the spring and the fall. To visit the website of the boutique, click here, and the phone number is (860) 639-7109.