At the Longmont consignment store Fabulous Finds, upscale women’s fashion and furniture is offered at a fraction of the price.
Two units at the strip mall at 600 S Airport Rd make up the business, with one dedicated to clothing and the other to furniture and home goods. Focusing on high end brands, Fabulous Finds prides itself on its curated selection.
Owner Clarissa Edelen was exposed to consignment shopping at an early age through her mother, who she describes as a “serious fashionista.” Being one of six kids, Edelen said her mother had to provide clothing for her siblings with a limited budget. Though her family wore lots of hand-me-downs and consignment clothes, her mother had an affinity for high-end brands.
“My mother purchased really good clothing because it would last all six of us you know. So that's what I do, I curate good quality clothing, good brands. Brands that our customers like and that you're not going to spend a fortune on in the resale environment,” Edelen said. “It's such a win-win business model all around.”
While the clothing arm of the business focuses on designer items, furniture is curated by its condition. Both new and antique furniture and home goods fill the 5,000 square feet storefront.
When Fabulous Finds was getting its start 11 years ago, the furniture section only took up about 200 square feet, Edelen said. Apparel and the home section filled one unit. As Fabulous Finds’ business grew, its need for more space did as well.
Pandemic restrictions moved the consignment shop into appointment-only for intakes. In the past, Fabulous Finds allowed drop-ins. Edelen found that the appointment model is more efficient, and it’s here to stay.
“COVID really forced us into doing things a little bit differently due to the social distancing requirements and it turned out that it's just a much more pleasant type of experience for everyone,” Edelen said. “We're not rushing through and are able to take our time and work with the consigner versus having it just work at breakneck speed with five people at our intake area.”
During one appointment, consignors can bring up to 12 apparel pieces, 15 jewelry items and unlimited accessories. Furniture sales must also have an appointment booked. Edelen said clients can make as many appointments as they need.
If anything sells during the 60-day consignment period, sellers receive their payment in the form of store credit or a check. Edelen said store credit is applicable to both the furniture and apparel Fabulous Finds stores. At any given time, she said, there are approximately 96,000 items to choose from.
But consignors have a third option for where the money goes: a charitable cause. Fabulous Finds works directly with Longmont’s A Woman's Work, which provides financial support to women in the St. Vrain Valley. It’s one of its main affiliates, though Fabulous Finds can also donate consignment sales to any one of its several partners.
“We've been able to help a lot of local people in need in the community through that and the partnership of our consigners,” Edelen said. “It's a wonderful word to get out that people can donate to their charity of choice, and then that the proceeds go to that charity.”
Fabulous Finds also set up its own program to help victims of the Marshall fire. Money raised lets the consignment store help those affected by the fire, by offering free shopping. Money jars are also set up near the checkout. Edelen said she will continue the Marshall fire program as long as it is needed.
Edelen said it’s important to her to use her business to give back to the community. She also values the community that’s been built inside of her business over the last 11 years.
Many employees are a part of the original Fabulous Finds staff, Edelen said. Longtime regulars are on a first-name basis with the staff. It feels like a meet-and-greet every day, she said.
“You know, you love your business and your work when it feels like you're never working but you're putting in these crazy hours,” Edelen said. “Now we just have a fabulous flow that goes on here. With the continuity of my staffing and the dynamics of what comes in, it really is kind of like Christmas every day in both stores.”