Calgary's consignment boom reaches new heights with online clothing shop
Elevated Consignment has launched with a lofty purpose: Catering to the very tall.
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Calgary's economy may be coming out of a long downturn, but consignment fashion is looking up – way, way, up.
A new online-only used-clothing business, Elevated Consignment, has launched with a lofty purpose: Catering to the very tall.
Founder Laurae Spindler knows all about the struggles of life from on high. She's 6-2, and her husband Ian, who co-runs the business, is 6-7.
Tall people are “so underserviced, and not just in terms of luxury and designer clothes,” Spindler said. “You have to shop at limited stores and pay a lot for non-designer stuff.”
Their target market is men taller than six feet and women over 5-8, with a special focus on maternity wear. Spindler, a mother of two, learned firsthand how hard it is for moms-to-be to find nice clothes in tall sizes.
For now, the two run the business out of their home. But the dream is to eventually have a brick-and-mortar store as well as an online one, Spindler said.
They currently have about 100 items in stock, the majority of which came from family and friends.
Both Spindler's husband and his sister, who is 6-2, played basketball in university, so their former teammates were happy to step up with items. (Once sold, they'll share in the profits).
Elevated Consignment is part of a mini-boom in the pre-loved fashion businesses in Calgary.
“I think, honestly, there is a correlation between (the trend) and the downturn in the market a few years ago,” Spindler said.“People are just looking for more value.”
The new entrants to the market have largely been on the upscale side, but that's not her style.
“We will still be meticulous in terms of quality and condition, just less focused on the brands,” she said. “Many designer things you can't even buy tall.”
Tanya Puka, co-owner of Fond Boutique, a high-end vintage consignment shop that runs pop-ups around the city, said Elevated is “really exciting."
"The resurgence of (consignment) businesses in Calgary are providing a solution to a problem,” she said. “People will always love quality things, and this provides an affordable way to access them.”
“Something I've learned, that I wish I'd known, is that being niche is positive," she added. You want to be everything to everyone when you start. You should realize what you're passionate about and build around that."