Sometimes it takes a drastic turn of events to help people find their passion. That’s exactly what Valerie Sanchez, owner of Article Consignment, a family owned boutique containing clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories for men and women in Eastern Sacramento discovered over four years ago.
The dream of having a boutique had always been on the minds of the Sanchez’s but it took an unexpected layoff from husband Abe’s construction management job to propel the dream to reality. Being off work, Abe had time to decide what the couple should do with their future and fashion was at the top of the list. Armed with the inside scoop from several helpful consignment store owners and a huge leap of faith, Valerie and Abe launched their business Article Consignment Boutique in 2007.
The Sanchez’s created Article Consignment to focus on providing high-quality gently-used clothing and accessories along with top shelf customer service and satisfaction. The boutique was designed to be a hybrid of two very popular shopping concepts; offering the quality service and look of a high-end boutique, while offering the savings of a consignment shop. Their boutique boasts high end fashions from Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel Gucci, and Tory Burch, yet also has a wide select to suit everyone from college students through retirement age.
One of the reasons for the couple’s success and longevity is the fact the boutique is known for its customer service and a warm, friendly environment. But Valerie also attributes their success to the fact her and husband Abe work so well together. “We’ve been friends since the second grade and we’ve been married for eleven years,” Valerie affirms. “He’s what I like to call our ‘front man’. He’s our creative genius behind the displays, the fashion and the personal styling.”
Valerie also shares that one of most valuable lessons they have learned as business partners is the importance of planning. “We frequently sit down together and make sure we are both on the same page about things. We just don’t just assume.” They also can sense when the other needs a break or is feeling overwhelmed. “When one of us is frustrated, the other takes the reins. We always work as a team and I am so grateful for that.”
When it comes to the high-end merchandize their boutique offers, Valerie reveals that many people have misconceptions about “gently used” and that consignment clothing, accessories and shoes are thrift store quality. Article Consignment not only has a very selective process when consigners bring in items to sell, but the items are screened for quality and relevancy as well. “Many of the items that come into the boutique are brand new with the original prices tags still on them. “ Valerie adds.
Valerie is also proud of the fact that Article Consignment welcomes local artists and designers to consign their creations at their boutique. Their local artist consigners tend to be people who want to make career out of their chosen craft, but need to test the waters with their product in a safe environment. “We are huge advocates of ‘buy local.’” Valerie validates. “Not only are we happy to help these local designers, our clientele love having these beautiful options available to them to buy as gifts.”
As one would expect, juggling a family and business is not an easy task. The couple is committed to spending as much family time together and integrating their children into the family business. Julianne, age five, and Faith, age two, spend most days at the boutique with their parents. “We put in long days, but at least we are together.” shares Valerie. “When I feel like I have too many plates spinning, I remind myself that this is just a chapter in life and this too shall pass.” Valerie and Abe both feel that their customers not only understand, but seem to appreciate their commitment to family.
The Sanchez’s has also chosen to put family first and made the decision early on to not be open on Sundays. Valerie shares that she believes that their clients appreciate and respect the fact that they’ve drawn that line. “We have found that over the years, we seem to have attracted like-minded people to our lives and that includes our customers. We are so grateful for that.”
As their business continues to grow, allowing them to make a recent move to a new store that allowed them to double in size, the Sanchez’s never forget what matters most. “We are proud of the uniqueness we have created with Article Consignment,” Valerie concludes. “But it’s the special connections we have made with people along the way that helps us shine the most.”