During the summer of 2012 I found myself in a pickle. I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be at Athens State University for a political forum, and I didn’t have time to go home to change clothes. I came flying in to Consign World, explained my dilemma, and the crew snapped into action. They found me something that was stylish, professional, summery, appropriate, and I got out of there truly “on time and under budget.” My wallet may have been 12 dollars lighter, but I became a raving fan customer, someone who is routinely greeted and treated like the Queen of the May, whether I am shopping or delivering the latest edition of Athens Now. Now I feel like I have my own personal wardrobe stylists, they love what they do, and we both love the results and the savings. “It’s just smart to be frugal,” says Consign World owner Brenda Stapler, and I agree.
Brenda and her husband Gary, along with their friendly and experienced team, have put together a shop that looks like what you’d expect in a big box mall store. From the bridal and formal wear, to the books, clothing, musical instruments and home décor, everything is top notch, with service to match. “We have more than 600 consigners,” Brenda told me, and something that puts a twinkle in her eye is the fact that they also carry the brand new overstock of three bridal and formal shops. “I absolutely love being able to make a woman’s day truly special for a fraction of what it would normally cost. We have hundreds of gowns, 90 percent of which still have the tags hanging on them.” On average, the bridal and formal gowns are at least 60 percent off retail, and then when the date on their tag passes a certain point, the savings are even greater. Consign World carries several bridal and formal wear labels, including Mon Cheri, Mori Lee, Landa, Jovani, Alyce and Riva. An example of the savings which are possible is a recently sold, brand new Jovani dress which would normally retail for $400. It started off being marked down to $180, and finally sold for $125. Brenda took me on an official tour of the store, and the formal wear is stunning in appearance, and current as to style.
Prior to opening Consign World in November of 2011, Brenda spent several years working in women’s fashions, and also at her daughter Christy Watkins’ consignment shop, Fashion Exchange, located in the Shoals. And, as so many Athens Now clients have done, she started the business at a time when it was risky to do so. Husband Gary has “been awesome,” according to Brenda, and she states that his support, and that of her family, friends and customers have all served to make Consign World both possible and successful. Gary works full time in Huntsville, Monday through Thursday, and then works at the store on Friday and Saturday. Ever the gentleman, he will carry your purchases out to your car for you. The Staplers consider their staff to be family, and customer service is very important to all of them. Brenda also appreciates the fact that when it comes to displaying the merchandise, “they are all on the same page.”
Home décor is another of Consign World’s fortes. This past December we decided to decorate our Hanukkah table in blue and white, and the cloth napkins I had at home “just weren’t working for me.” Sundown was coming, and again, I quickly headed to Consign World. I explained my dilemma, was led straight to some brocade napkins and some beautiful blue glass candlesticks, and off I went for home, my needs having been met far beyond my expectations. The home décor items at Consign World include table wear, paintings, pillows, furniture, brand new bedding, and more.
One of the unusual features of Consign World is the music room. That is Gary’s “baby,” and is filled with guitars, banjos, keyboards, band instruments, all for sale at great prices. On the first Saturday of each month, the community is invited from 11am until whenever to come and jam, sing, observe, and most of all, enjoy. I have attended, had the pleasure of playing and singing with guys who had performed in the Grand Ol’ Opry, and had a great time. The Saturday jam fest has been so popular that on the third Saturday of each month, (starting on January 19th,) Consign World will host local dulcimer players. Both events are free, open to the public, a wonderful chance to build community and to enjoy music.
Whether you are in the market for a guitar or a gown, come to Consign World and let folks who love what they do help you find what you are looking for at a price that you’ll find more than pleasing. Gary and Brenda would like to again give “a heartfelt thanks to everyone, from our wonderful consigners to our faithful customers, for making Consign World a success.”
661 Hwy 72 W, Athens, AL 35611
Store hours: Mon-Sat, 10-6
Email: email@example.com, and facebook
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner