Meet Katie Evans: owner of The Clothing Bar
The Clothing Bar is one of the featured stores in the LOCAL fashion show being held on October 26th, 2017 at Trolley 5 on 17th Ave. SW. I’m thrilled to be the emcee for the show. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to Dress For Success Calgary. Tickets are available exclusively through ShopNet TV.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Katie Evans to talk about her growing consignment business in Marda Loop. The Clothing Bar Boutique is an upscale – yet affordable – consignment experience.
M: How did you get your start in the consignment biz?
K: I always knew I would own my own store, it was just a matter of time…and money! I started The Clothing Bar in 2012, as a part-time hobby thinking it would just be for fun, but once I was laid off from my very brief job in the oil industry I thought, ‘Screw it, it’s time!” and just went for it. Plus, I had worked part-time jobs in consignment stores growing up, so it was great to take what I learned and apply it to my store.
M: What has been the most difficult/challenging thing about starting your own business?
K: Most difficult….asking for help. As an entrepreneur, asking for help might feel like the end of the world, quite literally, but I had to learn very very fast that without the help from people around me, my store would be non-existent.
M: When things get tough/or you start to have self-doubt, what does the voice inside your head say?
K: Immediately, it’s the human reaction to want to just quit. But once I give myself time to process the situation, my brain starts to rationalize the situation as being a minuscule issue. If I think of everything as a small problem, then it becomes less overwhelming to find ways of fixing it.
M: Why do you think a consignment store is a great place for teens to shop?
I grew up shopping consignment! Looking back, I truly believe it helped me understand the values of finding and shopping good deals. When you have to start paying for your own clothes, it gets really hard to figure out your own personal style trying to live up to “mall” standards. Plus, you get to make some money from your old clothes, that’s the best!
M: What kinds of brands, labels and trends are you seeing in the store these days?
K: Anything from Aritzia! It’s the store everyone wants to afford, but shopping it consignment makes it much easier. There is a ton of Zara, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and H&M coming through the doors too.
M: A lot of people struggle to get rid of clothes. We hold onto stuff because we feel guilty about letting it go after paying our hard earned dollars for it. Why is a closet clean-out a good idea?
K: Honestly, some people will never come to terms with giving up their clothes! But I think the best way to help clear your closet is to fully come to terms that not everything will make you feel good, or will look good on you. Maybe it had its purpose at some point, but clothing (just like most things) loses its novelty eventually. Everyone wants to find excitement in getting dressed in the morning, and closet clean outs can help refresh, reorganize, and re-energize your wardrobe.
M: How does the consignment part work – i.e. what kind of commission goes to the seller?
K: People drop their clothes off at any time (no appointment) and I will go through their items. If I don’t accept certain items, they can choose to take them back or I will donate them to the Women in Need Society. Once their items sell, they receive 40% which goes into an account for them! They can then shop with that money or be paid out via e-transfer.
M: What was one item you wish you could have kept for yourself, instead of selling?
K: Such a hard question! I see so many amazing things go through the store, I wish I could have it all. If I had to pick just one, it would probably have been a pair of Frye boots that I loved, but resisted. I tell myself If I don’t try it on I won’t miss it, but I just had to try those on and I regret it!
Thank you Katie from The Clothing Bar Boutique…I know I’ll be seeing you at The Bar!