| by Linda Viertel |
When Heather Reid decided to open her consignment store in Tarrytown, she named it Trilogy – a description of her featured clothing and accessories collection: 1) modern, 2) vintage and 3) artisan. Her curated collection of second-hand items from differing decades, in a multitude of styles and sizes, all have a certain timelessness.
“Customers get a treasure-hunting feel in my store,” she explains. “You can hunt through treasures to find your own; it’s important to keep your eyes open to new fashion opportunities, and it’s not as daunting as thrift store shopping.”
Opening just over a year ago, Trilogy has quickly become a gathering place for discerning women who appreciate Reid’s sense of style and interest in helping them find limitless possibility and joy in dressing creatively. But, there’s a larger sense of continuity to her philosophy and what she is trying to achieve.
“I pay people for the clothes,” she explains, “So it’s a good way to be connected to the community. Customers know that it’s responsible; they are supporting sustainable fashion by recycling and paying a small business who is, in turn, paying a local resident.”
Consignment is accepted by appointment, and consignors receive 40% of the sale proceeds or 50% for items priced $100 or above. Reid’s sale and customer policies take great care to give value to her customers and consignors (visit consigntrilogy.com). But, what is most important to her is her message, as expressed on her website: This is a Body-Positive shop, specializing in helping you discover items that flatter your figure and reflect your personality, while broadening that safe zone of what you consider to be “you”.
Reid has an extensive history in the consignment business, having worked in and managed shops since 2008; she started her career while still an undergraduate studying English literature and sociology. But, she quickly realized it was more than just a job in retail; developing relationships with her customers became the most rewarding part of the work to her. Recognizing the need for not only access to affordable, sustainable fashion, she also began to understood that women often need a support system as well as a personal stylist – someone to assure them that they can have fun and be creative with their own style.
To that end, she also makes house calls for “closet clean-outs.” (Estate sale advice is a specialty too.) She will help the client pull everything out, look at repeats, what’s taking up space, what isn’t being worn, then move those items out to concentrate on what the client will wear and “….what still speaks to her functional style,” Reid explains. She will then fold and sort all clothes into piles for donation and consignment, and take note of what the client loves so she can keep an eye out for complementary items.
Reid found Tarrytown via a college friend who grew up locally; she fell in love with the village and moved here. “It has blossomed for me. I didn’t know how good it would be; I gained a community,” she admitted. “I never had such diversity in my customer base. I can explore broader ranges of colors and styles with so many differing ages, races, personalities and professions coming through the door.”
As a community-building initiative, Reid started hosting workshops at her store on a variety of self-image, fashion and body-related topics. “How do we ‘measure’ ourselves and use these ‘measurements’ for smarter shopping, or as a measure of who we are, our value as women?” she asks. She notes that how we dress often affects our mood and what we can accomplish. “It’s not vanity, it’s a way to be more productive and it’s okay. We deserve to feel nice regardless of productivity,” she continues, “Having a bit of color, some fashion fun, can brighten your day and you deserve it. If you are a stay-at-home mom – mom’s work is hard.” She encourages women to go for something they want, “pulling something off” fashion-wise and step out of their own comfort zone. “That way, we become our own authentic selves and speak to others with our own voice. Your choices will then feel natural and become the new you,” she asserts.
Her “Fresh Perspective Workshop” in March asked women to “ bring something from their closet that you often look at lovingly but, for one reason or another, never wear. We’ll figure out how to make it work, where you can wear it or why you should get rid of it.” Movie night is May 22 from 7-9 p.m. Bring a pillow and watch the movie A League of Their Own with other female fans.
One customer, Stephanie St. Pierre, a professor in Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College, saw value in what Reid was doing at her store through her workshops and conversations with women and asked her to speak to her class. This invitation has given Reid a platform to engage students further on issues such as body-shame, the media’s role in female self-confidence (or lack thereof), and the role fashion plays in self-image. When more and more women, both students and customers, know that others have the same concerns or have “hit a wall” trying to step out of their comfort zones, those conversations build support, make life easier for participants, and help them conquer their inhibitions.
Reid notes, “I have the deepest amount of respect for my customers, and I enjoy working hard for them.” So, if guilt-free, sustainable, and one-of-a-kind shopping is your cup of tea, then Trilogy is where you will find bargains and beauty galore. How often do clothes shoppers leave a store happy, feeling educated, supported, and confident in a new way about who they are and how they look?
If You Go:
107 North Broadway, Tarrytown
Open: Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun.12 -6 p.m.