New to Merrimack: Layla’s Consignments
Friday, September 6, 2013
A move for Layla’s Consignments store from the Milford Oval to Pennichuck Square, 707 Milford Road, in Merrimack, was an adventure for Shannon Larbig, owner of the consignment boutique for more than two years.
Now, after barely more than a month in Merrimack, Labig is preparing to host her official grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 14. The occasion is expected to evolve into a festive reunion of customers, consignors, friends and family.
Layla’s Consignments now is snugly ensconced in its new space, a welcoming, boutique-style space where elegant clothing, casual wear, shoes, accessories and other new or nearly new items are offered at deep discounts.
The consignment store is located in the space previously occupied by BeachFront Property swimwear store. Carm’s Gift Shoppe, an enterprise of some 22 years, flanks Layla’s on one side. Georgio’s Ristorante & Martini Bar is a few steps away on the other side.
Larbig, 28, said her first month at the new location showed her that she made a good move. Fellow merchants including the owner of Darlene’s Bath + Body Boutique sent a welcome. Milford customers visited upon making the short trip along Route 101A to Continental Boulevard, the site of Pennichuck Square. Some nodded approval to the spacious parking lot there. More parking was a wish fulfilled for Larbig.
Women are the major contributors of items considered for resale at Layla’s. A men’s section is planned. Vintage clothing, mostly American made, soon will be included. Expert assistance from manager Samantha Makris, of Wilton, has eased the transition for Larbig. Both women are independent consultants for Arbonne, a 33-year-old firm specializing in health and wellness products.
The Layla’s family of 300 active consignors is augmented by 800 occasional contributors of dresses, sweaters, coats, costume jewelry buffed to a high sparkle and other eye-catchers. The contingent reflects a community that wants quality apparel and a bargain to boot.
“I am frugal and I cannot even conceive of paying full retail,” Larbig said, noting that most items are priced at 35 percent of retail. “There are a few thousand items in the store. A lot of people love consignment.”
Consigning is a two-way street, according to Larbig. There is a vigorous network of consignment store lovers that buys consignment items regionally and in turn consigns back the nicely maintained wardrobe items. The group tends to migrate toward stores with a friendly and fashion conscious sales staff.
“I think that we tend to be more classic than trendy,” Larbig said of Layla’s. “The quality in classics is there and classics retain their quality. But if you’re going to go trendy, a consignment store is the way to go. You can experiment. Then, you can re-consign your animal print bottoms.”
A look around the newly renovated space revealed a pair of Tod’s shoes, flats made of pink leather and priced at retail in the stratosphere. Layla’s Consignments is far from the hoity-toity glam shop that offers $32,000 handbags and shoes priced like diamonds. Currently, a Louis Vuitton Cabas Piano bag is on sale at Layla’s.
“You might find red-soled shoes priced at $2,000 that would sell here for $500,” Larbig said. “You can find these things at a consignment shop. You can have brands you’ve never been able to afford. It’s like a treasure hunt.”
Larbig said fashion can be accessible to anyone. Some of the items she carries have been worn once. Others are brand new with tags attached. Today’s economy, she said, adds an extra motivation to look for bargains. Looking good and feeling good, whether in the corporate environment or in one’s own back yard, can be achieved without financial stress, she added.
“Whether it’s a $5 top or a designer piece, you can find great things if you look,” Larbig said.
A basic wardrobe might include just a few pieces, she said. A sheath dress, black trousers, a blazer in beige, grey or black, a white-collared shirt and a pencil skirt will suffice.
Shopper Jennifer Fischer, of Amherst, chimed in that she recently took one of her five daughters to Layla’s on a shopping trip that was a birthday gift to the girl. Fischer also has two boys. The spree netted a wardrobe of jeans, T-shirts, skirts and blouses for less than $200.
“She bought a few nice outfits and absolutely loved them,” Fischer said. “I bought everything she picked out. Things were so reasonably priced.”
Larbig said she believes that fashion should be fun but notes there are a few don’ts. Don’t wear socks with sandals. Don’t wear clothes that are too small, too tight, or too big.
“People do judge you on how you look,” Larbig said. “You never know who you’re going to run into.”
Layla’s Consignments is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. No appointment is needed to bring in items for consigning. Larbig says people are busy and that, when a consignor can find time to bring in some clothing or other goods, the welcome sign is waiting.
For more information on the grand opening of Layla’s Consignments, located in Pennichuck Square, 707 Milford Road, in Merrimack, call 921-8600.