WHAT WE LOVE: From jeans to luxe designer goods, Consignment Brooklyn offers a curated selection of elevated secondhand womenswear and accessories.
WHERE: On a lovely block of independent shops on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
WHO: Retail veteran Eva Dayton.
How has the pandemic effected your business and how have you adapted your shop, Consignment Brooklyn? As a small-business owner since 1999 operating in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, it is hard for me to witness. My business has survived so many wild rides since I opened my doors. I love the support that NYC and BKLYN give to us. A quick chat and warm greeting. Small business is the crux of New York culture and what makes this city (and so many other places) so special to live in and to visit. While Consignment Brooklyn, along with so many other businesses, was forced to close our doors when this all began, we were also given the opportunity to pivot and to adapt. We were, for months, operating a solely virtual platform, which motivated us to put a collective focus into our online business and social media platforms. While our storefront doors have re-opened at limited capacity, we definitely understand the necessity of functioning e-commerce at this moment, and in the future. I look forward to future and the Challenge of it all. I kinda thrive on it!
What do you think will be the long-term effects of the pandemic on small businesses? The pandemic has understandably affected the way in which people are spending their money – especially in terms of disposable income. However, people are still looking to enjoy and enrich our daily lives during this difficult time. Whether retail, the restaurant business, beauty, fitness, entertainment, etc; it is so imperative for us small businesses to have an online presence, while of course taking the necessary health and safety precautions to help our customers feel as comfortable as possible.
Eva Dayton, shopkeeper Consignment Brooklyn
I know you have been a shopkeeper for many years. How have you seen the business/nature of independent shops change over the years? I opened my first store, Butter, in 1999 while still working as a freelancer for Giorgio Armani in NYC. And that was interesting – I was working two major jobs at the same time. Doing a corporate job and then trying to figure out how to be a small business owner with no business background. It was fun and scary at the same time. I laughed a lot and I cried A LOT! I took it all in and figured it as I went along — I feel like nowadays, you can’t really do that. I also didn’t have a plan, I went on my gut and hoped for the best. Im a risk taker and a hard worker, so with that combo I knew something had to stick. Ups and downs are a part of business and life and as a small business you had to be ready for that and accept it. Trust me, its not easy but you can do it, with the love and passion if you want to! A few months ago – July 2020 I opened CBK Vintage – In the middle of a Pandemic and this crazy time in Fashion, but I did it! Its a sweet little store (about 200 SQ FT) 5 doors down from Consignment Brooklyn. The space also doubles as my social media office and photo studio – Come visit, Thursday to Sunday 11am to 6pm., you’ll love it!
What has been your journey as a shopkeeper? I opened my first business, Butter, in September of 1999. Then came a shoe store called “Jelly” (how fitting) a few years in, I decided to combine them both into one larger location – yet another renovation (same block on Atlantic Avenue) after a few years of doing one store, I decided on another renovation and had to relocate my sale merchandise. I moved into a very small space for one month and then Consignment Brooklyn was born – I like to call it “MY HAPPY ACCIDENT”
Who designed the shop? I did all the designing and planning for the shop! I have the most fantastic builder (his shop is one block from me) he’s kinda always on call with me as we have worked together for 20 years. He loves all my ideas and we come up with a game plan together. I feel like I am always designing and re-desiging on a daily basis.
What are Consignment Brooklyn’s best sellers? We sell all kinds of items, but our one-of-a-kind jewelry and beautiful dresses are always popular categories. Our Vintage area is really popular as well. Everyone loves a good find!
Where do you source your goods? All items are in excellent secondhand condition, and sourced from our consignors on a daily basis.
What makes Consignment Brooklyn unique? The shop is full of many different types of treasures, and there is something for everyone to discover when shopping with us. We also have incredible vintage!
Who are your customers? We have customers of all ages, style profiles, and preferences – those who reside in Brooklyn and beyond! They say they keep coming back to Consignment Brooklyn because they love how the shop is beautifully curated, interesting, and promotes a sustainable lifestyle.
How has the internet impacted your business? My team and I are constantly researching ways in which to improve our online presence and functionality. A lot of this involves evaluating analytics based on web traffic, and some of this involves looking at how people are shopping – what are they buying and when are they buying it. Virtual marketing is also very crucial for businesses right now. We try to create a marketing schedule in advance and stick to it!
Who inspires you? My 9 year-old daughter Charlie! She is something special – always a burst of sunshine. She makes me laugh, and she makes me cry sometimes from laughing so hard. Charlie loves to follow me around at work and talk to all the customers. She is so kind, and she loves to help them. I am so impressed by her daily – she is truly learning the business! My staff has taught her many aspects of the business already and that makes me happy — We are all truly working together. Big kisses to you all! XX Eva
371 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn