I had the pleasure of visiting Central Park Resale Consignment & Gallery and meeting Tanya a few weeks ago when I was meeting my daughter, who lives just a few blocks away. The store had a great setup, Tanya was friendly and very helpful. It is definitely a store I wanted more people to know about…
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Why did you choose the consignment industry?
I fell in love with our unique space, here in NYC, at a time when I was looking to transition into the passion phase of my work career. The second-hand industry has allowed me to combine things that I enjoy and have experience in, like fashion, business development and media. At Central Park Resale Consignment & Gallery (CPR), we wanted to re-invent the second-hand shopping experience. Under one roof, we have high-end designer consignment, resale of quality fashions and thrift, where nothing is over $15. Combining these industries has created a wonderfully diverse customer base. Importantly, people are really excited to shop second-hard for economical and environmental reasons. From a purely business standpoint, the data indicates that the second-hard industry should grow 15-20% per year in the next 5 years – yay!
As a woman of color, what obstacles, if any, have you faced in starting your own business?
When it comes to opening a new business, I would love to think that gender and race play no part in access to resources but I’d be foolish and wrong to believe that. I would love to dismiss some people’s questions as to “how” “I” got this “space”, as innocent questions – but I am not naive nor deaf to the racial undertones. As a Black woman, with a business in the Central Park community, where so few business owners look like me, I embrace the challenge to succeed on behalf of my famil and other Black women who are contemplating the dive into entrepreneurship.
Has fashion always been important to you?
I understood my low-key, high-key obsession with fashion when I plastered my college walls and ceiling with W Magazine pictures. Having a mother who is a fashionista’s fashionista, I grew up in a home where being fashion-savvy and creative was taught and encouraged. My parents never really shopped at big brand stores because everything looked the same. My brother, sister and I grew up being dressed by Loehmans, Syms and Daffy’s, where we always found great deals on amazing fashion. My goal is that our customers leave CPR with that same feeling.
Did you have a mentor to help you when you were starting out?
My greatest mentor is my mother, Betty Young. My mother was a scientist for 25 years for Johnson & Johnson and when given the buyout opportunity, she retired and pursued her passion of fashion and beauty. 30 years later, she still owns and operates an amazing women’s clothing boutique. I learned how to source, inspect and price garments. Most importantly, my mother taught me how to engage with customers in a meaningful way.
Did you have access to capital and funding?
Unfortunately, I have not had access to funding. It is very challenging when lenders and/or banks want your business to be successful, with a track record of significant sales before they will lend you money. I started Central Park Resale with my own capital, which is very stressful financially and emotionally. Yet, that’s the life of an entrepreneur. I hope to secure funding to help CPR grow to meet the demand we are already experiencing.
What woman of influence do you look up to?
Some of the women I look up to are actually women I am blessed to call my friends. They are wonderfully successful and influential in their vocations, but they are also smart, courageous, giving and grounded. What I admire most is a woman that is constantly searching for ways to evolve, become more enlightened and is unapologetically a badass – and looking fabulous while doing it.
What are your goals with Central Park Resale in 2022?
We are still in our infancy stage, but I see amazing potential for growth in 2022 in our foot traffic and our online platform. We plan to collaborate with fashion-forward celebs who will open their closets, for consignment, to CPR’s ever-growing customer base. CPR and the second-hand industry are on the cusp of exploding. We will continue to grow as people choose more sustainable ways to live their lives – and that includes making their fashion decisions.
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