Fabulous Findz Trading Company
Third in a series about the five consignment and thrift stores in North Andover
Google "vintage clothes," and Fabulous Findz Trading Company will pop up in your results.
Fabulous Findz Trading Company at 85 Main St. has a wide selection of vintage clothes from the 1940's to 1980's, but they also carry modern name brand clothing, accessories, art, jewelry, collectibles and furniture.
Owners Judith Quarrington and Mindy Meyer had a lot in common when they met over a year ago. They were both former teachers who bought clothes from consignment shops.
The store originally opened at 142 Main Street in the Fall of 2008 by former owner April Michalski. A few months later, when a fire consumed the building, Michalski had to move to its current location.
Quarrington who was from Arizona, was visiting her sister in North Andover who was ill at the time. While having her hair done she went to browse the clothes at Fabulous Findz Trading Company. Later, she decided to inquire about working there, and not long after bought the business. That was 18 months ago.
That summer, Meyer who was moving here from Missouri was browsing in the store and soon became Quarrington's business partner. "It was something I always wanted to do," she explained.
Now she lives in North Andover and Quarrington lives in Andover. Since then, two other consignment shops have opened up on Main Street. Both owners see the growth positively because it makes North Andover a destination for second hand clothes.
Meyer explained that they don't carry men's or children's clothing. "We usually refer customers to other stores for those items, and in return get referrals for our vintage clothing."
One of Quarrington's biggest concern is that Main Street does not have enough walk-in traffic. Although they do not advertise locally, they will list items on Craigslist, Facebook and their own website.
Customers come from all over. Seeing it on Craiglist, Karen Thompson came all the way from Newton to buy a solid wood desk in great condition for $100. Thompson, her friend Healther Annaloro, North Andover, Quarrington and Meyers managed to get the desk into Thompson's Hondo Pilot. "This is a great deal and worth the trip." Thompson exclaimed.
"The desk was not even in the store for a week," Quarrington said. "We price items so people can buy it. We do not have 30 day discounts," she explained.
Quarrington said that pricing can be a paradox. Sometimes consigners feel that their grandmother's treasure is worth more than it is, and customers need to understand that Fabulous Findz is not a non profit thrift store.
Both Quarrington and Meyer have seen the business grow. Quarrington said, "There were only 7 consigners when I took over the business. Now there are over 100. The email list has also grown has gone from 20 to 300."
But Quarrington finds there are too many people who come in to the store who didn't know it was even there.
To increase visibility and at the same time support local musicians, Fabulous Findz Trading Company had a music event with wine and refreshments. The store will also donate to other organizations with gift certificates and donations of clothes.
The owners sees the business as also providing a service of recycling to the community. Economic downturn has prompted more consigners to part with their treasures. Meyer said, "Why buy new when they can opt for less."
Consignment is by appointment only and consigners receive 40% of the sale of clothing and 50% of furniture and household goods. After 60 days unsold and unclaimed items become property of the store and can be donated to charity. They accept season women's clothing, vintage and retro clothing, lamps in working order, furniture, vintage linens. They will not accept stained, broken, torn or frayed clothing.
Some of the items are "pre-owned are not necessarily pre-used," explained Quarrington.
Looking toward the future, Meyer said, "We would also like to offer a service for to clean out estates. Many people have no idea what to do with estate items when someone dies."
Quarrington and Meyer also want people to know that their store "is a great place for gifts, including antique wine classes, and other treasure troves."
Fabulous Findz Trading Company is open six days a week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:30 a.m -5:30 p.m, Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 10:30 a.m -4 p.m. The website is www.fabofindz.com, and the phone number is 978-237-5844.