It’s the thrill of the hunt. Sifting through the possibilities, no two alike, knowing these things probably can’t be found anywhere else and are completely unique. Each tells a story. Each has a past. And then, when you find your prey, the one you know is just right for you, you pounce. It is yours. Uniquely yours. And while you may never know the story of its past, you are able to give it new life in the present, and look damn good yourself while doing so.
Such is the joy of secondhand and consignment shopping.
Progress, the new boutique at 200 North Avenue in Garwood, is a vintage and consignment shop very much like the ones to be found in Greenwich Village or Soho in NYC, with very much the same feel, but right here in our own backyard. Unlike the chain secondhand stores like Unique, or the charity stores such as The Salvation Army, progress is a boutique above all else, and has a definitively more upscale feel to it. Prices at Progress range anywhere from $5 to $150, and all of the clothes are washed or steamed before they hit the racks. The shop offers women’s, teen’s, and men’s clothing. Owner and operator Tricia Caminos welcomes locals to come in with the clothes they no longer want, use, or fit into. Customers can bring in unwanted, new, or gently used clothes and receive a percentage of what Caminos will sell them for – either 40 percent of her prices in store credit or 20 percent cash on the spot. It’s a win-win situation!
Caminos acquires her inventory from garage sales, walk-ins, and word of mouth. She will only accept what she knows she can sell, not anything and everything. She’s choosy about her inventory. It is limited to the hip and trendy and the vintage, so there’s no need to sort through . . . ick . . . to get to the good stuff. And you don’t feel like you need to wash your hands immediately upon leaving the store, as is true of some of the chain secondhand stores.
Caminos, a Cranford mother of three, had been working from home via the internet-based travel agency she owned while raising her children. When she felt it was time to move on, she decided to stick close to her home community. After searching the Cranford-Westfield area for a while, Caminos decided that the long-vacant garage in Garwood was the ideal setting for her business. It makes sense, if you think about it. The building, like the items she sells, represent the idea of taking the old, existing, and available, and making them new and useful again. It’s actually the perfect marriage of business and building. The building was renovated into beautiful, unique space for the beautiful, unique clothing inside. Both now offer a one-of-a-kind charm for customers to enjoy. It eliminates waste of both a viable space and wonderful clothing and accessories that still have great life.
And why did she think this was the perfect place for this business venture? Aside from the fact that nothing quite like it could be found in town, she just loves the neighborhood. She is quoted as saying, “The neighborhood is great! The town has been really supportive. I feel like everybody around here has been dying for this place to be something.”
Check the store out at https://www.facebook.com/ProgressResale. Or, better yet, go hunting yourself. You never know what gem you may come out with!