2023: our year in review
As 2023 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on an eventful year: what we’ve accomplished and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
The year started with the tough decision not to extend our lease at Washington Square Mall. Although the store was well received, growing in exciting ways, and the concept successful, our repeated experiences dealing with theft and concerns for the safety of our team made having a presence at the mall too exhausting and stressful to sustain.
At the end of March, we left the mall and came back to Multnomah Village full-time. It was bittersweet to say the least, but focusing on one store gave us the space, energy, and time to slow down, improve our processes and get back to the things that were most important to us.
We spruced up the store and remodeled, grew our menswear section and our inventory overall.
We launched a blog.
We hosted a textile recycling drive with Ridwell, and a “care for your clothes” tailoring pop-up.
We had a chain-stitch embroidery event with Alex from Soothe Folk.
We celebrated Multnomah days with Straightaway Cocktails.
In late July, we faced another tough decision: after the store was broken into and a large amount of inventory stolen, we stopped carrying the designer handbags we had been targeted for. (Read more about that decision here).
In some ways, it felt like those pieces were part of Consign Couture’s DNA, and we had worked hard to build a steady inventory of luxury items. They were hard to give up. But five months later, we can say that once again that this difficult and bittersweet decision turned out to be the right one. Not carrying designer bags has given us peace of mind both for the safety of our staff and for the items our consignors have entrusted to us. Although we have fewer luxury items than we once did, we have continued to get in great consignment and hear encouraging and positive feedback about the pieces in the store. We are so grateful to our community of consignors and to our shoppers. We couldn’t do this without you!
Throughout the year, our team gradually got smaller as Lena, Audrea, Alexis and Sammi moved on to their next exciting chapters (graduations, new schools, new jobs and a big move!).
As the holiday season approached, the store was running smoothly, and we welcomed the opportunity to get into the holiday spirit.
We hosted a raffle to benefit local organizations doing good for Portlanders. Our community came together to support us with donations of prizes from shops we love.
We adopted a family for the holidays through Rose Haven and provided gifts for a family of five.
We hosted a cozy and creative wreath-making workshop with local farmer/florist Nicole Coleson of Opal Blooms with snacks by Maplewood Coffee and Tea- What a treat to work with two of our neighbors to put on a festive and fun workshop for our community!- and we had a blast. With this one under our belt, we are looking forward to hosting more workshops in the store in the coming months.
As we wrap up 2023 and head into 2024 (year 13 for CC!), we’re taking one lesson with us: in a society that prioritizes growth at all costs, there is tremendous value in slowing down, getting back to basics, remembering what is important and what you love about what you do.
Happy new year.
-Tamara & Team CC.