Saturday, November 1, 2014

Kingston consignment shop goes vintage

New store offers an eye-catching mix of the old and the new

November 2014

Cheryl Audrey Lutz and her daughter, Taylor Rebecca Lutz, have always loved consignment shops. They've always had an appreciation for vintage clothing and have enjoyed finding unique items from the past. In time, they became experts on the consignment business, and they now bring that expertise to their own business: C. Audrey & Daughters Vintage & Consignment Shop, which is located on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston.

The shop first opened in August of 2011 in Berwick, but moved to Kingston three months ago. Cheryl, 51, worked in the insurance claims business for more than 25 years, but says that she eventually grew tired of the corporate world. When a store front opportunity presented itself, she thought of her love for consignments and decided it was time for a change.

 "I did some research, and just went out there and dug right in," she says. "Taylor and I both are big proponents of thrift shops, flea markets, estate sales and consignment shops. We predominantly shop for ourselves in consignment shops."

Cheryl says many items from the past have a much longer shelf-life than people give them credit for.

"We've become a society of 'throw away,' and it makes me crazy," she says. "We need to repurpose. We need to take this stuff and reuse it and remake it. If you don't like the way it is, make it something else. If you look at a piece of vintage clothing that's been around since the '50s, the quality of that garment is impeccable. It's going to be around for another 50 years. You don't find that now. You buy clothing now, and you wash it a couple of times, or dry-clean it a couple of times, and it's garbage. And everybody's dressed the same. There's no individuality."

 Taylor, 23, agrees.

 "A lot of older people always tell me I was born in the wrong era," she says with a smile. "But actually, among my age group, vintage is pretty popular. The esthetics, the quality - things just looked prettier then."

Taylor says she enjoys looking for items to place on the shop's shelves.

"I love finding things," she says. "People bring things in on consignment, but one of my favorite things to do is to go hunting for vintage. It's cool to think about who may have worn something, and what kind of story is behind it."

Cheryl, originally from Hanover Township, says that while Berwick was a fine place to first launch the business, Kingston has proven to be a better home.

"Taylor is very much into the vintage side of the business," she says. "That's very much her niche. And there wasn't the demographic for it down there. We had a small group of individuals that are really into it, and we had a great storefront, but it just didn't work. Taylor and I had talked about relocating and trying to find something with more foot traffic, and I was just driving down the Ave and saw this storefront. We came in, and it was pretty much in move-in condition. In fact the color, purple, was what we had in Berwick. We've added some colors and spruced it up a bit, but it was just literally a matter of driving by, signing the lease, and moving in within two weeks. Kingston has been very good to us. It's very welcoming."

C. Audrey & Daughters Vintage & Consignment Shop features women's clothing, shoes and accessories. This includes handbags and jewelry. They also carry high-end furs and vintage framed prints.

"We carry modern fashions as well," says Cheryl. "We recently had an Andy Warhol bag come in, and it wasn't here for one hour and it was gone. If you're looking for something interesting and off the beaten path, especially vintage, you're going to find it here."

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