What made you decide to become a consigner?
As a sensible university student who decided to spend their casually earned wage on food over designer items, I found the temptation to crave my luxury addiction quite difficult, queue the irony of studying a business and finance degree! Over the course of my tertiary education however, I decided to aim my focus at ‘studying’ the designer and luxury world, as opposed to simply purchasing whatever the industry considered ‘in’ this week. Fast forward a few years, my love affair with luxury has become a large part of my life, and my decision to turn that into a business was a no-brainer. By sharing what I know with my clients and followers, I’m not only creating a safe and authentic platform to buy and sell treasures, but a chance to truely share my passion with everyone.
How did you come up with the name ‘Conrad’s Closet’
The name Conrad’s Closet was chosen as I wanted something similar to my name, but didn’t want to come across as arrogant!
I decided to call it after my dog Conrad, as it’s a timeless tradition that naming a business after your pets will always bring it good luck. Clearly, this turned out to be true!
What is it about Hermès that you love and why did you choose to specialise in it?
My love affair with Hermès started after watching the iconic Sex and the City episode in which Samatha tries to secure a Birkin bag for one of her PR clients.
I was intrigued by a brand whose marketing strategy relied heavily upon unofficially asking their clients to purchase a range of different products, in order to secure a Birkin or Kelly bag. Genius right?! From that, the more research I did, the affair grew stronger.
No other luxury brand produces bags, small leather goods, and accessories in the vast variety of leathers and colours that Hermès do, period.
- What has been the best platform to use for consignment – facebook, IG, other and what advice would you give anyone starting out?
The best platform I have found for consignment would be Instagram. Instagram allows you to share your items and brand with a huge audience instantly, however, requires you to be clever and takes a lot of time and commitment to grow.
My advice would be to anyone wanting to start their own business in this field is to find your niche! Stand out from the crowd, and pick something you know and love.
What has been the most challenging thing about running a consignment business?
The most challenging aspect of my consignment business was, and still is, to find items that were consistent with my brands standards. Conrad’s Closet specialises in items that are ‘like-new’ or in excellent condition, whilst still representing a price point that was worth not paying retail. As you can imagine, this can be quite challenging as I am at the mercy of the worlds preloved “stock”, however I will always find gold, even if I have to dig.
What is your favourite Hermès piece – either that you sold or own?
I feel like the line between practicality and style can sometimes be blurred within the luxury world, enter the Louis Vuitton Mini Boîte Chapeau. However, I feel like most Hermès items are quite practical, especially for my lifestyle.
With the exception of the Birkin, my most treasured Hermès bag (which sold within a day!) was a Jypsiere 28 in Bleu Mykonos.
I have previously owned Jypsiere and fell in love with its functionality and carefree nature, which every time I wore it, I was asked “What is the name of this bag?!”. I would highly recommend this bag to any crossbody lovers!
Any tips for anyone trying to source a Birkin or a Kelly pre-loved?
If I were to offer any advice to someone wishing to purchase a Birkin or Kelly preloved, it would be to do your research.
Learn about the leathers, colours hardware, sizes, and everything else in-between. Know what you’re buying and learn the market, but most importantly, stick to a reputable reseller or consigner.
Do you consider yourself an Hermès authenticator as well or do you outsource authentication?
Unofficially, I’d consider myself an Hermès authenticator, however, its not a service I offer to people. I use my knowledge of the brand and its consistencies (or inconsistencies) to pass through certain ‘check-points’ and once that’s happened, I proceed to a third-party authentication company. If I’m selling a Birkin or Kelly bag, I owe it to the customer I’m potentially selling to the authenticity of the bag, and if that means having it authenticated by 2 separate companies, so be it.
How has business been during the pandemic, anything that you have noticed that is interesting?
During the Isolation period brought on by COVID-19, my business has significantly increased. I was taken completely off guard and I really had to step up my game! I believe this is primarily due to people being stuck at home, and having more time to research different bags and accessories, which ultimately has resulted in their wishlists becoming shopping lists.
If money was no object which Hermès piece would you buy?
If money was no issue, I would love to purchase an Hermès Special Order bag, preferably a Birkin 35.
I haven’t settled on the ultimate dream combo, however, I have fallen in love with a blue/grey mixture!
If you loved reading this article and want to learn more about the items for sale in Conrad’s Closet_ go visit his pages here:
Facebook: CONRAD’S CLOSET
YouTube: THE CLOSET
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