Consignment decorating

Business Highlight: Shop owner offers reasons to look beyond retail

Story by By Laura Roddy | Photography by Michelle Adams

Maybe it's the proliferation of do-it-yourself television shows, but Andrea Attwater sees a burgeoning interest in Wichita for consignment decorating.

The biggest trend is people are mixing things, Attwater said. Local designer, Janelle King and Attwater have even debated what to call the look eclectic? Or maybe just collected.

And they should know. Attwater operates Invio Fine Furniture Consignment, and King is an interior designer who often selects pieces for her clients from Attwater's shop.

Partially, it is economy-driven, but it's also the trend, said King, of JK Design. It's being able to see things in a different context. Some of her clients wouldn't have considered consignment furniture until she showed them the just-right accent table or chair.

Added Attwater: It's also the green thing  reuse, re-purpose. Attwater and King say there are four good reasons to shop consignment for the home.

Thrill of the hunt  There's just something more exciting about a find than simply selecting style and fabric or finish from a showroom. To be able to shop consignment and thrift, you have to be a little creative and be able to visualize, King said. Attwater has customers who stop by frequently. Something may come out of one car and literally go right into another, she said.

Quality  Some of the pieces that are older are built so well, Attwater said.

Price  Who doesn't love a deal? As with the new car that depreciates the moment it leaves the lot, the same goes for furniture. Consignment offers a better value than retail, Attwater said.

Uniqueness There's not additional stock of furniture or accessories purchased at a consignment store. I see people fall in love with a piece, Attwater said. They start with that inspiration and go from there.  I have some great shoppers that could shop wherever they want. It's not about money  these clients want something that is unique.

In October, Attwater moved Invio into its own space at 1719 N. Rock Road, Suite 113, behind Haverty's. Her business began as a section within Diva Furniture just a couple of doors down. As customers purchased new pieces from Diva, they often had nice furniture or accessories they needed to clear out. Additionally, Attwater is also a real estate agent, which has left her with no shortage of contacts who might be downsizing or redecorating and looking to sell some pieces.

Attwater only agrees to sell pieces that are in excellent condition and aren't dated. For example, those television armoires are virtually impossible to sell with the advent of flat-screen TVs. Sellers enter into a 90-day agreement and split profits 50-50 with Attwater. The seller can receive a greater percentage for high-priced items.

I don't have a problem getting furniture, Attwater said.

She always has people sending or showing her pictures of furniture. It's a bit of a delicate dance. In one instance, a couple brought by a sofa that they hoped to consign. The sofa just didn't fit the bill for Invio  but she loved the funky trunk next to the sofa that the couple saw as junk.

And it's that potential to snag a funky trunk  or a mid-century modern dresser or an old train-station bench  that keeps shoppers checking back, whether in person or via Invio's Facebook page.

Invio Fine Furniture Consignment

Andrea Attwater
1719 N. Rock Road Suite #113
Wichita, KS 67206

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