This week, in honor of Thrift Shop Day on Aug. 17, we’ve profiled resale and consignment shops in South Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, California and today – Florida. They were among the more than 165 shops we visited while researching our new book, ThriftStyle: The Ultimate Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Smart Fashion, which comes out in September and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere.
Here’s Peggy’s report on a favorite Florida shop:
There are many good reasons to visit Sarasota, FL – the beaches, the cultural life, the Orioles’ spring training stadium, a charming downtown with a terrific film club adjoining a fish camp restaurant, etc.
But for thrifters, there’s the Marché luxury resale boutique, located in one of the 15 small bungalows that make up The Villages neighborhood.
It’s an outstanding consignment shop for women that is beautifully decorated and filled with genuine finds, thanks to the selection and attention of owner Marina Eckert. Its rooms are filled with current women’s clothes, purses, jewelry and scarves, all arranged artistically with quirky accents, such as vintage hats on a wall.
The shop has been enticing shoppers with fun events for its seven years of existence. Eckert frequently entertains shoppers with champagne, chocolates, fruit, even entire outdoor brunches. There’s an annual Oktoberfest, where Marché goes all out with music, costumes, beer and pretzels.
“She does so much in this shop,” enthuses regular shopper Lisa Theoharides. “She’s very good at finding the right clothes for you.”
Eckert, who came to the U.S. from Germany 20 years ago, worked in Berlin and Paris in beauty and fashion. She was an image consultant who ran a boutique and a spa.
She was drawn to The Villages, which is a cluster of 15 brightly painted bungalows in the downtown Gillespie Park area, because of the large number of women-owned businesses there. The neighborhood was established in 1935, originally housing circus workers from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. Sarasota was the winter home of the circus for decades.
In addition to the shop’s charming décor, Eckert makes it easy for shoppers by organizing most clothes by color. There are top brands (Prada, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton) and more affordable choices (Ralph Lauren, Dana Buchman, Tadashi, Adrianna Papel). It’s a popular shop, so the inventory changes frequently. And unlike some shops that focus on better labels, there is a wide variety of sizes and prices. You’ll find much more than size 6 designer goods! There are sale racks and prices are marked down the longer an item stays in the boutique.
“We try to make this a fun destination,” said Eckert. “We don’t pressure you to buy. We just want you to find something fantastic at a great price.”
Agreed. This is a warm, friendly, and ornamental place to find lovely and unusual clothing and accessories. Florida is blessed with an abundance of good consignment stores, so it’s telling that many of Marché’s regulars drive from one to two hours away to partake.
“We want friends, as well as customers,” Eckert says.
Marché, 1826 4th St., Sarasota, FL 34236. 941-350-1787. Open Wed. – Sun. from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.