Rare Bird Consignment House Opens in Mission Hills

| October 29, 2011 | 1 Comment

Kelly Kraus at the front door of The Red Bird Consignment House.

It’s so rewarding to get to know people who learn from life’s upsets and take on more challenges. Such is the case for Kelly Kraus of Mission Hills, who is willing to share the hardships she’s experienced, and the opportunities that have come her way. She has vision and good taste.

Kraus says that she had been anxious to open a new shop. Previously, a couple of years ago, Kraus had a fashionable children’s boutique at the same location. I fondly remember the name of the shop, Zuzu’s Petals. Kraus said she “jumped at the chance when she saw that the same property was available in August.”

The property she refers to is a renovated, 1910 California bungalow, located at 1819 Fort Stockton Drive. Kraus says she loves the house. “It has good bones, good juju, and a great view from every window.”

Kraus also said she had been researching the resale/consignment business for quite some time, and was very impressed with the trends that she was seeing. The resale industry has been growing steadily for the last three years and continues to grow with generous forecasts moving forward.

It all makes sense. People are downsizing, getting rid of their storage units, and they still appreciate good design, but at a good value. Adding to the attraction of resale is that it is a ‘green/sustainable’ purchase.

In terms of naming the shop, Kraus said, “It was a no-brainer.” She grew up being called a “rare bird” by her grandmother. Kraus passed the nickname on to her seven-year-old daughter. It fit, because the main distinction of the shop is its unique and interesting inventory.

Kraus said she drew upon her many years in the furniture industry (i.e. Metropolis Furniture), and called furniture manufacturers and retailers to get their “seconds.” Also relying on a large network of interior designer friends and associates that she’s worked with over the years, Kraus invited them to bring in their client’s furnishings when they do a new installation.

Additionally, she knows people who make a living going to auctions and estate sales. Kraus said, “They pass their goodies on to me.” She also knows retailers that buy in large quantities (containers) so they get great discounts and pass them along to me for my clients. Most importantly, she has lived in mission hills for over 15 years. Kraus said she knows a lot of people in the community. She says a majority of her inventory comes from the neighborhood.

As for selection, Kraus says she has to have a very discriminating eye when selecting the inventory. She has developed guidelines to assist her with this task. The item must be esthetically beautiful, rare, and unique. She says expensive collectables and antiques aren’t a fit, unless the client is willing to price it based on its esthetic value. That’s why she does carry some antiques, as well as new pieces. The store has an array of styles: modern, contemporary, traditional and even Asian pieces.

What makes the store exciting is that the selection changes everyday. Items are sold and new selections come through the door.

What’s also exceptional is the price of the items. According to Kraus, “It’s very low, extremely low.” That’s because every item is priced to sell.

However, if an item doesn’t sell in 30 days, it is marked down 25 percent. If it doesn’t sell in 60 days, it goes back to its owner. Kraus plans to have four sidewalk sales throughout the year. Unsold items, she says, may make a return at those events. The next sidewalk sale is Saturday, November 26, so, mark your calendar. And remember, the holidays are fast approaching. The Rare Bird has an awesome selection. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

For hours and information, call 619-450-6500, or visit www.rarebirdconsignment.com.

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