‘For fun’ store turns into a great gig

‘For fun’ store turns into a great gig

From wardrobe basics like jeans and sneakers to more glamorous dresses, blouses and blazers, Girlfriends Consignment stocks a wide variety of clothing.

“We get new items in every day, which is really fun,” Girlfriends owner Debbie Dardanelli said.

Dardanelli opened the Nichols Street consignment shop seven years ago. The active businesswoman has also been a real estate agent at Windermere for 10 years. She opened Girlfriends while she worked toward her real estate license as a “fun way” to supplement her income.

Not only has Girlfriends proven itself as being environmentally friendly — the store sells new and gently used clothing — it has also raised money for several local nonprofit organizations.

“Many people bring in clothes and donate the proceeds to places like The Whale Museum, Hospice San Juan, Soroptimists or the animal protection society,” Dardanelli said, adding that clients also have donated to SAFE San Juans.

Girlfriends also participated in the SAFE San Juans fashion show, a fundraiser for the local nonprofit. As a long-time islander, Dardanelli wanted to support her fellow community members, especially her fellow “girlfriends.”

The consignment store carries items for both men and women, that fit bodies of all shapes and sizes, Dardanelli said. Purses, jewelry, gloves and other accessories are also in supply. The store allows people to buy brand names without the brand name price tag.

“We accept anything that adorns the body,” Dardanelli said.

For anyone wishing to bring clothing and accessories into Girlfriends for consignment, the first step is to make an appointment. While the shop is open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., seven days a week, appointments to drop off items are only on Monday-Friday. Dardanelli added that the criteria are 10 items or less, with hangers and please bring in a mix of things.

“Don’t just bring in all jeans or all blouses. Bring in a little bit of everything,” she requested. Preference is also given to the season — sweaters and scarves for the winter, shorts and swimsuits during the summer.

Dardanelli noted that 20 percent of her clients donate from out of state which also spices up the clothing assortment, providing brands that might not otherwise be found regionally. Visitors who have bought from Girlfriends often will continue to stay in touch and ship clothing to the shop, she explained.

“I have one woman who actually lives in Hawaii, but has a second home here,” Dardanelli said. “She brings in brands like Maggie B, Just Jill and Anna Ocean.”

One brand often in supply is Kavu, which is appropriate since Kavu was founded by islander Barry Barr after continuously losing his hat during his outdoor adventures.

Other brands include Banana Republic; Columbia; Eddie Bauer; Free People; Johnny Was; St. John; and Tommy Bahama.

“Some of these brands are very expensive, however, we are able to sell them for less,” Dardanelli said.

For more information, check out Girlfriends Consignment on Facebook.