Bucktown business brings luxury

By Amanda Murphy

In the ultra trendy neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown, consignment shops and vintage boutiques aren’t a rarity. But much like its location, Luxury Garage Sale, a wholesaler, etailer and occasional retailer of designer clothing, is a little more off the map than its counterparts.

Luxury Garage Sale, 1646 N. Bosworth Ave., has been successfully selling its designer consignment items since November 2010. Owners Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal have gathered a devoted following and are delivering luxury clothing items in great condition. And they’re just getting started.

The idea for Luxury Garage Sale came about when Buchberg’s family decided to close its antique store. Originally working in public relations, she took on the job of trying to sell the rest of the stock. Realizing how much she enjoyed the process, Buchberg teamed up with Segal, her childhood friend and a successful stylist, to create the store.

“When my grandparents decided to retire, as a favor to them, I was selling what was left on eBay,” Buchberg said. “So I was learning eBay and Lindsay was working with clients on doing closet cleanouts. It was just kind of the perfect match.”

The business focuses most of its selling on pop-up shops, and popular online outlets like eBay and Etsy.com as well as Dose Market, a monthly gathering of vendors highlighting fashion and food in Chicago. Segal added that they try to find the best market to sell the items to maximize their value.

Featuring many items that are “new with tags,” the company also gives customers a chance to buy gently used designer clothes at highly discounted prices. In some cases, a B-list designer item that was originally priced at almost $300 could sell for $35. But in other cases, as with the premier designer items from Gucci, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and more, the items can be purchased for up to $3,500. Buchberg and Segal work with clients around the city who give their items to the duo to be sold

on consignment.

“Our clients range from college 20-somethings to grandmothers who are going through their closets for X amount of years,” Segal said. “We also pick up at people’s houses to make it super convenient for them, which means we’re running around every day on appointments.”

Columbia student Tori Hottinger, a sophomore fashion studies major interning with the business, said the experience has helped her better understand the commercial aspect of style. She said she’s learned a great deal about the details of running a business like Luxury Garage Sale.

As an intern, Hottinger is in charge of the company’s social media, learning the importance of such outlets today. And even though her internship was finished after three months, she decided to stay on longer because she recognized what a great experience it was.

In addition to employing Columbia students, Luxury Garage Sale also worked with students in the Columbia course “Senior Decision Making: Visual Strategies.” According to Segal, the students were split into separate groups to create innovative ideas for what the company could do to improve its blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presence. Buchberg said they often look to Columbia students for help in any area they need, whether it be for photography, video or the fashion aspect of the business.

“I feel like I’ve learned so much here, from being aware of smaller designers I didn’t know about to how to run a business … and the importance of social media,” Hottinger said. “It’s been a really great experience.”

For more information on Luxury Garage Sale, visit its website at LuxuryGarageSale.com.