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Jolie Boutiqe Consignment: Quality Shopping in Tough Economy

Brittany Vaughan, of Simsbury, opened her store June 1 in Old Avon Village.

Jolie not only means beautiful in French, but it is also the name of Simsbury resident Brittany Vaughan's oldest daughter.

That is why she chose as a name for her new Old Avon Village store. It also shows two values she holds dear – family and making others feel beautiful.

"I want to have somewhere to work where I'm happy, my family's happy and be around other women and bring them joy," Vaughan, 38, said.

She co-owned a boutique in Simsbury before but this is her first solo venture owning a consignment store.

"I've always loved fashion and my daughters are really into fashion," said Vaughan, whose parents often brought her to New York even when she lived in Florida before attending Simsbury High School.

Vaughan, who has owned Jazzercise locations for about 10 years, including two-and-a-half at the Avon-Canton location, will relinquish her ownership there come July 1 to focus full time on Jolie Boutique. She will still teach at Jazzercise.

Her daughters, Jolie, 16, and Kalie, 14, both work at the boutique, which is giving them a business sense early on. Vaughan said that is important in a time where teenagers are having a difficult time finding jobs. Her fiancé's daughter, Kira Gentille makes jewelry sold in the store.

People can bring in clothing and accessories they no longer need and she assesses the quality and and the fit for her store. For instance, women who lost weight often bring in clothes they no longer wear or left the tags on. The store carries middle to high-end brands from Gap and Liz Claiborne to Burberry or Louis Vuitton. Consignors earn 40 percent of the profits from the items of theirs that sell.

Vaughan was also inspired to open a consignment store because of how tough the economy's been since the 2009 recession. The reduced prices typical at a consignment is a draw for thrift shoppers looking for high quality merchandise at a low cost.

Consignors, who can come in without calling ahead and hear back within a day whether Vaughan would like their items in the store, can also make money off of unwanted clothes and accessories that may be someone else's treasure. It also takes as little as a few days for Vaughan to price the merchandise and put it in the store.

"It's been so hard lately for a lot of people," she said. "Consignment has become pretty trendy.

Everything in the store starts at a third of retail price, going down by 25 percent after being in the store for 20 days and 50 percent after being there for 30.

The boutique is already filled with clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry consignors brought in starting in May.

"I was really lucky. I felt blessed that the community brought so much stuff in," Vaughan said.

Jolie Boutique Consignment is located at 15 East Main St. More information is available at www.jolieboutiqueconsignment.com or by calling the store at 860-678-0808.

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