VSP Consignment celebrates a decade in the business this year, but owner Britt Rawlinson knew she had something special within a month of opening. She fondly recalls the moment when three generations of women walked into her shop on Dundas Street West in Toronto. “It was a grandmother, a mom and a granddaughter,” she says. “Each of them—with their own style and personality—walked out with an item. This was so satisfying to see.”
It was then that VSP’s ethos was established for the Calgary- born entrepreneur: No matter a customer’s age, budget or personal style, if they’re looking to invest in a luxury wardrobe, there will be something in the store for them. Customers can find iconic luxury brands like Chanel, Hermès and Valentino as well as newer, more niche labels like Smythe, Khaite and Nanushka. From a $30 Tory Burch tank to $200 Manolo Blahnik pumps (which would cost $900 brand new), everything is at a fraction of the retail price.
Unlike a standard vintage shop, which requires owners to source products, VSP is a reactive business that depends on its consignors and community to drive both stock and trends. The process, in brief, is that consignors bring in second-hand luxury items and in-house buyers appraise them based on factors like condition and market value; the store offers up to 70 percent of the final sale price.