We’re so excited to kickoff the new year with a new monthly series highlighting working women we adore here at Adored by Alex.
As a female-owned and operated business, this blog has many working women behind it that have helped to make it what it is today. We wanted to begin highlighting working women we adore, to share their stories, advice and work they’ve done as entrepreneurs who inspire and encourage other women around them.
Today we introduce you to Ashley Zarr, founder of local Houston business, Repeat Couture – a designer consignment boutique. Ashley’s business began from the ground up, initially selling on eBay to today an in-home boutique and Instagram consignment business. Whether you’re on the hunt for that classic & timeless designer piece, or looking to unload some of your designer goods, Repeat Couture is worth checking out. Read on to learn more about Repeat Couture and the working woman we adore, Ashley Zarr.
Tell us why you started Repeat Couture.
AZ: I needed to earn money, yet wanted to work from home to be with my kids . I realized a large number of people had extremely nice clothing, shoes and accessories simply sitting in their closets collecting dust. So I thought if I could sell them and make a commission it would be a win, win for both of us.
How has Repeat Couture evolved from what is began as, to where it is today?
AZ: Repeat Couture began on eBay, where I listed and sold a stained suit. Today, RC is a burgeoning business out of my home and on Instagram, it’s an online boutique for high-end consignment.
How do you source your pieces?
AZ: I’ve been blessed by the good old fashioned work of word of mouth. Many are repeat clients.
What’s the best ‘second-hand’ luxury find you’ve come across?
AZ: A Chanel Shopper tote.
Can you share tips on how you authenticate luxury goods and what you might suggest the everyday individual look for when they’re shopping luxury pieces, on the second-hand market?
AZ: Most designer items can be authenticated by tag or a code that is imprinted on the item or a specific tag. Also check out the stitching. I’m fortunate enough to know my consignors well, and they know I will only take authentic items. Make sure to really inspect the pieces you are purchasing. So many times I get consignors bring pieces in to sell and there is more wear and tear than they realize. When looking at items, hold pieces either up to the light or in the natural light to see the condition. If it’s a handbag, look at the corners and inside. If it’s shoes, look at the heels and toes for wear. For clothing I suggest looking at the armpits (for excessive staining), the neckline all the way to hemline for stains, snags or tears.
Tell us three designer pieces that are worth the investment, because they hold their value?
AZ: Almost anything Hermes and Chanel. Right now, Louis Vuitton is making a big comeback, especially vita Louis Vuitton – it’s especially in demand right now.
What is your favorite designer item that you own, and why?
I love my Chanel pieces. They’re classic and not too showy, yet timeless and feminine.
For the gal that is younger, or may not yet be able to afford a brand new designer item, why is shopping the second-hand market the way to go?
Just because one item may be ill-fitting or not work for one person, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t look fabulous on the other. Second hand is the way to go! No one should ever pay full price. And if you absolutely have to, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. The worst they can say is no.
What is your biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs?
You have to love what you do. I believe you always need to push yourself just one step further. There is nothing sexier than a women with power who is passionate about what they do, no matter what it is!