A Cazenovia-based consignment and donation shop has made plenty of changes in the past year partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the charitable store known as “The Key” also has a new look thanks to a new executive director who wanted to give the store a facelift.
Fairlie Firari took over as executive director of the Key Consignment Shop in March 2020. Two weeks later, pretty much everything, including the store, shut down because of the pandemic.
“People weren’t going anywhere. People were quarantined, and we just cleaned everything,” Firari said.
What You Need To Know
- A Cazenovia-based consignment and donation shop has made plenty of changes in the past year, partly because of the pandemic
- The volunteer-run store has a new computer system and works with consignors to take in a limited amount of good quality clothing and home goods
- The store also works with Cazenovia College's fashion design program which allows students to repurpose clothing and sell it in the store
After some heavy-duty work and safety upgrades, the store re-opened last June with a new approach. The store, which is owned by Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, opened in 1960 as a donation shop and was recently in need of some upgrades.
“In moving from thrift shop to consignment store, we’re much pickier about the merchandise we take,” said Firari.
The volunteer-run store has a new computer system and works with consignors to take in a limited amount of good quality clothing and home goods.
“When it sells, the software automatically updates the consignor’s account to say ‘OK, you just sold a $15 shirt; $7.50 goes to the Key and $7.50 goes to the consignor,’ ” Firari said.
The store uses its assets to help local non-profits. Staff members also work with students in Cazenovia College’s Fashion Design program.
Students like Jalea Hayward repurpose items that may not sell in the store initially.
“It’s just great to add to our portfolios and our resumes that we get to work in another store and do a collaboration,” Hayward said.
Firari’s ideas to modernize the store have brought it a long way. At the same time, longtime volunteers like Meredith Limmer continue to help keep the store fresh.
“I love to see it clean, and organized, and I love to change the displays,” Limmer said. “And also, I have a fair knowledge of antiques versus vintage.”
It’s a knowledge and effort that certainly has helped make the store more attractive in the last year in a community that supports it.
“This is a community store, but without our consignors and volunteers, we wouldn’t be here,” said Firari.
The store is located at 66 Albany Street in Cazenovia. Find more information on its website.