Make us your home page

For six busy years, Designer Consignments has kept customers coming back

Owner Ann Davidson points out a matching wallet with a Coach handbag at her store, Designer Consignments, in Spring Hill.

BETH N. GRAY | Special to the Times

Owner Ann Davidson points out a matching wallet with a Coach handbag at her store, Designer Consignments, in Spring Hill.

SPRING HILL — Consignment shops come and go. But Designer Consignments, with its focus on top-drawer couture and home decor, has kept its doors open and customers flowing through them for six busy years.

Starting with a business plan is critical, owner Ann Davidson said. She is nonplussed that some independent entrepreneurs would launch an endeavor without a plan, essentially a detailed outline of steps to be taken to acquire product, attract customers, manage resources and market inventory.

"The plan helps me stay organized, stay focused," Davidson explained. She credited her tenacity as well for the shop's longevity.

For her particular business niche, the 68-year-old Davidson brings much-valued experience as a former wardrobe costumer in the film industry; she also has been an interior decorator and an antique shop owner. Dressing classically and decorating tastefully are what she knows best.

Davidson also knows her customer base.

"My demographic is the mature, well-traveled woman," she said. "That's who I am and who I enjoy talking with."

She accepts consignments with her customers in mind.

"I only take things that have a market for my demographic. I critique things with a very critical eye," Davidson said, adding, "If I don't want them in my closet, I don't want them in my store."

She reads labels. The shop's wearables, her biggest seller, include Liz Claiborne, Sharif, Chico's, Coach, Steve Madden, Brighton and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.

"I even have a pair of Bally's," Davidson pointed out, explaining that Bally is a coveted, handmade Italian brand of shoes.

These loafers' soles were barely soiled. Original price, $500; now, $100.

Labels also figure in Davidson's pricing formula.

"First of all, the brand gives me an idea of price and the quality that comes with it. I try to price within a range that the customer thinks is a bargain," she said.

Separates, including tops, shorts, tennis skorts and slacks, are available from $10 to $20. Elegant cocktail and evening dresses are priced around $50. Smart handbags start at about $20. A top-designer collection of handbags, given their own display space, start at $50.

A customer can fully accessorize an outfit from the shop's selection of tony belts, stylish hats and high-end costume jewelry.

Last year, Davidson added home decor and art to the shop's offering. Included are decorator pillows, elegant window treatments and home textiles, pottery and fine china pieces, and gallery-framed wall art. She keeps table-top decor to a minimum, noting, "My clientele is mostly into getting rid of that."

Davidson knows many among her clientele individually. On a recent morning, she greeted by name three succeeding customers.

When one chose a blue top, Davidson's sales savvy led her to suggest, "Well, let's get you something else blue to go with it."

Another customer was accompanied by her husband. Shrewdly, Davidson mentioned he could hang out at the fishing tackle shop next door while his wife perused the store.

People-pleasing has long been in Davidson's repertoire. She has owned and operated retail businesses in Hernando County since 1996.

Although many her age have retired, the plucky, extroverted Davidson said, "I just couldn't stop working."

Contact Beth Gray at

>>if you go

Designer Consignments

What: High-end secondhand women's clothing, home decor

Where: 3282 Commercial Way, Spring Hill

When: Summer hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Phone: (352) 799-9988

Website: designerconsign

For six busy years, Designer Consignments has kept customers coming back 07/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.