Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

The Red Chair Consignment Shop Stands Out Story


THE RED CHAIR CONSIGNMENT SHOP STANDS OUT

Karen Marable offers Top-of-line furniture and accessories

by Jean Loxley-Barnard


Karen Marable, owner of The Red Chair Consignment Shop in Chesapeake

Karen Marable, owner of The Red Chair Consignment Shop in Chesapeake

Karen Marable enjoyed a 31-year career with a bank before indulging in a long-contemplated passion - having her own store. Not just a store, but a well-planned out, attractive consignment store offering high end, and often unique, furniture and accessories, wonderfully displayed.

The furniture that had obviously enjoyed a hefty price tag when new, became affordable because it was ‘previously loved’ and maintained its original appeal. Karen’s commitment to quality and ability to display creatively made success almost instant.

In the intimate, popular shopping center just off the intersection of Kempsville Road and Greenbrier Parkway, The Red Chair was, “A hit right away,” Karen exudes. The entrepreneur–and her store–stand out because of her unique talents. Having thrived in banking, she brought financial wisdom and honed organizational skills to her dream business. Customers enter expecting something different. It’s there. And more.


Customers enter
expecting something different.
It’s there. And more.



When opening in 2011, The Red Chair occupied a space at the back and was so well received that, when a neighboring 3,000-square-foot space became available a few years later, she did not hesitate to move over.

The Red Chair offers beautiful, upholstered pieces that have been sanitized, as required by law. It is a process Karen would not do without.

Also indispensable is long-time friend, Debbie Olson. She and Karen have been friends since they worked together at the First  & Merchants Bank! In the last two years, Debbie has run The Red Chair for Karen, along with help from Linda Schocklin, Jo Wyrick and Karen’s husband, Russell Marable.


Patrons of The Red Chair are browse through a vast collection <BR>of furniture, lamps, decorative items and art pieces.

Patrons of The Red Chair are browse through a vast collection
of furniture, lamps, decorative items and art pieces.


One of the most pleasing aspects of the store for Karen is compliments from customers. “They say, ‘I can tell you are picky about the things you take.” It is so encouraging to receive acknowledgment like that. And Karen lights up when she recounts that a customer told her that she “heard about The Red Chair when she was shopping in a consignment shop in Williamsburg.” She smiles saying, “That felt good.”

Shoppers also compliment Karen by telling her she has a good eye and, “Everything is displayed so nicely, it is as if we were going into someone’s home.” It’s just what Karen hoped to achieve!

There is the element of deciding what to accept to offer for sale and Karen is very meticulous. She encourages people to send her pictures by email, that way saving time and travel. Her main underlying requirement is quality. And she accepts “smalls,” which are so popular. Items like art glass, and accessories that fill the home with character and accentuate the large furniture pieces.

“People come in for so many different things, it is all over the board. That’s why I take so many different things!” Karen explains. “The furniture is gently used and customers can save so much they are thrilled,” she emphasizes, adding, “I am particularly pleased when someone shares that they could never have afforded a particular treasure before finding it in our shop.

The most gratifying happening at The Red Chair for its owner was finding a way to help Pat, who is blind, be able to shop at her store. Pat comes in with her seeing eye dog, Iris Joy, and usually, her friend Becky comes with her, bringing along her own dog, Vesta.

The first time they came in, I asked simply, ‘What do you like?’ Pat replied, “I love glassware, crystal, and fine glass.”


A world of fascinating items can be found at The Red Chair Consignment Shop

A world of fascinating items can be found at The Red Chair Consignment Shop

Karen recalls it as if it was yesterday. She selected glassware and put a piece in Pats’ hands, one item at a time item and described the color, look, etc. Karen recounts, with emotion, “She felt, and then held it in her hands, as I described its color and beauty. When she said, “You are able to describe things so I can see them,” I could have cried, it was so rewarding, almost spiritual.”

She went on to describe the two beautiful labs. “I love dogs,” Karen pointed out, “but didn’t mess with them because I knew they were ‘working.’ Then, before leaving, this gracious lady asked me if I’d like to pet the animals since they were done. I replied I’d love to and she undid their harnesses, their signal they could play. I sat down with them on the floor and had a tongue bath. They come in periodically now and I look forward to seeing all of them.”


The most gratifying happening
at The Red Chair
was finding a way
to help Pat, who is blind,
be able to shop at her store



Karen’s other vivid memory is of a lady bringing in items once a week and crying because she was ‘selling her memories’ in her mind. I told her, “We will take your things to consign, but you will keep your memories.” When her customer came back after moving into an assisted living home, Karen was happy to hear her say, “Thank you for helping me let go of my stuff, but keep my memories.”

“We have over 1,000 eclectic consignors, so they represent a lot of different tastes and styles, as well as a wide range of price points. Something for everyone,” Karen, celebrates.

“I just love my business,” Karen says—and it shows!




The Red Chair Consignment Shop

501 Kempsville Road
Chesapeake, VA 23320

757-410-8420

 



http://www.redchairconsignment.com/