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Women's Closet Exchange Gets Ready for Prime Time

Resale Goes Reality

In December, the cameras started rolling at Women’s Closet Exchange, the designer-resale staple in Sappington run by Sue McCarthy and her two daughters, Laura Maurice and Diana Ford. Tentatively titled Resale Royalty, the reality show is set to premiere on Style Network this spring, with celeb stylist (and store customer) Rachel Zoe serving as the show’s executive producer.

Photography courtesy of Chris Haston/Style Network

How did you decide to do a reality show?
LM: [NoCoast Originals] approached us and were very interested in the fact that we were a family-run business, women, and we hire a staff of 28.
DF: And the fact that people were flying in from New York and L.A. regularly to shop us.

Does the show take place at all of your shops—Purple Cow, Clique, and Women’s Closet Exchange—or focus on one?
SM: It takes place in all of our stores, but mainly at Women’s Closet Exchange, which we call the mother ship.
DF: But it’s not just confined to the store: They will be following us to New York for Fashion Week, and we do closet buyouts in New York, Chicago, Paris…

How would you describe the show?
LM: It’s a little bit like Pawn Stars meets American Pickers—but sexier. We look at more than a thousand items a day to buy. They’re watching us: how we buy items, what we pay…
DF: And events. We do a ton of events: a Spring Fling fashion show, private shopping parties…

How did Women’s Closet Exchange get its start?
SM: Many, many years ago, I shopped rummage sales. I happened on a consignment shop, and it was a step above what I was used to. I thought, “This is great. I think I can do this, but I know I can do it better.”

What has been most surprising about the filming?
LM: It’s kind of like the three of us have picked up an extra job, because we have really doubled our working hours with the camera time.

What are you most looking forward to about the show?
LM: It’s really going to show St. Louis and women business owners in a great light. We focus on a ton of other small businesses in St. Louis, which this show is going to highlight.

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May 7, 2013 09:05 pm
 Posted by  04131987

It's been a long time since I was last in the store. It was my first and only visit. I'm writing this now because I was watching style network when I heard that Women 's Closet Exchange was going to be featured and it amazed me! I was treated so bad! I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman the day I made a visit to their store.
I like to dress comfortable when I shop. There's lots of walking and lots of changing therefore I do not like to wear heals and layers. I think it makes perfect sense:) I can see why one might think I don't have a lot of money to spend but nonetheless I should be treated the same as anyone else that walks through their door.
I was not greeted. No one offered any help. Behind me, another customer walks in, a pretty lady and dressed well. She was greeted with excitement from every employee there! To top it off.....the only time anyone acknowledged me was when i was looking at an item in their glass desplay case. (The customer side was for viewing only, and the employee side had a sliding door in which had a lock.) The employee then paused her conversation with the "well dressed" customer that followed me in, to come and make sure the case was locked. That made me feel as if she thought I might reach behind the counter and steal with her only being 3 feet away! I wasn't even touching the case, my hands were at my side. She didn't offer to show me anything either. She then continued chatting w the other customer. They may have great items, and maybe great deals. I wouldn't know bc I didn't stay long enough to look. Unfortunately, their customer service is the worst I have ever experienced:( I couldn't give them another chance if u paid me. I don't think they deserve a feature on an incredible network if they don't improve their people skills

May 12, 2013 12:49 pm
 Posted by  Robbles

I, too, have shopped at The Women's Exchange. I have to agree with another poster...the employees do seem a bit arrogant. I was treated fine, but I was dressed fashionably and carried a brand name bag. I saw others come in after me that were dressed more casually that were ignored. For me to notice a difference in how customers were treated made me realize how obvious the snub was. For example, when I walked in, I was offered a beverage and the courtesy of having a dressing room started for me. I watched another woman get the same courtesy, yet I saw 2 other women come in and not be acknowledged at all. Aside from this, on TWO occasions when I have made purchases, I was overcharged and had to have my bill adjusted. That is inexcusable for a shop that holds themselves in such esteem. Lastly, the owners of this place pride themselves on being VERY selective on the garments they accept on they are too good for the average woman's castoffs. I have to put out there that I have seen PLENTY of garments in there that are not designer in name OR quality. My guess is that if you pull up in a fancy vehicle, have on some fancy jewelry and carry a designer bag, whatever you are trying to consign automatically becomes acceptable and much more likely to end up in the store. All I can say is that I hope the owners of this store can still fit their heads in the front door after the fame of this reality show is bestowed upon them!

May 29, 2013 10:23 am
 Posted by  Janice

I was in the store for the first time Saturday May 25 2013 and had a very good first experience, The owner Sue stopped me and said she loved my vintage rhinestone glasses I had on and another employee did the same
I was offered a bottle of water as I was checking out I will go back , I was hoping to find a Louis Vuitton bag and there was only 2 small bags in the case, I did purchase a LV travel suitcase, LOVE it

I will be going back since I only live 2 hours away

Jun 17, 2013 12:28 pm
 Posted by  SpearsJ

I think the show is enjoyable and entertaining. One thing that makes me cringe is when Sue says things like, "If $50 will make you happy..." If a seller asks you to go up a measly $50 for luxury items, then they are obviously feeling as if your offer is not high enough and they just want to feel as if you would work with them a little. To phrase meeting the seller's request with "if $50 will make you happy" sounds as if you, the buyer, is being defensive and really doesn't think the seller's personal items are worth an extra $50. If I were the seller I could see myself being very turned off by that statement.

I also have family and friends who have shopped the store and even attempted to take items to sell. Most of my family and friends are conservative in their dress. However, that does not mean they do not enjoy luxury items. During shopping trips the typical dress is slacks, dress jeans, dress shirts, a comfortable dress, and flats. They typically will not wear a lot of flashy jewelry or carry large bags while shopping. Every friend and family member that has been to the shop said they were treated as if they did not deserve if they were beneath other customers. One friend had several coulter items to sale but could not seem to get passed the lack of service to speak with someone about selling items. One family member said that they were in the middle of asking a question only to be pushed aside in the middle of the question by an employee so that another customer could be assisted.

Ladies don't you see that a person does not have to be dripping with luxury items in order to be able to afford or own luxury items. Also not everyone that walks around plastered in labels is wealthy and going to frequently purchase Sue's items. Many stores that cater to those that look a certain way and discriminate against others would not give Sue's employees quality service because their employees don't look as if they can afford the items they are buying and selling. How would they feel if they were treated that way?

Sep 4, 2013 07:17 pm
 Posted by  barbara r

My girls and i were going on a girl trip to dine at sweeties pies and then head over to Women's Closet Exchange to finds some great bargins, but after reading these remarks i'm sceptical about wasting the 4 hour drive.

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