The Exchange and Little Loft offer high-end clothes bargains
What to wear? That’s the back-to-school question annually vexing the fashion-forward and the fashion-non-existent alike. Threadbare patches of carpet in front of last year’s wardrobe testify to the all-too-familiar declaration, “I’ve got nothing to wear!”
But three local fashionistas beg to differ. Angie McMahan and Carly Donnell, co-owners of The Exchange Consignment Boutique along with Amanda Hanes, owner of Little Loft, offer affordable alternatives to cookie-cutter duds. Their businesses have the bonus of being under one roof.
“Mom and kids come into one shop instead of driving to ten different stores,” says Carly.
Stepping into The Exchange, shoppers are greeted with a sense of colorful, airy space. Carousel racks of designer clothing take their places on muted hardwood floors as brand names like Chico’s, Ann Taylor, and Coldwater Creek mingle in this fashion-diverse setting. Angie and Carly carefully screen each piece of gently-used clothing or accessories brought in for consignment. They choose only high-end brands in excellent condition. Their assorted collection of clothing encompasses sizes zero to twenty-six.
“Our goal is to be able to have everybody find something,” Angie explains. “We try to encourage and inspire the women that come into [the store] to show them that they are beautiful.”
Clothes for an older teenage daughter? Check. Trendy looks for college classes? Check. Throw in a pair of jeans and a top for Mom? Double check. Next on the list are the younger kids, but it’s not necessary to leave the store—just head upstairs.
Soft white lights spiral up the banister to Little Loft. Nestled in the corner of the high-end resale boutique stands a colorful wooden train table—perfect for little kids who need a shopping break. While they play, moms can leisurely shop for boys’ and girls’ clothing from newborn to size sixteen as well as juniors’ sizes zero to thirteen and maternity. Little Loft carries a range of brands from Justice, Miss Me, and Gymboree to Nike, Adidas, and Ralph Lauren.
But what about cost? Designer names come with designer prices—but not here. The Exchange and Little Loft typically sell their wares at fifteen to thirty percent off retail price. And, to make back-to-school shopping even sweeter, both stores participate in the tax-free weekend.
Whether downstairs or upstairs, the owners and their employees help take the stress and hassle out of back-to-school shopping by offering their advice and fashion expertise. “You could have a personal shopper with you the whole time because if you need help finding things—that’s what we do,” says Amanda. It’s that personalized touch—along with the variety and prices—that turns the chore of back-to-school shopping into a treasure hunt of bargain discoveries.
The Exchange and Little Loft
109 West 7th Street, Suite 115 on the Square