SEATTLE — When The Refind Closet opened its doors in 2019, the owners soon began looking for ways to turn customers into more of a community.
The cozy shop is located in Seattle's Madison Park, but their reach is much broader thanks to their big idea.
"We started looking at the model of the live show and thinking about how can we reach people, not just through a stagnant website," explained Jeanine Christofilis, co-owner of The Refind Closet. "To be honest, the first couple of shows like five people or 10 people would join. Then we thought, let's just stay consistent and keep doing it. And it was response that encouraged us to keep going."
Refind's live shows are like watching a true runway modeling experience, except with the occasional fun commentary from the hosts — Jeanine and co-owner Susie Cohen.
"The energy is buzzing! The models come and the store is buzzing because the store is still open before we have our live," Cohen shared. "It's very fun, frenetic, and crazy!"
Now, hundreds of people tune in to their Instagram Live shows and thousands watch later. Many of the clothes and accessories featured sell and are immediately shipped if the buyers live far away.
The live element allows them to be responsive.
"We might have a bunch of dresses ready to go and we're like, 'People aren't responding to dresses, people are cold right now, they're responding to sweaters,'" Christofilis shared. "So, we'll run around the store and throw more sweaters on the rack. Everything here is one of a kind; and so our only opportunity to show the world these one of a kind pieces is through social media."
While the clothing and accessories here are luxury, The Refind Closet still functions like a typical consignment store, except for the models you might see strolling through the store even if they aren't live at the moment.
"People like to see it on. They like to envision themselves," Cohen shared. "'Oh I see that dress. I could see myself wearing that!' So, seeing it on versus seeing it on the rack, really big difference."
"Having the best jackets, dresses, and handbags is so much fun!" exclaimed model Aniyah Yattassaye. "It's like playing dress up like a Barbie Doll all day."
For Susie and Jeanine this resale shop is a second act. Susie worked as a buyer and stylist and Jeanine worked in sales and marketing for the tech industry.
They both hope this venture is an inspiration to others.
"You know we are not spring chickens. We started this a bit later in life. We're going after this at 50," Christofilis shared. "So never have this whole thing in your head about expirations."
"I could cry," Cohen said. "Like everything has led me to this, because this takes every single thing I love and like my crazy ADHD brain and I could be creative and passionate and everything I love, all in one little place."
Just like the the consigned items they sell, age really isn't the point. It's more about the beauty of moving on and finding the right fit in the process.