Thursday, April 28, 2011

Local Business Spotlight: Home Consignment Market, Manayunk

Welcome to another Philly Urban Living edition of “Local Business Spotlight.” For this spotlight, I tried to focus on a new and exciting local business that was related to my profession: Real Estate. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with Linda Westphal & Barbara Carocci, co-owners of Home Consignment Market; Manayunk’s newest, greenest, and most creative home store. HCM has been open since April 2011, and they want the world to know why their business rocks.

Timothy Garrity: “Are you both from the Manayunk/Roxborough area originally?”

Linda Westphal/Barbara Carocci: (Linda) “I am originally from Hollywood, FL, but I have lived in Manayunk for over 25 years and never looked back.” (Barbara) “I am from New York, and lived on Long Island. I then ventured down to Miami for a while, but I have been in Philadelphia for 44 years now. It’s a great place to be.”

TG: “Is this your first entrepreneurial stab at owning a retail establishment?”

LW/BC: (Linda) “I used to own Sports Works on Main St. The building is still an investment of mine, and I’m currently renting it out to Bryn Mawr Running Company. So to answer your question, I’ve done this before.” (Barbara) “I used to own Main Street Furniture Galleries here in Manayunk, and I’m still part owner of TransAmerican Office Furniture right down the street. You could say I know a thing or two about running a business.”

TG: “Why did you both decide that home consignment was the right business for you, and also for Manayunk?”

LW/BC: “We both have a huge passion for interior design, and professional experience to back it up. Consignment, in general, is a sign of the times. In this tough economy, everyone is looking to pay less for more. This is what we do! Who wouldn’t want a high quality household item, with better craftsmanship, for less? We consider our products to be ‘upscale consignment’; products that are ‘built to last.’ Our showroom is design oriented, so you can see how everything looks already set up. There is really nothing like it within 20 miles.”

TG: “What kinds of customers are you looking for? Who are you targeting?”

LW/BC: “Manayunk & Roxborough are very diverse, young neighborhoods. There are a few different types of clientele we are trying to target: 1) We are looking for that person/persons buying their first condo or house, 2) We are also looking for renters who want to furnish their homes with high quality products (they can then use those items to furnish their first home as well), and 3) Finally, we are looking for people who want to downsize and sell their quality furniture/household items; they are our customers as well.”

TG: “I would consider this a green/sustainable business. Would you both agree?”

LW/BC: “Absolutely! We are providing a product that’s built to last, we are getting it from those looking to keep it out of a landfill, and we are passing it on for another generation to enjoy. Who knows, it may get passed down again. All of our store bags are re-used. The wrap for delicate items is also re-used. We even used recycled material for our price tags.”

TG: “Since this blog focuses on real estate, I’m going to have to pose a relevant question. Have either of you seen the local real estate market improving?”

LW/BC: “Yes. From a Main Street perspective, things are picking up. Vacancies are filling up again and bringing new and exciting businesses to the shopping district. Engaged/married couples are staying in the neighborhood, and supporting it. We even get Center City newbies from time to time looking for interesting pieces for their homes. From a residential perspective, we are definitely seeing more sold signs in Philadelphia; that’s a good thing. Things are improving at a slow pace, but improving nonetheless.”

TG: “Okay. Give me an ‘on-the-spot’ advertisement for your business, so that the readers know why they should come and shop at Home Consignment Market.”

LW/BC: “You will know why you came the second you walk through the door. Home Consignment Market has home furnishings from varying generations (to suit all tastes), we have super-friendly customer service, and we also have an on-site designer to assist with all of your needs. We have added TLC to each and every item we have. Whether it’s refinishing existing wood, or cleaning up an item for a new owner to claim. Oh, and did I mention that our prices are incredible! You have to see it, to believe it. We’re also accepting new items for our store every day. Take a picture, email it to us; pick-up/delivery service is available to all customers, if needed. We look forward to seeing you soon.”

Please visit or contact Linda & Barbara at:
Home Consignment Market

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