Whether people are looking for an $8 coffeemaker or a set of furniture for that condo at the beach, Now and Then, located near Fenwick Island, might just be the place to find that special something.
Like many consignment-type stores, it’s not for the wishy-washy wallet or the faint of heart, as decisions have to be made quickly, because there is no guarantee it will be there tomorrow. A sign adorns the desk of owner Robin Lloyd, summing consignment shopping in eight words: “Should have bought it when I saw it.”
“You never know,” said Lloyd. “A lady came in here the other day and said she would be back, and by the time she got back, it was sold.”
Now and Then is situated next to the Samaritan Thrift Store in the Williamsville Industrial Park, and people find their way in — even in the torrential rains last Friday — to do some serious bargain-hunting.
Lloyd, a former administrator for a medical practice, is originally from Newark, Del., but has been to the beach area for about three years. She said she was always the type of person who was “going into thrift stores, looking for a bargain.” She said having her own store had been a goal of hers for a few years.
In addition to the 2,000-square-foot area Now and Then uses now, she plans to open about 1,000-square-feet of additional space behind the existing shop, to sell mostly furniture. She sells her own furniture and accessories, and also rents space to four vendors who sell jewelry, housewares and accessories, as well. Lloyd said she hopes to get more vendors so she can do more managing of the store and less consignment herself.
“I’m only taking consignments for furniture now,” said Lloyd, adding that she was going to “stick with just furniture. I like talking with the customers, so I think it will be better to just manage the store so I can have more time to talk with them.”
She said the store has been open since Sept. 1, 2012, but she really got started around Dec. 1 and still has to get a feel for what her customers want.
“Now and Then, the name, comes from the fact that we have some traditional things and antiques and some things of today,” said Lloyd. “And I need to get a feel for what people want. I haven’t really been in business long enough to know what people are looking for. A lot of people like the traditional pieces and don’t really want the ‘beachy’ stuff,” she noted.
Being in the Williamsville Industrial Park, just down from the thrift store, has only helped Lloyd. She said sometimes people will ask if the location doesn’t spark competition, but she said that, because they always carry different things, the proximity has only helped.
“It has only helped business. There have been a lot of consignment stores popping up within a short distance. People are realizing they can get some money for their things. I know I was always happy when I could sell things I don’t use. And people are really looking for secondhand and bargains in this economy.”
But don’t wait, or you’ll risk singing the familiar tune of “Should have bought it when I saw it.”