Three siblings’ lucrative consignment business expands into California
From the moment you meet these three entrepreneurs, it’s obvious they’re sisters.
Articulate, well-dressed and blonde, they are undeniably of the same distinctive breed.
Ann Siner, Jennifer Siner and Tess Loo are the siblings behind Eco-Chic Consignments, Inc., better known to Valley shoppers as My Sister’s Closet, My Sister’s Attic and Well Suited. The sisters’ venture into consignment retailing has proven to be wildly successful, growing into a resale empire with revenue totaling more that $16 million in 2010, employing about 200 fashion-forward thinkers, catapulting the sisters into the forefront of Phoenix fashion, and changing the way Valley consumers shop.
“We shaped the face of retail in Phoenix,” says CEO, founder and oldest sister Ann Siner. “We have made it more acceptable to buy recycled.”
In 1991, the sisters — stocked with clothes they literally pulled out of their friends’ and siblings’ closets — opened My Sister’s Closet, an upscale consignment store with designer labels and strikingly low price tags, at Towne & Shopping Center in Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor. They soon expanded into Scottsdale and now have 10 locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler. In 2011, the sisters opened two new stores in San Diego.
“What helped us succeed was changing the image of the resale store from the three Ds — dark, dirty, and dingy,” Ann Siner says, “to the three Cs — cute, clean and current.”
After finding success with their women’s resale clothing store, the sisters listened to the copious requests from customers for vintage furniture and opened My Sister’s Attic in 1999. Next came their men’s apparel store in 2001, which the women dubbed Well Suited.
“If I can just get you in the door, you will see that we are not your typical resale store,” Ann Siner says. “We will convert you into a resale shopper.”
The sisters have helped turned a lot of consumers into converts since the financial crisis hit in 2007. Diminishing disposable incomes, the appeal of stylish vintage pieces, and trends that favored sustainability fueled the sisters’ businesses.
“Our sales went through the roof,” says Jennifer Siner, co-founder and youngest sister.
Whereas five years ago designer bag-toting fashionistas would have scoffed at consignment shops and fled to Barney’s, today they shop resale. And they come in droves.
In a down economy, Eco-Chic Consignments has increased revenue by an average of 20 percent annually over the past four years. For the sisters, it’s a sign.
“Now is not the time to sit back and say we’ve done it all,” says Ann Siner. “We’ve got to keep looking forward, look at what’s new, listen to people, their feedback, and always look for what we can do to make it better.”
The sisters’ goal is to keep expanding in San Diego and duplicate the success and expansion they have accomplished in Phoenix.
“It’s been well received and people love shopping (at My Sister’s Closet),” Ann Siner says, “so we want to open more stores in San Diego and then hopefully just keep working up the coast.”
My Sister’s Closet
2033 E Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016