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Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

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Home · Articles · News · Features · Zany 3/28/11
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Zany 3/28/11

Erin Crowell - March 28th, 2011
Raiding the Closet at Zany Consignment Boutique
By Erin Crowell
From the sidewalk, Zany Consignment Boutique looks like any other home in Traverse City’s “Slabtown” – a yellow two-story house with green shutters. Dismiss the sign and hours posted as you walk through the door, and you pause in the covered porch, wondering if you had mistakenly entered a resident’s home.
Inside, it’s like raiding a girl friend’s closet—and a stylish one, at that—but this closet has trickled downstairs, lining entire walls and filling every room. Other friends are over, too – swapping a skirt for a blouse or a pair of heels for a vest.
“Consignment stores are good business regardless of the economy. Customers like to be able to make cash by selling their clothes or by exchanging it for something new. For some, it’s like a revolving door,” said Kate Kohler, owner of the downtown Traverse City boutique.
While there are other consignment stores in the area, Zany stands out as the most stylish in Grand Traverse County, as voted by Express readers in the 2011 Reader’s Choice Survey.

FUN AND FUNKY
Located just behind Sleder’s Family Tavern on the west end of town, also known as the “Slab town District,” Zany Consignment Boutique sells and exchanges ladies clothing, shoes and jewelry, along with home décor and specialty items.
“Just the layout of the store is fun and funky,” said Ramona Pleva, a regular at Zany. “It’s different every time you come in.”
Immediately customers will notice a difference in clothing selection at Zany. While many consignment stores will except just about anything wearable, Zany specializes in eclectic and designer clothes.
“We focus on the stuff that will make you feel good,” said Kohler. “We carry higher end brands that are casual and funky.”
Items include floral skirts and cocktail dresses, shoes from Nine West, Steve Madden and Anne Klein, Elizabeth Arden perfume, blouses from J. Crew and Banana Republic, along with designer denim and handmade jewelry.
What you’ll find at Zany depends mostly on the season.
“Fall and spring are busy times for us because people are shifting their wardrobe,” continued Kohler. “A lot of it depends on volume, style and what we have in season.”
While customers range from 60 year olds to mothers bringing in their teen daughters, most clientele are between the ages 30 and 40, said Kohler.

DRIVEN BY PASSION
Before she opened Zany seven years ago, Kohler had very little experience in retail. Originally from Stockbridge, Michigan, she moved to Traverse City to work as a massage therapist at the Grand Traverse Resort
“I’ve always loved fashion and knew I wanted to open my own store,” she said, “and I felt Traverse City was missing a niche in specialty consignment.”
Kohler rented a small space next to Tilley’s Party Store, running the business during the day and doing massage therapy at night, before moving to the current space three years ago.
“I’d say passion has really helped it succeed,” she said.
With a staff of up to five people, Zany remains a steady business in an otherwise shaky economy; and while Kohler said she has no plans to expand anytime soon, the continuous stream of customers through her front door makes it a possibility.
“There’s something special about being in one place,” she said.

Zany Consignment Boutique is located at 318 Vine St. in Traverse City. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Call 933-4199 or visit them online at zanyconsignment.com.

 
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