Providence’s Hot Home Consignment Shop: House Resale
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Originally from Exeter, NH, Kate studied at Colorado State and then took off to explore the world, becoming a flight attendant with United Airlines. When the 9/11 attacks hit, her 16-year career ended in Boston, MA. Soon after, she relocated to the East Side of Providence with her family. She raised her two daughters, attended Interior Design classes at RISD Continuing Ed and did consignment work before opening House Resale Gallery in 2012.
What led you to open House Resale? Had you been involved in consignment before this?
I have always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt for truly unique and functional pieces. While there's a range of new/resale stores for consumers to frequent, within Providence proper there was not a showroom that featured a discerning variety of styles and supported by a website. I did consignment for professional and personal needs prior and I wanted to return to customer service and offer an affordable source for the home—so I opened House Resale Gallery. I love the concept so much: sell or buy what you need or don’t need.
Why your spot in Olneyville? What about the district drew you?
Olneyville offers the most value for start ups within the city. It's a convenient location for 10/6 connector from 95, plus a straight shot west from the East/West side neighborhoods. I enjoyed the industrial feel immediately, specifically 46 Dike St. Our building has been fully restored and the natural light is exceptional for photography. I share the factory mill building with a friendly and supportive landscape company, Birchwood Design Group. The model is a website supporting a showroom; HRG is truly a destination venue.
Who is your customer currently? Who do you wish shopped at House Resale who doesn't yet?
My patrons range from apartment dwellers to empty-nesters to tourists. They are a very diverse—in age and lifestyle. Some are freshening up their homes with new pieces and others are just starting to collect and find their signature look. Because of its location being more a thoughtful destination, I haven't attracted the walk-in consumer quite yet. Though we love for people to stop by! The gallery also offers a terrific value that I think those outside the state can really capitalize on and support.
What is the best thing you've ever discovered for your home from a previous source?
I’m in love with all things from my grandmother. She had a significant influence to discern between style, function and texture. By far my most treasured piece is her Japanese Kimono and trunks,that she acquired while stationed with my grandfather in Tokyo during the late 50s in the US Air Force.
What should a homeowner buy new instead of resold? Anything?
Mattresses, towels, and sheets. I feel the same about bathing suits and sleeping bags. It’s just a hygiene thing with me.
If you could discover one item from the world of reused home goods, what would it be?
It almost always comes down to the perfect mid century console. It’s the highest in demand. A clean lined piece for your living space with great storage.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Rhode Island? The most challenging thing?
Rhode Island has tremendous consumer versatility with its needs for the home. Mid Century aesthetic is attractive to the Providence residences but traditional and industrial show and sell well too. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a small, distinctive source for the home. I believe that people can shop a sampling of the HRG inventory through their phone/computers and then approach the showroom with an insight of the brand. This appeals to the Rhody—they don’t drive too far or waste their time. The challenge is to manage the “slow growth” model: appeal to the returning customer over the span of time that it takes to develop the larger spending clientele.
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Great Table Lamps
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Kitchen Upgrades On A Budget
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Things You Need To Know About Lighting Your Home
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Tips for Choosing Carpets and Rugs
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Ways To Freshen Up Your House On a Budget
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Ways To Upgrade Your Outdoor Space
- DESIGN LINE: 10 Ways to Modernize Traditional Decor