Archbald native Julie Kissell spent years growing her eBay business before bringing her California cool to a brick and mortar shop on Delaware Avenue in Olyphant. She scours shops in New York, Philly, Florida and California for one of a kind finds destined to become your new favorite piece of clothing. Here’s what she had to say about her new shop, TAGSON Resale.
Q: What made you decide to open a women’s clothing shop?
A: When I started on eBay, I had purchased a dress for a Christmas party I was going to attend. My plans changed, so I decided to try selling the dress on eBay. The auction went up to $750. I was thrilled and immediately hooked. I took that money and invested it in more merchandise and continued to do this for the first year. I built up my inventory, but also needed to go back to work at a 9-5 job. Listing got a little more demanding, working a full-time job and running my eBay store took up most of my time. At one point, I had 3,000 listings. My listing dwindled, but my inventory was strong. A physical store front became my best option to liquidate the merchandise while maintaining a store on eBay.
When I lived in California, I traveled to the garment district in Los Angeles and purchased clothes to sell at our swap meet/ flea market. I never did it full time, but I always knew I enjoyed it and received plenty of compliments on my merchandise choices. Fashion quickly became a hobby of mine. I have always loved learning about different styles and fashion history. I believe that your personal style says a lot about you. Current trends are always fun to try, but everyone has their own personal style. Selling a variety of styles gives everyone that comes in something to look at. I took a few classes at Marywood for a semester when I moved back to Archbald the first time, but then upon moving back to California I obtained my MBA. At this point my job ambition changed, but I never gave up the love of clothing and the importance of personal style.
Q: How did you find your store front?
A: When COVID was slowly getting better and the job market was not very strong, I decided that now was a good time as any to try opening a physical store. When I moved back from California this last time, I was looking for a store that I could sell some of my designer clothes. I found Design to Consign Boutique and always loved the vibe and the Olyphant location. Olyphant has a true downtown feel with shops, restaurants and businesses. It reminded me of the beach towns in California, minus the beach. My focus when I decided to open was Olyphant. The location I chose was the first place I called. It only took me a week to find the location. I opened the store about a month after finding it. The time was spent transforming the store/office space into a modern boutique with a new dressing room. When I was decorating the store, I started with some of my favorite items from home. I always had the idea of opening a store in the back of my mind and would buy cute decorations on my many shopping trips that would fit my vibe. In the window, I put my “Good Vibes Only” sign. I am big on treating others as they want to be treated and looking at the positive side. I am also a huge supporter of local businesses and women who empower other women.
Q: How do you find pieces you sell?
A: The pieces I find are things that I am drawn to while shopping. I like to look through all sizes and styles and don’t have one perfect place to shop. Living in California, I have learned how to get great quality and style on a budget. I enjoy purchasing brand names at great prices and sharing with others. A good friend of mine from California once told me that she didn’t understand how I do it. She told me she can go in the same store I do alone, on the same day and not find one thing. When I went with her, she always loved what I picked and she couldn’t believe the quality and the price of the items we would find.
Chain stores/ shops at the mall are great, but shopping at my store is a completely different shopping experience. Although I get some of the current trends in my shop, someone who just wants what they want can find it at my store too. I carry many sizes and styles that I think others will like. When you shop at chain stores, the locals can be wearing the same item as you. When you shop at my store, the styles are diverse, available in limited quantities, and reasonably priced. I have an eclectic style and find self-expression important. I also offer appointments to try on my online merchandise. If a customer sends me a Facebook message regarding an item, I will pull the item from my online inventory and set up a day and time for them to come in and try the item on. My online prices are slightly higher, but I also offer my store customers a discount on the online price.
Q: How would you describe your style, and how would you describe your perfect customer?
A: My style is eclectic. I dress for the occasion and my mood. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for a lot of trends that are popular and will also wear them. I love looking up the latest trends and fashions for the season just like any other women. I just like to collect these styles and wear them when I want. It may not be exactly what is considered “in,” but I like to wear outfits that fit my mood and occasion.
My perfect in store customer is someone who likes to get a great price on something they enjoy wearing. They have to enjoy looking through racks to find that special item that fits their personal style. A great example of a perfect customer just happened last week. One of my online customers couldn’t believe I had a dress she was dying to get, but couldn’t afford. She saved money shopping at my store, and everyone loved the dress she wore during her vacation.
Q: When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
A: When I am not working, I love to shop and travel, but I also love spending time with friends and family. One of the reasons I wanted to move back to the area was so my children would get to know my family. My mother and father got to meet my children before they passed away and I have two sisters and a brother who live locally. We enjoy the holidays and being close to family to share special occasions.