Ms. Cheap: Carolyn’s Consignment still going strong in Murfreesboro
When Carolyn Jernigan first opened her Murfreesboro consignment clothing store, some of the more coveted items for women shoppers were brands like Aigner, Jordache, and Bonjour (jeans.)
Now 37 years later, Carolyn’s Clothing consignment shop is still going strong, with hundreds of consignors on the hunt for popular brands like Lululemon, Talbot’s, Chico’s, J. Jill, Eileen Fisher White House/Black Market, Tori Burch Michael Kors, Lands’ End and Louis Vuitton.
Carolyn’s is one of the longest run consignment shops in Middle Tennessee, and one of the only ones to feature men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in all sizes. Jernigan also carries shoes, handbags, and scarves, jewelry and other accessories.
“We have so many new people in Murfreesboro,” said Jernigan, who started her business in 1985 with a selection of clothes and accessories that 15-20 of her friends brought to her house. Since then, she has served more than 6,000 consignors and no telling how many shoppers.
Nowadays, with about 3,000 active consignors, she is adding 300 or more items to the sales floor every week. Some eager customers, like Kellee Fite, stop in regularly to see what’s new.
“You have to watch for things,” Fite said, noting that her “picky teenagers” want Lululemon athletic wear and other brands that don’t stay on the racks for very long because of their popularity.
“The inventory changes daily so new treasures can be found at every visit,” said Jernigan, adding, “we pride ourselves in offering affordable clothing to our community. My customers are like family.”
“We are a one-stop shop,” says Jernigan’s daughter-in-law Lara Jernigan, who helps with the merchandising, marketing and social media.
Jernigan keeps a “wish list” so that customers can let her know what they are looking for and she can contact them if such items are consigned.
A few things to know about Carolyn’s:
• Although the store carries men’s and children’s clothes, about 75 percent of the inventory is women’s clothing and accessories.
• The size range for women is 0-3X; for men, small to size 42 in pants and 3X shirts; and children’s sizes infant through teens.
• The shop has separate rounds dedicated to sought-after brands including Talbot’s, Chicos and White House/Black Market.
• There is also a special well-stocked display of “new-with-tags” merchandise.
• Jernigan has a lot of consigned jewelry, with most of it priced between $3.99 to $14.99
• Designer handbag, which are a big seller, have been authenticated.
• The shop has daily sales, so be sure to check to see which color tags are discounted.
• Don’t miss the four Dollar Racks, which contain all sorts of apparel and shoes for $1 each. (There is a surprisingly good selection of good merchandise, including Limited, Coldwater Creek, Banana Republic, Gap, Oshkosh, Steve Madden and even Versace.)
• All sales are split 50/50 between the consignor and the store.
• If you want to consign, the shop requires an appointment and items need to come in “cleaned, pressed and on hangers.”
About Carolyn’s Consignment Shop
• 2041 Lascassas Pike, Murfreesboro (in the old Food Lion shopping center)
• Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
• Details: See carolyns consignment on Facebook or call 615-896-0076
Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on Talk of the Town on NewsChannel5. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Facebook as Facebook.com/mscheap