Kellie Scott, the owner of the unique furniture consignment shop, (1800 South Harlem Avenue in Riverside, Illinois), and a thriving online business, know that difficult times prompt creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed her doors for several months, she quickly built up her online business – in which she can ship one item or an entire truckload anywhere in the U.S. — and has many satisfied return customers around the country.
Tell us about Divine Consign.
Divine Consign is an Industry Leader. There are few, if any, stores like Divine Consign. We offer a complete experience. From the moment you walk through the door or log onto our website, we are here for you. We strive to offer our customers and consignors excellence in service and relatability. We want our customers and consignors to work with us for years and years, so our focus is always on you and what we can do to make your experience better. Whether it is one piece to finish an already beautiful room to a blank slate that needs our design expertise, we are there for you. We are pioneers on a national scale introducing online furniture sales for upscale but affordable extraordinary pieces.
In 2019, you were named a Chicago Power Player by Modern Luxury CS Magazine. Please tell us about your background and what led you to launch your successful boutique, Divine Consign.
I have always been a people person. I started my career as an attorney. I was a litigator and tried cases in the Illinois State and Federal Court systems. I practiced law for 16 years and became a partner in my law firm (making a six-figure salary). But I wasn’t happy. The nature of litigation is conflict and I was tired of the argumentative nature of the business. I did some deep soul searching and focused on the things I love: design and furniture.
After buying and flipping several houses, I began to realize that there was a real dearth of avenues for people to sell and acquire high-end furniture at less than exorbitant prices. I combined my love of design, furniture, and people, and – BOOM – Divine Consign was born. Within three weeks of opening our first store, we opened a second store. We have now consolidated into a 20,000 square-foot exquisite furniture showroom with an extremely vibrant online presence servicing customers and consignors all over the country.
How do your resale store and online store reflect your values?
The beauty of Divine Consign for me is that it is a direct reflection of my values and all that I love. We are a unique store and pride ourselves on positioning ourselves as such. I value honesty and integrity. I value relationships. I like to have fun. I like people. I incorporate all of those loves into the everyday store culture of Divine Consign. And my team works hard to perpetuate those core values. Obviously, and most importantly, positioning ourselves as a green business and giving back to the community is at the very core of our collective values and experience.
Are there one or more items you took home for your own decor and what do they mean to you?
Oh. my gosh, my entire home is furnished only with items from Divine Consign and each item has special meaning for me. I take items home all of the time. I can think of one, in particular, that has a special meaning, a curator of fine objects was retiring and consigned his inventory with us. Among that inventory was an antique Buddhist Prayer Cabinet. It is hand-carved and stunningly beautiful. It sits in my office and whenever I am at a loss, I look at the beautiful cabinet and it gives me inspiration.
What keeps people coming back.
We do! My team keeps people coming back. Our culture. The experience. The service. The hunt. People love the fun and freedom of the hunt for new and unique pieces that represent their character and style. We are a new store every day so people drop by often so they don’t miss anything.
What do people really want?
I see a cosmic shift. People want value, quality, and reasonable prices. They want their furniture now and they want to know that it was sourced in a responsible manner. The movement toward less waste and green living (spearheaded by our younger generations) are strict demands of the public. And we check off all of the boxes. People have money and they are willing to spend money, but not in an irresponsible manner. They want their purchases to be unique and meaningful. We provide this AND style and value. We provide upcycled new and nearly new furniture to an entirely new customer base.
What are your most popular items?
That is an extremely difficult question because we get new and unique pieces in our store every day. The more unique, the more popular. Having said that, people are looking for comfort and style. Divine Consign offers styles for every esthetic and price range. There is always something for everyone at Divine Consign. Every day we have customers who come in looking for one thing and leave with something they never thought of or didn’t know they needed. Our fastest selling items are the most unique – and no, they don’t all go to my house.)
Please tell me about the more than $250,000 you have contributed to local charities. What kinds of charities and why?
By its very nature, Divine Consign is a community-oriented business. Our relationship with the community is symbiotic. We wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the community and our values reflect the importance of giving back. We involve our whole team in our philanthropic endeavors.
Our team comes up with charities they love and we find ways to support them. Some of the charities we have supported, and this is not even close to an exhaustive list, include domestic violence shelters, homeless-to-home programs, new moms, disaster relief aid, Dress for Success, rehabilitation of the formerly incarcerated, and animal shelters. Throughout our 12 years, we have offered assistance to refugee families escaping persecution. We make an effort to include our team in deciding on who we will support and the best ways to support them. I find that involving the team helps to create a cohesive and positive store culture.
Please tell me about your Pet of the Month Club? Why is it so important to you?
I love animals! I have always loved animals. Since I was a small child, I have worked to support animal charities, and that love translated into my business life. I am very proud to support Animal Charities. One way we are doing that is by our Pet of the Month Club. Puppies are easier to adopt. Older animals or animals with special needs are more difficult to adopt. So, we sponsor, support, and promote the more difficult to adopt animals hoping to find them loving families. So far, we have been very lucky. I am proud to say that every animal that we have featured has been adopted into a loving home. I feel that all animals need loving homes and this is one way we can contribute to the solution.
What are your business and life philosophies?
I have two personal life philosophies. Happiness will never come to those who don’t appreciate what they have — and — happiness never decreases by being shared. My business philosophies have changed over time, but the one that always sticks with me is this: Don’t wait for the right moment to start. Start and make the moment right.
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