Second Nature rides growing acceptance of used clothing

43 years on Mt. Pleasant, family business thrives under second, third generation

THIS TIME AROUND: Second Nature owner Kary Dick has been running the consignment shop for 18 years. It’s been in the family for 43.

With the changeover of businesses on the Mount Pleasant strip, it’s nice to have a familiar face to visit.

For 43 years, consignment shop Second Nature Boutique has been providing women mid to high-end brand names. They’ve also had the opportunity to divert millions of pounds of clothing from the landfill.

Owner Kary Dick sits on a cream coloured loveseat just in the back of her boutique near Millwood Road. Her mother Ruth Silverberg started the shop in 1974 while rearing four children by herself.

Eighteen years ago, Dick took over for her mother, who retired from the business. Now, her own daughters, Samantha, 26, and Jenna, 23, are helping with the store’s move into digital advertising. They manage the photography and social media with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

During her time, Dick says she has seen the acceptance of second-hand clothing become the status quo.

“Whereas, 30 years ago, because there weren’t many second-hand clothing places, people were a bit skeptical,” she says. “A majority of women shop this way and the media has made it acceptable now.”

The store is full of attire provided by second- and third-generation clients. Big ticket items include the classics (Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton) and fresher brands (Fendi, Stuart Weitzman and Rag and Bone).

“We feel that wearing a quality piece of clothing gives a woman confidence,” Dick says. “There is something to say about how clothing is made.

“Our mission statement was making fashion fun and affordable,” she adds. “When my mom started the store, she was on her own with four kids. She understands the importance of looking good and feeling good.”

Shoppers can come in with $500, purchase a high-end coat for $350 and then pick out eight pieces from a $25-and-under rack. Options range from casual to cocktail.

When asked if Dick’s daughters Samantha and Jenna will eventually take up the mantle of Second Nature, she’s coy, admitting she’s not quite ready to call it a career in retail.

“We love what we’re doing, still, which is nice to say that,” she says. “My daughters appreciate what the store is about.

“There’s another generation of women that appreciate what we’re doing.”

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