Melanie Harrison had been shopping at Renaissance Consignment in Greystone for almost a decade when she heard they were closing. Just a few months later, she is taking over their customer base with a similar high-end consignment shop on Cahaba River Road, set to open Oct 2. Melanie’s Upscale Consignment’s 2,800 square feet will even feature some of the light fixtures from Renaissance.

How did you first get interested in the consignment business?

Everyone used to call my mother the Yard Sale Queen. She believed in cleaning out and refreshing. I always went yard sale-ing and thrift store and consignment shopping with her. I am a thrifty shopper, so I like to get a great deal for a great dollar. I wanted to have quality items that women otherwise couldn’t afford but that they deserve.

What’s unique about what Melanie’s Upscale Consignment will offer?

We are going to be very picky about what we take: quality, brands, conditions. We want it to have a very upscale feel. We will have space to have a cup of coffee and shop with ease.

The thing that sets us apart from other consignment stores is our formal, pageant and bridal offerings. I have a vendor that gets a lot of gowns from Barcelona, Spain—very nice quality gowns at a quarter of the cost. We have a local bridal shop that will consign with us also.

We had a lot of requests for maternity and for men’s, and so we will have a small section for each. We will be choosy about the men’s clothing and shoes we are taking in.  I think there will be a market for it.

What will your selection be like?

We have long list of brands we will not take and brands we take. We look for brand and quality; it can have no stains, tears, snags, nothing. It’s in perfect condition when we take it in. We take a lot of Couture and Chico’s. We are taking Badgley Mischka and Louis Vuitton bags, as well as high-end shoes. I’ll be letting local boutiques know they can consign their items too.

How does your interest in fashion play out in your work?

I like to look nice. When I look nice, I feel better, and I love making other people feel good when they try on things. I used to model, so I am very in tune to people’s bodies and how they feel. If they are hesitant about something, I’m quick to suggest something else. I really get to know who they are and what they are looking for.

Why did you choose your store’s location?

We’re at 4851 Cahaba River Road, right across from the fire department in the same shopping center Uptown Nails and Muse Salon. We chose the spot because it’s so up and coming there. Probably 80 percent of people we told about at Renaissance said that location was more convenient for them anyway.

Melanie’s is taking consignments by appointment before its opening date. For more information, call 205-572-0336 or email