My experience with garage sales is mostly limited to my childhood, when I'd occasionally accompany my grandparents to canvas a neighborhood collectively ridding itself of items like old toys, lawn chairs, and possibly (probably) defective sports equipment on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My mom would groan when I inevitably came home with a ratty new stuffed animal, vaguely smelling of cigarettes and purchased from someone else's kid for a quarter or two.
That's a far cry from the garage sale currently operating in the River Oaks Shopping Center between Steinway Piano Gallery and Epicure Cafe, as evidenced by the word that precedes it: "luxury."
Luxury Garage Sale is a pop-up boutique selling designer consignment goods (and many brand new items, too) at up to 90 percent off retail prices through April 15. The upscale concept has a permanent store in Chicago, its flagship-turned-headquarters. There's also a permanent boutique in Dallas, which regularly sees customers visiting from Houston—and hankering for an LGS in Clutch City.
"We've received a lot of requests, like, 'when are you coming to Houston?' We believe so much in Texas in general, and especially in Houston," LGS Dallas store manager Stephanie Jensen told Houstonia. "Now we can really tailor the boutique experience and our pop-up to the Houston clientele."
That means considering the climate (hot as hell), season (weddings galore), and trends (captured through analyzing online LGS shoppers from Houston, plus Texas market research). Sandals, bright colors, lightweight textures, and ultra luxe designers all fare well here.
All the heavy hitters are represented in Houston's pop-up, from Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Hermes and Givenchy. The prices are decidedly more than your average garage sale, yes, but also far below retail—a leather Hermes saddle (hello, rodeo) normally worth around $7,500 is available for $1,355. Chanel blazers range from $500–$1,100; current Chanel ready-to-wear can max out well over $10,000. Gucci jeans, normally $980, are at LGS for $240; most dresses and skirts hover around $120.
"We really cater to a large target market," Jensen said. "Half our inventory is brand new with tags," which appeals to the "mature, established client;" conversely, "the aspirational shopper who's buying her first designer bag" can find more approachable entry points into couture at LGS.
Before she became an employee, Jensen was introduced to LGS as a consigner, which she deems a great way to clean our your closet and get "free money." The Houston pop-up is taking consignments; the shop offers free in-store quotes, home pick-up, and full-on closet sweeps. Most consigners receive 60 percent cash once their item sells or 70 percent store credit.
The store has virtually buzzed with activity since it opened March 15. On day two, Jensen barely had a moment to catch her breath–and she's hoping for more of that.
"I definitely had high hopes for Houston, but it's exceeding my expectations," she said. "Hearing [word of mouth] is continuing to grow us is really rewarding and phenomenal."
Ten percent of proceeds from the store's grand opening night will benefit Dress for Success Houston. LGS will also re-up its inventory throughout the month it's open here, and it's set to return for another Houston pop-up in the fall.