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Officially Thrift

Peace and Plaid

What The Water Gave Me

We Are Family

El Final Feliz

Cuff Love

True Value

Respect the Guidelines

Lou Lou Louboutin

Accustomed to Customs

Little White Exaggeration

Role Models

Her Little Blackbook

Tara Muscarella New York

Judging a Book by Its Raincoat

The Green of Fashion

Laughing Stock

Twirl Tracker

Green Goddesses

Some Party

Closet Cases

Phone Home

Off the Rack

Something for Everyone

Art Appreciation

On the Road Again

Fun Fun Fun

Be Bold

It's a Sickness

Hamptons Style

Lauren Bagcall

The Price is Right

Feet First

Out of the Bag

Guilty As Charged

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Domo Arigato Mr. Mugatu

The Ex Factor

So Not Over It

Ex-Boyfriends Happen

Fakes and Leather

Officially Thrift

Ambria explains why taking damaged goods just isn't something Second Time Around can do.

People come in every single day and use their best selling stories so we can buy into the "fabulosity" of their items. It is their way of getting us to price high so they make as much money as possible -- no mystery there.

That being said, a huge part of our job is using our experience and backbone so that we aren’t easily swayed when it comes to pricing. You have to take what people say with a grain of salt, no matter how convincing they are. I love having Christian Louboutins in the store -- but I’m not willing to put my store’s reputation on the line by having them sit on the shelf for an exorbitant price because the client told a tall tale. Sure, some stories are true. But in this particular instance, with one pair of beat up flats and another pair of standard satin pumps I’m pretty sure I saw selling on sale on, it didn’t seem to me like these were "custom made."

Christian Louboutins go all the way up to $3,000 so there is a total science in pricing them. Basic pumps like that go for $895 retail. There were no gemstones, glitter, or crystals -- all things which drive Louboutin prices up to $2,500. Then it is appropriate to price them at either $500 or $800. I thought it was not only a joke that we would put those beat-up black flats on our sales floor, but that we would put them at $300. I don’t take ripped Gucci, stained Givenchy, or Balmain with holes in it. I don’t care what label it is. Once we have designer clothes with damage, we are officially “thrift.” Resale is a competitive market. Gucci dresses aren’t just one price because they are Gucci -- there’s a difference between a silk gown with gold studs on the shoulders and a cotton jersey shift dress. The same applies to Louboutins and that should be understood by anyone doing pricing at Second Time Around.

The Valentino mystery was a great example of the kinds of issues we deal with every day. The pictures can confuse us -- was it from a bolt of the designer’s fabric or is it an actual piece? Obviously, having no label is a good first indicator, but doesn’t necessarily mean it is not designer. Having Keni come in was a good reminder to us that the stitching really tells you everything. It was poorly sewn, which indicates that the Valentino seamstresses absolutely did not make it. However, the fabric was so lovely and unique that Tara was willing to raise the price higher than if it had not had the picture of the actual Valentino dress with the same material.

What The Water Gave Me

Ambria discusses the team's work with Generosity Water and how proud she is of Tara's progress.

I loved going to Kelly Killoren Bensimon's closet. Aside from Keni Valenti and Eva Lorenzotti's closets, Kelly's was my definite favorite. Handbags, shoes, dresses, suits, an entire Missoni shelf. . .seriously? I aspire to have that closet. On top of the clothing, the bags, the ridiculous apartment and Kelly's down-to-earth friendliness was her charitable demeanor. She knows she has been fortunate, and she makes it a point to give back in her life, which is such an admirable quality. Generosity Water is her pet charity, and I see why. You see the direct results of the funds you send, which is not always the case with charities.

I have always wanted to get involved with charities but I've never been in a position to do so. Working at Second Time Around gives me opportunities to be around clientele who have plenty of clothing and plenty of money. Linking Generosity Water with our clients to build a well in Haiti was finally my opportunity to be a hands-on part of something extremely beneficial. I knew being the one to auction everything would be a challenge -- I've never done that before in my life! I figured because I knew a lot of the women, and we had those amazing items from Peter Som, Kelly Bensimon, Rachel Roy, and Alexa Ray Joel it would be a walk in the park. I was secretly hoping to raise enough money for two or three wells. I was totally wrong. These women did not come ready to give their money away. . It was a real fight to even get a paddle raised. Luckily Wilson came to my rescue with that deep, masculine voice that commanded those women a bit more than mine. Wilson has such positive energy and he definitely added a richer dimension to the party.

Persistence pays off, though, and after a few glasses of champagne the women began bidding. It wasn't the triumphant, over-the-top success I had wanted, but that one well does give water to a thousand people. So I guess I'll just give us four a congratulations for getting that far. Water is something that we take for granted; I can't imagine taking a sip of water and worrying that it's contaminated. This was by far the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.

I was soooo hoping that Colin's bracelet actually belonged to Coco Chanel. Obviously Coco was one of the most influential women in fashion, so I got really excited. It was a let down to find out it wasn't. Visiting the Elle accessories closet was a nice little band-aid. You didn't even really get to see how much stuff was actually in there! I only wished Karina could have been there to fulfill her fantasy of accessories.

I am proud of Tara for sharing about her alcoholism. Everyone has different past experiences which leads them into certain circumstances they would rather not have to deal with it; I definitely have my own. It hasn't always been easy to watch her go through the motions at work. It's the type of situation that there is nothing you can do but be supportive. She has handled herself with dignity and grace, and I believe her sharing is quite inspirational for others who have similar demons.