Respect the Guidelines

Tara calls for consistency.

This was quite the action-packed episode! Intense looks, strong words, and designer shoes were all tossed out around. So I am going to keep it simple and direct. Negotiating the pricing is an art. It’s a natural "people skills" trait.

It’s not that I don’t trust in the others -- I just like to run a tight ship to make sure things are done well. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect, far from it. I’m just sharp and have great organizational skills. I like to manage, alongside good, hard working and honest people.

Ambria and I don't know it all when it comes to pricing. That would be silly. We can all learn from each other. It just so happens that she and I have worked together for a bit longer therefore we have our flow and system down. Typically, she aims for the stars when pricing, and I keep it together making sure that we are performing well with the numbers and stay within the guidelines and following procedure. When pricing, understand the rule. The cost is typically a 1/3 to a 1/4 of retail based on style and condition, but with anything, that is subject to small changes depending on the circumstance. Talk it out with the client, and respect the guidelines.If I were that much of a micro manager, hovering about, then they wouldn’t be pricing, or processing consignment appointments in the first place. That's a privilege. Let’s remember: Wilson just joined the team. I had him jump right in. Go ahead, go to the client's house, set prices. If it’s not looking right, I’ll let you know.

Ambria, she knows her prices. She does her research. So when I see an employee exercise strength and knowledge in a certain area, and they enjoy it, let them go with it. 

The word is consistency. We are always aiming for consistency, but we need to remain fluid when situations present themselves. They are all unique and need to be treated as such.

Some clients will walk out feeling as if we were generous, like Katherina. Others, will feel as they are sharp and on point with their negotiating skills, like Yulia. She came in knowing what she wanted so I had to work with her and let my good listening skills and people skills work themselves out. It was like a minor duel.

Maya, well here’s the story: there are some clients that become your friends, and she is one of them. I fell in love with the dress she had on in both segments and it was off from there. I, too, love design and needed a dress for a wedding, so we worked together to create Bye Bye Birdie in the Lola style.

 

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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.

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