Sandy Pijot opened her women's consignment store in 2008, as a way to make fashion recession-proof.
BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In the heat of the economic downturn, Sandy Pijot and her daughter, Melody, wished for a place that they could buy great clothes at affordable prices, and they knew they couldn't be the only ladies in town who felt that way.
So, one day, they decided to stop wishing. They rifled through their closets, cleaned out their shelves and opened Miss Priss, a consignment store for women, using their own used clothes as the start of their stock.
“I felt people needed to help each other out,” Pijot said.
The now-five-year-old store, at 150 W. Granada Blvd., was named for Pijot's daughter, who is now a kindergarten teacher. The nickname was given to her by her grandmother.
But even since the worst of the recession, Pijot said her shoppers have stayed with her.
“These people have become loyal customers,” she said. “They don’t want to pay retail again. ... It’s become a trend.”
But at first, it wasn’t easy. Women were not accustomed to shopping at consignment stores for high-end fashion, Pijot said. It took time for word to spread.
Located in the heart of downtown, Elaine Hoehn, store manager, says the location is one reason Miss Priss has lasted so long — that, and that the store fulfills a need. And with recent streetscape remodeling, it attracts more attention than ever.
“Before, we were just a little white building," Hoehn said.
“They want to make downtown a fun, pleasing place to shop,” Pijot said, noting that she believes traffic still moves too quickly outside her window. She believes the city should build a welcome sign, to let drivers know they're entering a business district.
After starting small, the store now has 1,600 consignors from across the country.
“We’re very picky,” Pijot said of the clothes the store accepts, adding that she looks for the "better" brands, preferably in styles sold the previous two years.
The store is also staffed exclusively by women, which is not on purpose, Pijot added, although she admitted that many women feel more comfortable shopping with women sales people.
Before opening the store, Pijot, 61, worked for Daytona International Speedway, in their special activities division.
Miss Priss offers discounts to members of the military and their dependents, as well as Volusia County school employees.
Call 672-3535, or search "Miss Priss" on Facebook.