2012-02-09 / News

Consignment store opens its doors on Narragansett Avenue

Auntie Annie’s Attic offers new and old furniture, home decor, jewelry and art
BY KEN SHANE


Auntie Annie’s Attic, a new consignment store on Narragansett Avenue, will supply islanders with a wide variety of items. One item it won’t sell is clothing, because owner Susan Paradis doesn’t want to interfere with the St. Michael’s thrift store. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN PARADIS Auntie Annie’s Attic, a new consignment store on Narragansett Avenue, will supply islanders with a wide variety of items. One item it won’t sell is clothing, because owner Susan Paradis doesn’t want to interfere with the St. Michael’s thrift store. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN PARADIS Over the weekend, a grand opening for Jamestown’s newest business was held. Susan Paradis is the owner of Auntie Annie’s Attic, the consignment store now located on 123-A Narragansett Avenue.

Paradis grew up in Massachusetts and got her master’s degree in information technology management from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.. Although she didn’t own a home in Jamestown until 2008, her family has a 50- year history of visiting the island.

“We have a great love of this area,” she said, “and a long family history of coming to this area.”

Paradis has been spending a lot of time on the road in recent years, traveling to colleges and universities throughout the country to work on their registration and record systems. She hopes that her new business will allow her to shift gears and do something different with less travel involved.

“My hope and expectation is that it will afford me the opportunity to travel a little bit less,” she said, “and allow me to spend time in this town that I love so much.”

Paradis said that she has always loved consignment shops and is always hunting for a bargain. She is also an experienced retailer, having owned a women’s clothing store for several years. “I thought it would be nice to see if something like that would go in Jamestown,” she said. While there are such stores in the surrounding area, there is nothing like what Paradis envisions for her business currently in Jamestown.

Paradis said she thought opening the shop might be a good opportunity to semi-retire and travel two weeks a month instead of four.

The constant travel has hampered the ability of Paradis to socialize with other island residents. “It’s a place where I would like to have a small business so that I can meet other people from the island,” she said. “I have really not had the opportunity to become part of the community. That’s something that I definitely want to do.”

Paradis said that this is an opportunity for her to immerse herself in the town and all of the wonderful things that it has to offer. “Jamestown is the type of place where you just drive over the bridge and say, ‘I’m home.’”

Aunt Annie’s Attic gets its name from Paradis’ sister Ann, who lives in Orange, Mass. Ann owns a home there with a large attic that houses items that she has collected over the years. “She has amassed a number of items over the years and her attic was so full that she was at the point that she had to start thinning it out,” Paradis said.

That thinning-out process was the beginning of gathering inventory for Auntie Annie’s Attic. In addition to the items from her sister’s attic, Paradis gathered items for her store by placing ads in the Jamestown Press. The ads got a great response and resulted in a nice collection of items for the store.

Since that time Paradis said that visitors to her store often ask her if she might be interested in things they have at home.

“People stop in to see what I have and many of them ask me if I’m interested in what they have,” Paradis said. “They might be clearing out or downsizing their home, or someone might be moving to a senior facility. There seems to be quite a bit of interest through word of mouth.”

According to Paradis, there is just a little bit of room left in the store now, and as things sell she will take in more items.

Paradis says that visitors to her store can expect to find a wide variety of items. Among the things she has gotten already are furniture (both new and antique), home decor, jewelry and art. Local artisans and artists will consign their work to the store. She adds that she is not accepting clothing because she does not want to interfere with operations at the St. Matthew’s thrift store.

There are three options for people with items to consign. Paradis says that she may offer to buy the items outright and sell them in her store. Other items may be taken on consignment and the store would receive a percentage of the sale price. The final option is for sellers to rent space within the store to sell their items. In that case the seller would keep a larger percentage of the sale price.

“Like anything else, as time goes by and it evolves, I may change my methodology for consignment or some of the options that I’m offering, but right now this is working very well,” Paradis said. “At my grand opening I met a lot of very nice people who had a lot of encouraging words to say. Many of them said that it was nice to have something like this in Jamestown. It will be a lot of fun.”

Winter hours are Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. Paradis said that she expects the store to be open seven days a week during the summer, including some evenings.

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