HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Tucked on the corner of Hasting-on-Hudson's Main Street and Warburton Avenue, Suburban Renewal is an eclectic mix of old, new and exotic merchandise. The consignment store sells previously owned furniture, jewelry, home furnishing and sustainable products.
Fonda Lifrak said she opened the store 10 years ago as she was transitioning out of a career in advertising in New York.
“It was the jump from the city to the suburbs, from not having children to having children, and looking for something that would be more compatible with raising kids and not being on the road working crazy house,” Lifrak said.
Lifrak said the merchandise in her store is a combination of 65 percent consignment items and 35 percent items sold by dealers who rent spots in Suburban Renewal.
“The dealers bring in their own items so it keeps things ever-changing and the consignment keeps prices down,” Lifrak said.
While locals are a large part of the store’s customer base, about half of the customers come from outside the Rivertowns, Lifrak said. She said it is common to see customers from New York, Yorktown and New Jersey. Many customers, both local and not, are fans of the Fair Trade products for sale in the store, she said.
“It seems compatible because, in a way, antiquing is recycling,” Lifrak said. “And Fair Trade is about using sustainable products, teaching people a good skill and letting them have a good wage.”
Fair Trade is a certification process that ensures products are made in a way that promotes social, economic and environmental well-being of the country of origin, according to Fair Trade USA. Lifrak said once customers understand how the Fair Trade system works, they are eager to purchase those items.
“Yes you could get a Buddha that was made in China,” Lifrak said. “Or you could get something that was handcrafted by a family in Thailand and yes you’d pay more but that family is going to benefit far more than that worker in China.”
In addition to offering consignment and sustainable products, Lifrak said she also offers decorating advice to repeat customers, as she gets to know the style of their homes from the items they purchase. Lifrak said customers are draw in by the quality of the products.
“People know they can come in here and get something that’s -- no offense to Ikea -- but is not press board and will last 100 years for a comparable price,” Lifrak said.
Suburban Renewal is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and some Sundays. For more information call 914-478-9421.
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