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September 1, 2012

Shop Talk: The Green Giraffe

Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Jackie Carey of The Green Giraffe in Unadilla.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived here about 25 years. But I’ve been coming up here all my life. My mother was from Walton.

Tell me about your business:

The Green Giraffe is an antique and consignment shop. We consign just about everything. We are pretty eclectic in our mix. Everybody collects differently. (Consignors) bring in things from their parents and their own childhoods, things that you don’t see anywhere else. We run the gamut. We sell a lot of antiques, but not everyday.

Consignment shops (are experiencing) national growth. Today people are more frugal. We are not as much of a materialistic society. It is evident in the amount of consignment shops that have popped up. It’s a great way to get rid of stuff. It’s environmentally friendly — instead of throwing stuff away, (people) consign it. We keep stuff in circulation.

How did you get started in this line of work?

I’ve always been an antique collector. When I was a child I went to flea markets with my grandfather. I love doing what I do. I worked in corporate America for 18 years, and I love being my own boss. I found what I love in life, working-wise.

Where do you see this business in five years?

I’m starting to branch outside of the shop. I’m starting to do estate tag sales. In some cases, a person has died, and in others, older people are moving to smaller living quarters. A lot of people get overwhelmed. We do it all. We’re there for you in many ways, first and foremost to help you get rid of your stuff. We stage it — set it up and put it out. We price it. We make it almost like a store in your home or a couple of days. We conduct the sale. We advertise in newspapers and on the Internet. We charge the sales tax and send it in. Also, we make recommendations of other ways to get rid of stuff (that doesn’t sell).

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