‘Like your cool aunt’s house, but cooler.’ New consignment shop opens in downtown Tacoma

A new home furnishings consignment shop has opened in Tacoma and, being true to its repurposing goals, is bringing a familiar downtown building back to life.

Tacoma Consignment, 1120 Broadway, has opened in a formerly vacant space that at one time was the site of JC Penney before the arrival of the Tacoma Mall.

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co., 1114 Broadway, also is part of the building’s complex.

Operated by Mathew Shaw and Lindsey Craig, the store recently had its grand opening.

Shaw is a commercial property manager with Roberson Building Co. The vacant space, a Roberson property, was one Shaw was seeking to fill before deciding to do so himself.

The consignment store came to be by way of another store up north that caught their eye.

According to Shaw, Craig’s twin sister visited Ballard Consignment, 5459 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, and encouraged them to go see it for themselves.

“The place was amazing, and we said, ‘We have got to get something like that in Tacoma. Tacoma has nothing like it,’” said Shaw.

That Ballard store’s motto is “Like your grandma’s house, only cooler.”

They wanted to bring a bit of that back to Tacoma.

They tried to persuade the Ballard store’s owner, Joey Ghioni, to open a shop here. He eventually came on board as Shaw’s and Craig’s consignment consultant.

Craig, a published author, said operating the store is “just a whole new life for me.”

“I wanted to do more, and when this opportunity opened up, we said, ‘Let’s try something new,’” she said. “It’s so much fun.”

The couple also are newly engaged, exact wedding date still to be determined.

With Ghioni’s help, Tacoma Consignment sources much of its furniture from “discontinued lines, showroom closeouts, store returns,” said Shaw. The rest comes from estate sales, online auctions and people seeking to consign.

“He gets 80 emails a day of people who want to consign with him,” Shaw said.

If you consign with them, once the item is sold it’s a 50-50 split between you and the store.

“We don’t price until they bring (the piece) in,” Shaw said. “If it doesn’t sell in a couple of months, we’ll revisit the price and eventually it will sell, and we’ll write them a check.”

Ideally, pieces aren’t sitting around for months at a time.

Shaw and Craig aim to turn inventory every two to three weeks, or even faster. There’s a furniture loading zone at the store’s new Court C entrance, added for this purpose. They also recommend online delivery service apps such as Lugg for those who don’t have a truck.

The showroom’s rugs, lamps, wall clocks, furniture, paintings and more include a mix of styles (midcentury modern, industrial and Western) with an emphasis on eclectic. The store’s Facebook page shows recent items in stock, plus past photos of buying trips.

According to a recent post, they’re taking a cue from their Ballard inspiration, describing the Tacoma store “like your cool aunt’s house, but cooler.”

Plan to spend some time wandering around taking it all in.

Recently on display, if you happened to look up: a full-sized, mirrored disco ball. It was their second one in stock. The first one already sold.

Given the number of new residents and new apartments and homes going up in the area, Shaw thinks they won’t have a problem with sales.

“I love what I’m seeing in Tacoma right now,” Shaw said. They live in the city.

Tacoma is “going through a metamorphosis; it’s never going back, and I am happy.” Shaw said. “It’s been under-invested in for 75 years — it’s time and it’s happening.”

Tacoma Consignment

Address: 1120 Broadway, with second entrance off Court C; free offstreet parking in Steel Creek Whiskey lot on Court C.

Store hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

On Facebook: facebook.com/tacomaconsignment

Phone: 253-212-9445