Alicia Valencia Erb just consigned herself to a new business venture in Old Town.
After a career in marketing, the Alexandria resident opened Vida Style, a new consignment boutique at 210 N. Lee Street on August 1, and held a grand opening last Sunday (August 28). Erb gives consigners 50-to-60% of the profits and 60 to 90 days to sell items before they are returned.
“There are things in the back of your closet that have not seen the light of day in a while,” Erb told ALXnow. “Let me help you with that decluttering problem and give life a second life to these clothes. We’ll see if it goes with Vita Style, if it’s on-brand here. If it’s something that my customers will shop for, I’ll take it on consignment for 60 days.”
Until June, Erb spent five years as vice president of member relations at the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. Before that she was an engagement strategist for more than a decade with the Credit Union National Association, and altogether worked 20 years with various associations.
While she attended the University of Maryland, she also spent two years as a hotline operator for the America’s Most Wanted television show, where says she helped track the whereabouts of Andrew Cunanan, the killer of Gianni Versace.
“I actually helped to capture Andrew Cunanan, who killed Gianni Versace,” Erb said. “There were very, very good tips that I got on Andrew Cunanan sightings when he was making his way from Chicago, Illinois, and on down to Florida.”
Twenty-five years later, Erb says that the pandemic shifted her professional focus. Working from home, she started researching other businesses to get into, even looking as far as alpaca farming before settling on opening a consignment shop. She even got a part-time job at local consignment shop in Old Town for nine months to get a handle on the business.
“I’ve never worked harder in my life,” she said. “I’m not frantic, nervous or anxious. It’s just one step at a time, and it gives me joy to do something for myself.”
Erb says that blazers are trending, as office attire has become flexible over the last couple years. Popular discounted brands at the small shop include Prada, Neiman Marcus and Banana Republic.
“Blazers are really hot right now,” she said. “Traditional fall sweaters and blazers are really popular.”
Erb brings a personal touch to the business.
“I engage with everyone who walks in.,” she said. “I’ve had exchanges of tears at the register just because I share my story and customers share their story. I make friendships wherever I am. I love doing that.”
Cutting the ribbon in Old Town with Alicia Erb and her new business: VIDA Style! pic.twitter.com/YLmfrifo6z
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) August 28, 2022
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