Rags Consignments in Boulder and Cherry Creek has designer clothes on the racks at prices that belong in Forever 21 or H&M. In 1995, Margaret Miner drew upon her passion for quality clothing to start Rags Consignments out of her home. People quickly took an interest in nice, second-hand clothes for discounted prices, allowing Rags to expand to its main store in Boulder in April 1995. Since 1995, Rags has grown into second-hand clothing staple in Colorado. In September 2014, Miner opened a new location in Cherry Creek, and a Rags warehouse store is currently in the works for Boulder.

Lia Mazzei, manager of Rags Boulder said that the Boulder location puts anywhere from 150 to 400 new items on the sales floor daily, and the smaller Cherry Creek location adds at least 100. For shoppers, that means that no day at Rags is exactly like another. “We’re always busy here,” Mazzei continued. “There’s always so much going on. It seems like we’re just doing better than ever.”

The Mission

Rags seeks to provide quality clothes to customers that they can afford. “We try to keep it accessible, so we’re not just doing high-end. Some consignment stores try to just be designer consignment, but we sell the J.Crew, we sell the Banana Republic, we sell the kind of stuff that people wear every day,” Mazzei said. “Then, on top of that, we also have those amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces that you stumble upon and say ‘I have to have this.’”

The Clothes

“Our top selling brands are J.Crew, Free People, Lululemon and Banana Republic,” Mazzei said. That’s not to say, however, that Rags doesn’t sell designer items too. Mazzei has seen everything walk through the door, including Chanel, Burberry, Prada, Dior, Coach, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and Escada, among others.

Photo by Kayla Klein

Photo by Kayla Klein

The Consignment Process

In addition to focusing on seasonal trends, Rags requires that items be clean and in mint condition. Rags ultimately wants to stock the store with items that will sell, based on customer demands and current trends. Customers can bring up to 30 items to consign every day from opening to one hour prior to closing. The items that Rags keeps remain in the store for four weeks, and during that time, the customer receives 40 percent of what sells. At the end of the consignment period, customers can either pick up their unsold items or donate them to predetermined charities. Right now, Rags is working with Help International and the YWCA.

Photo by Kayla Klein

Photo by Kayla Klein

In-Store Styling

Both Rags locations offer complimentary in-store styling to help customers find the perfect pieces. “Our in-store stylist, Rachel Dee, comes into the store every first and third Thursday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. During this time, we serve wine and sparkling water and anyone is welcome to drop by to get Rachel’s styling help,”said Selene Locke, manager of Rags Cherry Creek, described the luxurious styling process. Customers can ask Dee to help them find pieces to compliment items already in their wardrobes or request her help to find a brand new outfit. Locke said that Dee most often helps women through big changes, including changes in size, new careers and new styles. “I’ve seen Rachel help a good deal of women to gain more confidence in how they dress and the items they choose,” Locke said.

The Customer

With Rags’ most significant concern being selling items for customers, it’s no surprise that the rapidly changing stock and friendly atmosphere keep them coming back for more. Blogger Leticia from (@myrolledupjeans) loves Rags for their quality products and affordable prices. “The difference between Rags and other consignment stores is that Rags’ products are in good condition and you can trust them,” she said.

Some might argue that the secret to success is designer clothes. Rags proves that designer clothes only go so far without practicality, dedication and customer care.

Rags Cherry Creek is located at 201 University Boulevard, Denver, Colorado and Rags Boulder is located at 3129 28th Street Boulder, Colorado