By Maria Archangelo
Apr 10, 2019
The client stood, dressed to the nines, in her bedroom slippers — a pair of fancy heels in each hand.
She had rushed into Revivals Boutique in Narberth not to shop, but to get last-minute advice from her stylist.
In the blink of an eye, the perfect choice was made. If you are going to have a fashion emergency, it is helpful to know Robin Eklund.
In business for more than 20 years and Reader’s Choice Best of Main Line Media News, Eklund has created a comfortable yet stylish space on Haverford Avenue where women can shop for high-end consignment items, consign or sell their luxury handbags and clothes and shoes for cash, and get some terrific advice on what to wear.
“I have doctors and lawyers who come here straight from getting off the train,” says Eklund, who studied fashion in New York and worked as a buyer. “This is a safe place for them. They don’t want to talk about the work stress that’s on their minds; they want to shop and talk clothes, handbags and fashion.”
The first floor boasts some of the boutique’s most enticing goodies — couture clothing, rows of dainty Manolo Blahniks, gorgeous costume jewelry and a rainbow of beautiful bags from Hermes , Chanel, Gucci and Prada. There is also an ever-changing section featuring Louis Vuitton leather goods — Eklund says the line is popular with her clients.
All the items in the boutique are in impeccable condition and are offered for a fraction of their original prices.
Upstairs, two rooms are filled with women’s clothes, shoes and a dedicated men’s area. The selection of items is carefully curated — Eklund knows what she likes and what her clients are looking for.
“People really trust us and our taste, our aesthetic,” she said.
About 75 percent of the stock in the store is high-end contemporary clothes made by designers including Missoni, Tory Burch, Isabel Marant, Theory, and Helmut Lange. The rest is an ever-changing inventory of handbags, shoes and costume jewelry, some of which is vintage.
Eklund, a lovely woman who has a casual-chic vibe and an easy laugh, says working with her clients is the best part of running the business.
One client was going on a three-week cruise and wasn’t sure what to pack or how to put outfits together. Eklund went to her house, pushed all the living room furniture to the side and put together several outfits — including scarves and jewelry — for each day of the client’s trip.
“That’s how we packed them, the clothes and the accessories for each day, so she would not have to worry about it,” she said.
For Eklund, that kind of personal service is what makes her job enjoyable. “Women are my business. This is a combination of everything I love.”
To make sure she understands what her clients are looking for, Eklund asks a lot of questions: What is the event you are looking to dress for? Where is it? Black tie or cocktail party? Is it a casual event? Often her clients will bring in one item — a pair or shoes or a dress — and they will build the outfit around that piece.
“I try to get as much information as possible, then we try on different looks,” she said.
For Fran J., who has has been shopping at Revivals for almost two decades, “going there is like going to visit a friend.”
“It is retail therapy,” she said. “Girlfriends getting together and chatting.”
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She says Eklund has really gotten to know her style and calls her when she gets something in that she knows Fran will love.
“That’s what makes it so special; the service is personal and personable.”
Selling, consigning and buying
You can shop till you drop at Revivals, but you can also sell and consign items.
“Many people don’t realize that we do pay cash for some items,” Eklund said.
Typically, Revivals is looking for labels that you can find at Nieman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue, but the store accepts items “from J. Crew all the way up to couture pieces from Chanel and Hermes.”
In fact, the store currently features an amazing collection of J. Crew costume jewelry, along with vintage Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.
If a consigned item does not sell in the allotted time, Eklund gives her clients the option for Revivals to donate it for them to a tax-deductible charity that will use the proceeds to fund local community programs.
Stop by and visit Eklund and her staff at the boutique at 258 Haverford Ave. in Narberth every day, or check out the inventory on their Ebay store, 331 Couture Store. On the Revivals website, RevivalsBoutique.com, you will find a link to the online store and a blog to help keep you up to date on the latest fashion trends.