Cindy McCartneyCindy McCartney is the owner of Diva Designer Consignment and Other Delights in Old Town Alexandria, VA. With the backing and encouragement of her husband, David, she left a lifelong career as a cosmetic and fragrance executive to open her dream store—a women’s designer consignment boutique in which shopaholics (like herself) could recover some of the money they had spent on fabulous things they bought but never wore. Over the years, Cindy’s love of fashion and designer labels spiraled into 1) a way-too-intimate relationship with Neimans, Nordstrom and Saks, 2) a closet bulging with designer fashions…and 3) enough shoes to put a down payment on a house (hello Carrie Bradshaw). She realized that she wasn’t the only woman in this situation…and certainly not the only person who came to see the $2700 handbag du jour as a bit extravagant—and ridiculous. Her m.o. at Diva is to offer designer items at a fraction of the original price so that fashionistas could fill their closets and not feel the guilt of full-price shopping. She is also able to implement store strategies mirroring those she admired from her many experiences in stores—for instance, customer service is key at Diva. Suffice to say, Cindy’s PhD in shopping and looking for great bargains is being used to its best advantage in her business. She likes to think of it as using a very very bad talent for the common good of fashion-lovers everywhere. The name of the store was taken from one of her two dachshunds, Diva (who totally lives up to her name!). Diva will be opening a bridal area this fall for brides who don’t want to spend ten million dollars on their gowns!
Cindy McCarthy: The first step in the process of getting ready to shop and getting ready to find some bargains that makes sense in your wardrobe is to organize your closet and assess what you have, and what you dont have, and what you need. But, one thing a lot of women have a problem with is being honest about what you have in your closet. I think all of us have made trips to the mall and bought things that we thought were just fabulous there and we got them home and we think What was I thinking? Also a lot of us buy the same thing ten times. We end up with, for instance, ten black skirts, ten black pants, and white and neutral skirts. I think that what we want to do is be able to sprinkle in some color amongst the neutrals. But, here is the prime example of buying something maybe we didnt quite think through. What you need to do in that situation, you need to have a friend with you. If you have a problem parting with things that youre not sure about. Get somebody thats very honest, brutally honest, to be with you while youre cleaning your closet. For instance, what was I thinking, what do you think of that?
Laura: I have no idea, thats terrible.
Cindy McCarthy: But, you know what, I do wear it that one night.
Laura: No. This has got to go, its gone.
Cindy McCarthy: Like that. You need somebody thats going to be brutal.