Patrick Brodrick/ Staff Writer (Times
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Your old stuff never looked so good. Nancy and
Don Kosiewski, owners of the Consignment Gallery at 56, have given
consignment an entirely new image.
How would your 'junk' look in
a classy showroom?
CLINTON - They say one man's trash is
another man's treasure, and for Nancy and Don Kosiewski, owners of Gallery
at 56, it's also their business.
On Nov. 4, Nancy and Don opened the doors to
Gallery at 56, an upscale consignment shop, located at 56 Sterling St.
"Everybody has stuff," Don said. "Now they have
a chance to bring it in and show it in a nice, beautiful location to try and
While the words "consignment shop" are usually
associated with dusty and cluttered stores packed with everything under the
sun, Gallery at 56, with its brick outer wall and wooden beams running
across the ceiling, looks like an upscale furniture store. And, it was
exactly those preconceived images of consignment shops that prompted the
Kosiewskis to dub their new business Gallery at 56. The couple even refers
to their merchandise as pieces like they are works of art.
"We put that name 'gallery' here because that's
what we thought Clinton needed; a place to present these pieces in a nice
manner," Nancy said. "We never say we are going down to the shop, we always
call it the gallery because we want to keep that mentality."
"When we decided to do this business, we wanted
to make sure it was clean and spacious and not cluttered," Don said.
"Everybody that walks through that door says, 'Wow,' and that makes us feel
good. We can move this piece [motioning towards a dark wood table with
several drawers] around six different times to make sure it sells. That's
why we don't want a zillion things in here. That really allows us to control
the quality of the things we sell."
While Gallery at 56 may be the first time the
Kosiewskis have opened their own business, they are old hands at the
antiquing and consignment trade. For 30 years, the couple worked out of
their home, traveling to various antique shows and doing a lot of estate
"I don't have to take a tent down anymore,"
Nancy said about traveling to different antique shows. "I'm done loading and
unloading the trailer. This is my permanent location; now we don't have to
do that anymore."
"Clinton is really on the upswing," Don said.
"We're in love with the space and we have a ton of traffic going by
The space that houses the gallery was used as a
manufacturing building and it took about six weeks of renovation to turn it
into a usable spot for the business, but the work has paid off.
Since they've opened, and even before, business
has been booming.
"We were down here one day, this was before we
opened, and we went home for lunch and a guy called us and said, 'Where are
you? I've got a truckload of stuff for you,'" Don recalls. "We never know
what and when things are going to come in, which makes it interesting."
As well as the gallery, the Kosiewskis said
they plan on continuing with the estate liquidations.
"A lot of families are spread out all over the
globe, but their folks are back here" Don said. "When their folks pass away,
their families are like, 'OK, what do we do with all this stuff?' When you
do an estate sale you are trying to sell everything in two days; here, you
can bring it down and really present it right."
Gallery at 56 has something for just about everyone. There is an antique
microscope, various pieces of artwork, bed frames, dining room sets,
silverware, dressers, a jukebox that's already been sold, and a giant
ceramic bear - also already sold.
"I was really hoping that would end up at
Michael's Bridge Diner," Don said, motioning to the bear. "He's just been so
busy he wasn't able to get down here and I had a woman come in that wanted
to buy it. I hate seeing this piece leave town, but I can't warehouse it
either. With the type of area that this is we want to make sure we have
things for $10, but we just had a lady that is bringing in a piece for
Don said the Gallery at 56 would take anything
as long as it is in saleable condition.
For potential treasure hunters, Don said people
should never assume something is garbage and throw it out with the trash.
"My sister came in here one day and she picked
up a milk glass and said, 'I just threw something like this out.' One of our
buyers was in here at the time and he said, 'Can I be your trash man?'" Don
said with a laugh. "People should definitely check because there is a lot of
trash that is really treasure, and I'd hate to see a treasure disappear
(Patrick Brodrick can be reached at
978-365-8044 or at firstname.lastname@example.org)