The Woman’s Exchange is a uniquely charming shop located in Memphis, which reflects the mission of “helping others help themselves” in our day-to-day business.
In our shop, we sell hundreds of handcrafted items, including children’s clothing, jewelry, home décor, blankets, and kitchen wares. Every item is sold on consignment, which offers distinct benefits for the local artisan consigners we work with and the customers who shop in our non-profit store. Below you can see why consignment is so important to what we do within our community.
How Does Consignment Work?
With consignment, artisans are able to showcase their items in a retail environment, but they do not have the stress of fulfilling minimum orders or meeting specific delivery guidelines. Consigners are paid upon the sale of their handcrafted goods, which is a variation from the typical retail model of paying wholesale for a large order of items and marking them up for resale. As a result of this model, women who consign with the Woman’s Exchange benefit from higher profit margins, while consumers enjoy reduced markup on unique gifts, clothing, and artwork.
Why Does the Woman’s Exchange Use Consignment?
The Woman’s Exchange was founded in Memphis in 1885, following the movement developed in Philadelphia in 1832. This movement encouraged women to sell their craftworks on consignment to gain their own financial security while utilizing their unique talents. When the Woman’s Exchange was founded in Memphis, it gained the praise of the community by supporting local artisans and seamstresses with the consignment model. In order to continue offering women the opportunity to support themselves with the creation of artisanal goods, our shop operates with a volunteer staff of nearly 350 members. 98% of our staff is comprised of volunteers, though we do employ skilled local seamstresses to produce the heirloom infant and children’s clothing for which our shop is well-known.