Schenectady County

Chamber recognizes successful boutique

Lisa Durand likes to sell things. Over the last 21 years, since college, she has sold mortgages, hai

Lisa Durand likes to sell things.

Over the last 21 years, since college, she has sold mortgages, haircuts, titles and even the concept of fitness.

Now she is selling used and vintage clothing, art, jewelry, furniture and just about anything of value through La Moda Lisa Boutique, a consignment shop at 160 Saratoga Road in Glenville.

The Chamber of Schenectady County recognized her business savvy Tuesday night, naming her Entrepreneur of the Year at its 23rd annual Business Awards ceremony at the Glen Sanders.

“She is very creative, very successful,” said chamber President Chuck Steiner. “She sees an opportunity and fills it.”

At the moment, Durand, 40, enjoys success as the operator of a secondhand shop. “I hit the market at the right time for consignment,” she said.

On her website, she says: “We are living in cash-poor but image-conscious times. Luxury retailers like Sak’s are now competing for profits and retail space with companies like Marshall’s. Everyone wants designer clothing and wants them cheap.”

Since opening her shop in December in a 6,000-square-foot former breakfast eatery, which had been vacant for seven years, she has attracted 580 consignors and offers everything from $1 candles to Tiffany glassware. She sells furniture and artwork as well.

“I have a huge selection of vintage clothing, which is hot right now,” Durand said. “We will sell anything as long as it is in nice shape.”

Consignors keep 55 percent of the sale price and Durand keeps 45 percent. Artists earn a higher commission. She keeps a fluid inventory, with items remaining on the floor just 90 days.

“It is so busy, I am thinking about hiring help,” she said. “Right now, I have been relying on my mother and my friends to help me as I get started.”

The store’s name is a play on words, Durand said. La Moda is Italian for “the artful.” Lisa, of course, is her name. Her logo is the Mona Lisa photoshopped with a smile and adorned with jewelry.

Prior to opening La Moda Lisa, Durand ran a mortgage business, Albany Funding, for 14 years. She sold the business in 2007 because of changes in the mortgage market. She continued selling mortgages through another office, and thought about buying a convenience and gas station. “But that deal fell through,” Durand said.

Then she found the former restaurant. “It was beautiful and I decided after looking at it, I wanted to do something with art. But knew I could not make a living with art in this building. It is too big. So I decided on consignment. It works in this market,” she said.

Categories: Business

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