Even without large scale advertising – no advertising at all actually! – Finicky Fox was buzzing with shoppers the first day I stopped by after hearing about it through a stranger in Target, no less. It was no different the next week when I came by to interview owner Tracy Tanner Scales, where I counted at least two consignors and a handful of shoppers, all within a 45-minute time frame.
Her store’s word of mouth success can be contributed to two things: Tracy’s genuine ability to become fast friends with her customers (consignors and buyers alike—must be her social work background) and her keen eye for great quality clothing.
I was fortunate enough to get to sit down with Tracy and find out a little bit more about what makes her boutique special and what makes her tick.
Sydney: How did you choose the name of your store?
Tracy: The fox is such a beautiful animal. Sly and smart! To have him be “finicky” as well just made sense.
When did your store open? We opened Saturday September 10, 2011. This is the first “Finicky Fox”!
What is your background? Have you always been in fashion or retail? My degree is in social work, but I have spent the last 12 years raising my two little boys. Now that they are older, I wanted to do something that I loved, which includes the following: high quality clothes and bargains!
What items or pieces do you look for when generally stocking your store? What brands and designers do you look for? Women’s skirts, tops, dresses and pants are what we stock the most of, but we also carry a large variety of high-end designer handbags and jewelry. A few of the brands and designers we love are J.Crew, Anthropolgie, Banana Republic, Chico’s, Talbots, Kate Spade, and Boden.
How have you seen fashion globally, nationally or locally change since being in this industry and running your store? Fashion has changed in the way that women are no longer tied to “what’s in style.” It’s all about what you love and feel great in! White jeans in January – no problem! Confidence is in style, not hem lines, colors or the latest “must have.”
What pieces do you have in your store right now that women need in order to update their fall wardrobes? We have original, “can’t be found in stores now,” unique items that if you love it, you should work it into your everyday wear.
Do you encourage window shopping? Window shopping is a must! It inspires and drives originality.
How does Finicky Fox stand out from other boutiques and consignment stores in and around Richmond? Our vibe is so different from any other consignment store in this area. We have great music playing, lots of laughing and chatter going on at all times. We also want our customers to know how appreciative we are that they are here and that is why every woman who walks in the door is greeted and welcomed!
How would you describe your store’s vibe and clientele without using the following words (think of this as Fashion Taboo): consignment, discount, cheap, fashion, designer, boutique, fun, brand-name. This store is one-of-a –kind. We are full of enthusiasm that our customers have chosen to walk through our door, and we are all about being down-to-earth and helpful in any way possible. We love high quality, beautiful clothing but hate retail prices! We are scrutinizing and picky, but that is what makes us “Finicky Fox”!
OK, time for “Either-Or”. Which do you prefer? Heels or flats? Flats.
Coffee or energy drink? Coffee.
Tote or clutch? Tote.
Frozen yogurt or gelato? Gelati Celeste “Chocolate Decadence” in a waffle cone, please!
Floppy hat or structured fedora? Neither. To be completely honest, my first choice is a baseball hat of my sons’ favorite team!
If you could close this interview with one word, saying, quote or inspiration, what would it be? “I like my money right where I can see it—hanging in my closet” –Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City
Much thanks to Tracy for sitting down with us for this profile!
1350 Gaskins Road