A Second Look at Secondhand

Local Consignment Boutiques Give New Life to Closets

At first glance, the building planted at the intersection of Main and Toledo in Minturn appears to be a church. With its peaked, Louis-Vuitton-sole-red roof and tracery-style windows rimmed in the same color, even the name on the front — Holy Toledo — could lead one to believe that it’s just a particularly hip place of worship. Down the road, a modest storefront on the Edwards Riverwalk is identified by a clean sign reading “Remix,” with the dot over the “I” replaced by a small recycling symbol.

Open the doors to either of these places, however, and it’s a whole different story. Thanks to the brilliance of Heather Schultz, owner of Holy Toledo Consignment, and Christina Zito, owner of Remix Consignment, the Vail Valley is home to several premiere consignment boutiques that boast reviews like: “I will never shop for clothes anywhere else again, and I don’t even live in Colorado!” and “First class place with top brands at great prices. Well worth the trip!”

Photo courtesy of Heather Schultz

Schultz was a long-time resident of the Vail Valley and a seasonal ski instructor before she and her husband decided in 2002 that they were ready to transition to a full-time job. “I’d worked part-time at a consignment store down the valley, and I had a little bit of experience in sales, but I just kept thinking, ‘I think I can do this,’” Schultz recalls. Now, Holy Toledo sees up to 400 pieces a day from around the world and is looking at celebrating 20 years in 2022.

Even though Zito, who grew up in Avon, earned her degree in fashion design and merchandising, Remix, formerly Rouge Boutique until Zito came along, wasn’t originally part of the plan. “I’d worked for Vail resorts for 17 years and was looking for something else to do,” she explains. “At first I was like ‘Resale? I don’t know about that.’ But then I realized that I’m a thrift store junkie, and I love doing that anyway.”

For both Schultz and Zito, consignment embodies both fashion and sustainability.

“I started the business because I couldn’t afford shopping in Vail or Beaver Creek, and I was a local girl!” Schultz explains. “Now, the biggest pride and joy of my business is the sustainability of reusing and recycling things.”

Zito will often repair good clothes that come to the store in bad condition. “Sometimes a piece is just so fabulous,” she says, “that even if it’s not in good condition, it needs a good home. So, I try to get those things repaired if I can.” Most notably, Zito works with a Denver-based designer who specializes in repairing jackets using items sourced from thrift stores. “The jackets end up being really cool pieces that come back with a whole new life and style,” Zito explains.

Both Schultz and Zito hope to see a shift away from fast fashion, and Zito is optimistic that Gen Z is already ushering this in. “I think we’re going to continue to see a trend of smaller, capsule wardrobes where you invest in a few, high-quality pieces,” she predicts. A capsule wardrobe involves selecting a few classic, durable clothing pieces that are interchangeable with each other.

Schultz agrees, “I’ve seen a huge shift with social media and the pressure to not be seen wearing the same outfit twice. That increases the demand for disposable clothing, and it’s so bad for the environment.”

Photo courtesy of Heather Schultz

Both stores receive an abundance of pieces each day and must decide what to say yes or no to. “It comes down to the labels, first and foremost,” Schultz says. “Shoppers are savvy and want quality pieces and quality materials.”

When it comes to current trends, Zito believes that beauty is in the eye of the buyer. “I hate when people ask me if an item is ‘trendy,’” she laughs. “It’s true that some high-fashion items and looks never go out of style, but ultimately, you should wear what you like. Who cares if a dress you like is too ‘bling-y’ for Vail? Fashion should be about you.”

Schultz has no clear predictions or desires on what trends may make a return next, but she’s always ready to kick a few trends out in the cold. “I’d like to see fur go away forever,” she says. “I want to see companies stop using fox and mink. I would rather see that stop than any trend come back.”

For Zito, the unknown is the best part. “We get so many unique things,” she says. “Especially where we are. It could be a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece from Bali or silk scarves from the South of France. You never know what’s going to walk through the door each day.”