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All photos by Keila MacPherson

You probably aren’t going to stumble in to it. It’s a nondescript building, clandestine from the humdrum of downtown bustling, a sign reads “Just Like New.”

If luck has it and there’s the chance you do stumble upon this consignment store, you have discovered the gold at the end of the rainbow.

I walked right past the store’s curtained windows heaven knows how many times. One fine day a knell of the doorbell on 377 Queen St. coerced my eyes upon it and I ambled through it.

A fresh, clean smell met my nose, while my eyes were greeted with clothes hanging from the racks, and shoes carefully organized on stands. Items had no stains, holes or worn spots.

Nothing in the store hinted of the old or the used. And that’s when my treasure hunt began.

This high-end consignment store, without a doubt, embraces its name, Just Like New.

“Almost all the stock we have here is new and about 45 per cent of them still have tags on,” explained the owner, Marg Botosh.

She doesn’t take in just anything; they should be items less than three years old, must be clean and pressed, trendy, up to date and of current fashion.

“I am picky about what I take from people,” said Botosh.justlikenew-7

To my surprise, and possibly to many of you out there, she has been right here for a very good 24 years.

She moved from Scarborough, taking into consideration that Peterborough didn’t have a higher end consignment store at the time.

What started out as a children’s, men and teens select store is now a full-blown women’s ultimate stop; it includes everything from outwear, evening dress, shoes and accessories, to activewear.

“It is funny how people don’t know about us,” wondered Botosh.

“We can advertise all the time but that doesn’t seem to work at all.”

However, according to Botosh, over the years the number of customers has definitely increased as more people are finding the store now.

She wondered it if was because of where they were situated, but she approves of the location, especially because of the ideas some people harbour towards resale business, explained Botosh.

It is more discreet on its own side street, unlike on the main street where everyone can see someone going in and out, she pointed out.

Although, with the current economy, hours being cut back or increased realization for environment, the mentality toward re-sale is gradually changing, she commented.

Besides the discounted finds, the one special feature that makes the store unique from regular retail stores is customer loyalty.

“We had the same customers for more than two decades. They came here when their kids were little, started out buying for the kids, and we still have them as our customers,” expressed Botosh.

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“Personalized service is our number one priority!”

Botosh said she survives better than regular retailers because she doesn’t have to put her money out to stock it. She explained that in retail if they don’t sell the merchandise then that store’s money is gone.

The shop owner also explained the procedures of how the consignment store usually functions. The suppliers bring in their items, draw up a contract, which is listed and itemized, and the products go on sale for full price in the first month. After a month it goes 20 per cent off, and then half price.

If the products don’t sell, the suppliers have the choice of either donating it or having it sent back to them.

Many of her suppliers donate, so the store is closely involved in numerous local charity works. Botosh is also known to have travelled overseas to donate clothes from her store.

Just Like New is one big family affair, so Peterborough go on down and be a part of this fashionable family.

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Ugyen Wangmo is a self trained media personal, steadfast to ‘right to information’. She has about six years of media experience through a variety of roles as Reporter, Editor, Stringer, and Freelance writer. She graduated from Trent with a degree in Chemistry and Biology. When not nosing around for leads to write a thing or two about, she indulges in books, fashion, and dance.