Dressing Up with Duo AND a Giveaway

Posted on March 14, 2014 by

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Spring, is that you? It smells like you, it feels like you, and local boutiques are filling up with floral clothes like you!

Next in our Dressing Up series is local boutique Duo, a new and gently worn clothing store located on Elliewood Avenue.

“A fun, ever-changing, eclectic little boutique on the Corner!” – Greer Johnson, shop owner

We were inspired by the maxi dress, a length perfect for the first hints of Spring air, and versatile enough to be layered, dressed up, or dressed down. This Splendid maxi dress, with the subtle floral print and pops of color, was enough to get us jumping for joy at the thought of Spring’s arrival.

Greer Johnson, shop owner, shared a little more about Duo, her 14 year-old shop girl dreams, and some of her Cville favorites. Read the Q&A »

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Splendid Floral Maxi Dress: $158
Sunhat: $24 plain, $34 with monogram
Coral braided belt: $12
Turquoise stone drop earrings: $18
Turquoise stone drop necklace:$24

Check out these items and more at Duo on Elliewood Avenue or online!

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Giveaway!

We have our winner! Congrats, Kathryn Snyder! You won the $50 Gift Card to Duo. Thank you to everyone for participating!

Visit the Rafflecopter giveaway »

(The giveaway closes at 11:59pm on March 18th. Winner will be announced on March 19th.)

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Q&A with Greer Johnson, Shop Owner

When did Duo officially open on Elliewood? Talk about the planning, the space, the opening, and how Duo has grown since.

Duo opened in April 2007. At the time, there weren’t any stores in Charlottesville that sold both new and gently worn clothing, and paid cash on the spot to customers for their clothes.

I came up with the idea for the store long ago when I was about 14, so when I saw a For Rent sign on our 2-level space on Elliewood, I called to inquire about it immediately! Having two levels allows us to separate the new and gently worn clothing by floor so there’s no confusion as to what’s what.

Since opening, we have grown a lot. We’ve added tons of new designers and brands, have done many trunk shows, had a pop-up store over the holidays in Palette at Stonefield and now we’re growing our online store, http://www.shopatduo.com. It was exciting to ship our first international order a few months ago!

How does Duo work? Talk about the consignment process and shopping experience in this uniquely inherited and new clothing boutique.

Duo is a resale shop rather than a consignment store, which means you get paid on the spot for any items we can take. First, a customer calls or books an appointment online through our website. We usually have appointments available the same or next day. Our buyers go through her clothing and look for items that are about 2 years old or new, in current style and in great condition. Then we offer the customer two amounts as payment her for her clothing and accessories: a cash option and a store credit option. It’s as easy as that! The customer walks away with her payment – there’s no calling or checking in to see if your items have sold.

Our new items are from brands like BCBGeneration, French Connection, Alice & Trixie, DV Shoes, and Erin McDermott jewelry. We carry several inexpensive yet adorable brands, too, like Esley, Julila, Everly, Ark & Co. and THML, and we’re coming out with our own affordable private-label line soon! Whatever your budget, our sales associates can help you put together a complete outfit, with jewelry, scarves and bags, too.

Share a brief bio about yourself. Where are you from/what brought you to Cville? Why did you decide to open up a consignment shop/clothing boutique?

I grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Washington & Lee University in Lexington with a degree in Business Journalism. Shortly after graduating from college, I got a job at SNL Financial writing about real estate investment. It was a great first job after college, but I’d always dreamed of owning my own shop, and when I spotted that For Rent sign for the cute space on Elliewood, my dream started happening…fast! Fortunately, with the help of a mentor, Paula Pagonakis of ACE (Action Center for Entrepreneurs), I wrote a business plan, went on a buying trip to Vegas to order inventory, and opened the doors of Duo on April 2nd! It happened fast, but was such a great experience.

I’ve lived in Cville now for over 8 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I have an adorable cocker spaniel named Truffles, a little yellow house in Belmont, and tons of amazing friends. I feel lucky.

Favorite place in Cville to… grab a bite?

So many… but I think C&O tops the list.

Favorite place in Cville to… grab a drink?

I’m loving Alley Light right now for a glass of wine with friends.

Favorite place in Cville to… shop (besides your own store)?

I love popping into Rock Paper Scissors when I’m on the mall. It’s the perfect place to buy a gift or a hilarious card. Owners Dani and Heather are the best!

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Photography by Shannon Gillen

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