CANFIELD, Ohio – Diane Laudo opened the Curiosity Shop 23 years ago at 584 E. Main St. in Canfield.
She researched consignment stores from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to learn about location and operations.
“We decided that this was a good location because there is a blend of shops in the plaza. It’s close to Route 11 and we get them from south, from north – it’s just an easy place to find,” Laudo says.
The store features women’s clothing and accessories including purses, shoes, boots and formal, casual and career wear, including some designer and high-end. The Curiosity Shop is particular about the items accepted: no discount brands or worn or outdated items.
The target customer is women ages 30 to 65.
“People who are working can get an affordable wardrobe here and they can also get fancy things for formal occasions,” she says.
The store has withstood several economic fluctuations – most notably the Covid pandemic, when it shut down for about three months.
“It was a slow climb back up,” Laudo says.
“People have realized that they can get quality clothes – they can find Talbots, Chico’s – in great shape at a fraction of the cost,” the store owner says.
Same thing with shoes, she says.
“We get some high-end things,” Laudo says, listing Burberry, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton among them. “We get beautiful things in.”
Customers have learned that if they keep coming back, they find things that are affordable that they wouldn’t have been able to buy.
“It’s a win-win for both of us,” she says. “And it’s a win for the person who brings it in, too, because they have moved on
to other items. They’re getting something in return rather than just donating them.”
The store donates items that don’t sell after 90 days to Gleaners Community Food Bank in Youngstown, which gives the clothes to clients.
“We get messages back all the time that, ‘We’ve never been able to dress as nicely as we have with the things that you donate to us,” Laudo says. “That makes me feel really good.”
Pictured at top: Diane Laudo, owner of the Curiosity Shop in Canfield, stands amid the clothes, shoes, purses and other items available at her consignment store.