What our attendees have to say...
If any shopkeeper above the level of hobbyist misses Conference for any reason less than a birth, marriage, or death... s/he is doing her/himself a terrible professional disservice. In fact, I'd go so far as to state that "Conference Week" should be an inviolate block on the business calendar. There is no better way to rejuvenate yourself, your staff, and your store than gathering with hundreds of other resalers—some JUST like you, some incredibly-interestingly different—at NARTS Conference. The range of experience and focus is exceeded only by the warm welcome of your peers. There are 312 business days per year, if you're open 6 days a week. If you utilized even half of the great ideas from Conference, you'd be taking in over $31,200 a year more the day you got back from Conference... Everything from good ideas from the bus tour shops, to suggestions at the workshops, to hints given to you over scrambled eggs at 8 a.m. or the beverage of your choice late at night... there is no way you could FAIL to turn attendance at this event from FUN to PROFIT.
Kate Holmes—Too Good to be Threw—Recognized as an Industry Icon
There is a saying "You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." To try to repay every member of the NARTS family who has been with me on this journey would be nearly impossible. Being at this year's NARTS Conference was an experience I hadn't embraced before–I went by myself and I let down my "walls." I spoke with members I had seen in the past years but never talked to, shared ideas & strategies, and made friends from all over the country who understand the joys and heartaches of the industry. It was like coming home. I learned from the seasoned shop owner and the brand new one. The ability to share and be open with others is a gift that is rare in Conferences in other industries. As long as we continue to encourage, embrace and envelope the ideas and concepts of the resale industry, we will be a driving force. But maybe with NARTS it isn’t about the repay, it’s about pay it forward–and in that aspect, we have all lived fully.
Angie Houloose—Absolutely Her—Papillion, NE
This was my 15th year to attend the NARTS Annual Conference. Every year I make new friends, learn great ideas to implement in my store and return home rejuvenated and excited about what I can do with my business. I love my NARTS family!
Glenda Polak—CapriceWest—Edmonton, AB, Canada
Conference is an awesome opportunity to engage with others in your business. Great ways to learn little things that make huge impacts in your store!
Heather Amos—Deja Vu Consignments—Pella, IA
NARTS is the secret weapon to my shop's success. I've been attending Conference since opening Found 5½ years ago and I wouldn't be where I am today without this organization. The relationships I've developed with my fellow NARTS members are authentic and meaningful—as is the knowledge I've gained from them. I feel we all are on the same team and we're cheering each other along. Annual Conference is the annual pep rally I need to recharge and face a new year with a positive outlook.
Karin Smith—Found Consignment Boutique—St. John’s, NL, Canada
After 8 years in this business I attended my first Conference. It rejuvenated me in this business! The knowledge & network connections I gained played a major role in my success of opening 2 more stores after that. I just attended my 5th conference and every year I leave excited to get back to my stores & implement these new ideas to help me increase sales & profits!
Shelly Isbel Jenkins—Prior Attire—Cleveland, TN
Conference is a must for all resale owners to bring their staff. I had to close my store in order to bring my employee. The cost of myself and my employee on top of closing was a HUGE deal financially, but worth every dollar for the education. Thank you NARTS!
Connie Hansel—Classique Closet—Sioux City, IA
NARTS has been a key part to helping us grow in the NFP world. Every year we learn new things and come back with so many new resources and friendships it has been a life saver. Here at Memorial Assistance Ministries we have gained so much from the experiences we have had at conferences.
Heather Husband—MAM Resale Stores—Houston, TX
I have never been so inspired to take our business to the next level than after this conference. I am ready to bring our customers a new shopping experience that will have them coming back for more! After attending this year's conference, we added an Furniture consignment store to our Family consignment store. This was just the motivation needed to start a new adventure in consignment!
Angel Dewbre—Bargain Lady Clothing—Ardmore, OK
I have attended every conference but one in the past nine years. This was one of the best. There were so many great ideas and fresh attitudes. It was money very well spent!
Kimberly Smith—Retail Therapy—Houston, TX
Since, this was the 1st time I attended a NARTS conference I did not know what to expect! It was such an eye opening educational tool that I look forward to utilizing it in the years to come.
Lou Ray—Deja Vu Furniture & Accessories—Clinton, IA
I learn things at the conference that make our company thousands of dollars. We cannot afford to miss conference. I see it as a priceless learning experience for myself and my staff. Thank you!
Sue McCarthy—The Vault Luxury Resale—St. Louis, MO
In our specialized field, NARTS is the ONLY way to truly grow and learn amongst fellow business owners that understand what we are going through.
Kirsty Roefs—House of Consignment—Unadilla, NY
After five years in this business, the 'new' was beginning to wear off. It was getting a little tougher to maintain my energy and enthusiasm as day-to-day challenges became routine. It seemed that I struggled with a few persistent issues over and over without finding a really good solution. I was beginning to think that, since I was now an 'experienced resale professional', that I would just have to accept the status quo. Not True! At Conference I had several 'aha' moments that allowed me to see those challenges in a whole new light and provided me the tools to finally resolve many of them! I feel renewed, energized, and ready to take my business to the next level!
Lisa Gaynor—Design It With Consignment—Austin, TX
NARTS was eye opening and very helpful to me, personally. When I met others in the NFP industry, I didn't feel so alone tackling the giant problems that we have. I learned some super ideas for the future and can't wait to implement them in my own store! I loved the overall energy and enthusiasm of the attendees and the welcome I received as a newbie. Thank you!
Kaz Sephton—Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Thrift Shop—San Antonio, TX
The conference offered a chance to learn things that for-profit stores and businesses use to increase revenue. We are non-profit but want to be the best stewards of items donated to us by getting the most dollar value for the items.
Lisa Mills—Sheriffs Ranches Enterprises—Live Oak, FL
We came to NARTS for the first time in 2017, hoping to learn how to improve our NFP stores. What we found was a WONDERFUL COMMUNITY of experienced people willing to share, open and caring, folks with great business savvy and a sense of humor. We learned things that will improve our business, AND, surprisingly, we also came away knowing that we are doing many things right. It was a great reality check for us. Will definitely b coming back!!!
Carolyn Kintzing—St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store—Pittsburgh, PA
NARTS is one of the most powerful tools you can have for your business. The PR, conferences, newsletters and fellowship with other shop owners is priceless. You will take more away from a weekend at conference than you could by reading a book or a Facebook group. It is invaluable and something I look forward to all year!
Judy Connor—StillGoode Consignments—Spring, TX
I have been in business for 10 years. After 5 years, I joined NARTS. The ideas I have learned through conference and this AMAZING group of people have positively affected my bottom line year after year. Investing in myself by going to conference makes so much sense when I think about the extra money in my cash register and the money I save by implementing some of these idea. I can't wait to learn again next year!
Michelle Bradley—Decor on a Dime—Hamilton, ON, Canada
Minneapolis was the first NARTS Conference I attended. I loved talking to other people, getting ideas about how they run their businesses, sharing my successes and attending the workshops. I took lots of notes and it got me excited and motivated to try new things when I got back.
Peggy Levin—The Resale Shop—St. Louis
Unlike most networking groups, NARTS members are some of the most caring and sharing people I've ever met. We want to help each other because in turn, it helps me grow and makes a better name for resale. I learn at every conference, and with the changes in trends, technology and customer needs, owners have to be on the cutting edge to thrive. I value my membership with NARTS and all the friends and support I've received through fellow owners/managers.
Vena Holden—Selective Seconds—Greenwood, IN
Such an enlightening few days! It was wonderful being in the presence of so many knowledgeable resale professionals. Made the decision to join NARTS just two days before conference, closed shop, and brought my two employees! We truly came away inspired!
Paula Leger—Glory B's Consignment & Resale Boutique—Nederland, TX
This was my second year attending conference and it was just as good and better than the first! This year I was able to be the expert for a handful of people because my store recently switched over to buying outright. Business aside, NARTS has empowered me to find more confidence in myself and believe that I too have valid points to share and enrich others with. I am so grateful for this organization that allows me the help needed to better my business as well as myself. Thank you NARTS.
Bailey Handsaker—MODAO Resale—Vancouver, WA
NARTS Conferences have been a huge key to our success at MCB Thrift Store. Learn new information and ideas every time we come in contact with NARTS meetings and members. The opportunity to work with all of these professionals every year and keep in contact with them through out the years has been incredible. Thank You to everyone that pours their heart out to make this organization happen.
Rick Orr—NCB Thrift Store—Springfield, MO
Membership in NARTS with attendance of Seminars and the Annual Conference is the single most important thing I do for my business. No matter how great I think my business is... there is always a better way, a different idea, a newer level, or an ah-ha moment! And more importantly... there are new friends to make, old ones to embrace, and life to be shared. I have learned techniques and utilized ideas that have made/saved me countless hours and dollars. And more importantly, I have made friends to last a lifetime.
Terry Chesky—Consignment Cottage—Moon Township, PA
My store was only opened for 3 months when I decided to take the financial plunge and register for conference. I am SO glad that I did. What I learned is far more valuable than the expense of airfare and the conference. To be surrounded by the wisdom of so many consignment store owners was in itself amazing! Each one that I spoke with was more than happy to share. And it wasn't all pretty---they were honest and also shared the mistakes they had made and learned from--which will also help me to avoid such mistakes. I hope that I am able to attend NARTS every year!!!
Suzy Pineda—Suzy's Consign & Resale—Avon, IN
My store has been open for 5 years. We are successful and are doing great! For those 5 years I never understood why people go to conference when there is so much information available on-line via Facebook groups, forums and websites. Then I FINALLY decided I should go because we have been thinking about opening a second location. The energy, networking and rejuvenation I have for my business from attending conference is amazing! The ideas that I came away with will more than pay for attending! I am already planning our next years conference trip! PS: It also showed me I NEED to be a NARTS Member!!
Jessica Melson—Village Kids Consignment Boutique—Ada, MI
As a first time attendee I was overwhelmed with the quality, content, and professionalism of this conference. I am so glad that I was able to attend and had the chance to meet and network with such a diverse and experienced group of Resale Professionals. Thank you for providing this highly beneficial conference.
Robin Murray—Catholic Charities Resale Store—Decatur, IL
Attending a NARTS conference is the best thing a new business owner can do. If I would have known about NARTS before I started my business, I would have saved myself lots of time, effort and money and been more successful much earlier!
Wendy Sjogren—Clotheshorse—Denver, CO
I truly believe that if I didn't go to the NARTS convention most of these past 18 years I would not have the successful business that I do now. I feel that when I do miss a year, my business does not grow! I used to only go to the west coast locations, but 6 years ago I started going to every one. As a result, my business has grown more in these past 6 years than it did the first 13.
Lisa K Ibias—Alaskan Dames—Juneau, Alaska
I purchased an existing business that was pretty well established. Prior to coming to the conference I didn't have the confidence that I wanted or the real love for resale. But after leaving I am ready to rock and roll. I feel like the professional I have always felt for the retail business and have the confidence to succeed with high standards. And assured that I can make the income I want for my staff and myself. I will plan to come to conference every year!
Cassaundra Henderson—Style Plus....A Plus Size Resale—Houston, TX
If you are serious about getting your business to the next level, you absolutely must attend the NARTS conference. I have been going for 3 years and every year I come back with a refreshed look on my business. Going to the NARTS conference keeps me from getting stale and doing the same things over and over. I have made giant leaps in revenue and profits in the 4 years I have owned my store and I acknowledge that I can attribute this growth to what I have learned at conference. I always go in with the attitude that I will put to use at with a different way of thinking that pays for it ten times over. Bonus... it is a lot of fun and you meet some amazing people who are all willing to share their stories and their successes with you. I highly recommend you put conference at the top of your budget line so you don't miss out.
Gail Kincade—Act II Consignment—Littleton, CO
It is so important to learn what not to do as well as what to do. You can save yourself so much time, revenue, and worry by learning from each other. If you want to maintain a successful business you can't afford to miss the conference. 'If you think education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance.'
Howard L. Manning—The Dorcas Thrift Shop—Cary, NC
This was my first conference, at the end of each Workshop, I couldn't wait to get to the next to continue the adventure. It was like reading a great mystery novel you want to know how it ends but hate for the end to come. Thanks for the adventure!
Ellie Barber—Lutheran Thrift Shop—Tucson, AZ
I can't believe I waited so long to attend Conference! WHAT was I waiting for??? It was a great experience to take time to really look at my business from arm's length and analyze what's working and what can be improved. I will never miss another.
Chris Gauger—Here We Go Again—Portland, OR
I was a bit nervous when I got to conference because this was my first year and I'm not an owner, I'm just a manger. But then I quickly learned I'm not just a manager I am THE MANAGER and I need to own my position and be able to better myself, the store, staff and the owner. I met so many other managers who had the same concerns as myself and we were able to discuss and put a plan together to push forward! An absolutely amazing feeling and group of people you have here!
Jessica Copeland—The Sassy Peacock—Erie, PA
After attending NARTS Conference, my business has almost tripled in sales and I have become more professional and confident.
Billie Beasley—It's All Good, Benefitting PACN—Conroe TX
I wish I had come before I opened 3 years ago - I would have saved myself from learning some things the hard way. I always get enough new ideas to pay back my conference expense!
Nancy Angrove Urekar—ChicàBOOM Consignment—Caledon Village, ON, Canada
I guess if I could write a love letter to NARTS, this would be it. My experience at conference was life changing, heart-opening, hope-inspiring, and rejuvenating. I crawled out of my little black hole of despair and discouragement and came out swinging in defense of my business and the reality that it can be successful. I wonder how many other people were in my shoes over the last few days. I certainly hope not many, but the people I did meet and talk to are all responsible for my renewed outlook and positive movement forward. Today I can't imagine NOT staying on touch with the women I met because not only are they my new friends but my new family. I cannot express in words truly, what this conference means to me and how it will carry me through the tough days and be behind the awesome ones. Thank you from the bottom of my ever-so-grateful heart for being the people and organization that you are. I would love to write an article for the newsletter may be from the perspective of a struggling, discouraged new business owner and how the interaction with others in our industry have made such a difference. Thank you again!!!