Where it all began…
An avid resale shopper, Carolyn Barter had the vision of owning her own consignment store since the early 1990s. Waiting until her sons were older, it was not until 2002 that the dream began to turn into a reality.
“I don’t remember thinking my store would become this big of a deal, but I DID want it to become a social hub…a place where women would shop regularly and I would get to know their sizes and individual styles and remember their names.”
Certain events combined early on to start Baja Rosi’s on the way to success:
- Carolyn applied for and received the Self Employment Assistance Grant
- A supportive family and frequent design inspiration from a talented sister
- A prime location was secured next to a thriving bistro providing an eager customer base
- Early membership with the National Association of Resale and Thrift Stores provided learning opportunites at yearly conferences and a tightly woven web of peers in the industry to become friends with and share ideas
In 2002, Baja Rosi’s Consignment Cabana opened in an 1100 sq. ft. space at its current location. Within three years, Carolyn seized the opportunity to more than double the store in size and The Cabana became the largest consignment offering on Vancouver Island!
Awards and recognition include:
Retailer of The Year, 2006 Business Excellence Awards
Women in Business, 2011 Black Press Eco Entrepreneur Award
Best of the City, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Black Press Community Awards
“I am happiest when I am in front of the customers, talking and hearing about their lives. These people have become my friends.”
November 2, 2014 marks 13 years in business offering affordable fashion for women and men in the community. Along with the money-saving aspect of resale, Carolyn and her team of Baja Girls are fiercely committed to the environmental aspect of the resale industry. According to Carolyn, “It has finally become en vogue to shop second hand. People are realizing that we cannot continue to consume at the rate we have been; it is simply not sustainable.” When you sell your items at Baja Rosi’s you are reducing the impact on the landfill while offering lightly-used items whose carbon footprint has already been imprinted by someone else. This is a realistic model that can be sustained.
As far as how I came up with the store’s name, let’s just say that it involved shots of tequila and I will leave the rest up to your imagination!