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By Bob Uphues
Not content with a giant pair of scissors cutting a ribbon, Kellie Scott threw a Hollywood-style coming out party to announce the opening of her business Divine Consign at its new location in North Riverside on June 7.
Complete with a red carpet, paparazzi and a roving reporter checking in on what attendees were wearing, the grand opening ceremony officially christened the up-scale furniture and home furnishings consignment shop inside a 20,000-square-foot space at 1800 Harlem Ave.
The new store roughly quadruples the showroom space the consignment shop had at its decade-long home in Oak Park, giving pieces room to breathe.
"I didn't want it to look like a warehouse," said Scott of her concept for the layout of the large space. "So even though it's big, it's also homey and comfortable."
In addition to the spacious showroom, with its selection of chairs, sofas, dining sets, bed frames, end tables, chests of drawers, lighting, framed art and shelves with other home furnishings, shoppers can take a break or talk things over with their designers while sipping coffee and nibbling on snacks in an upstairs lounge that overlooks the showroom.
Divine Consign now has a convenient delivery dock at the rear of the building that opens into a large storage area, probably bigger than the entire Oak Park store. Scott has converted part of the receiving/storage area into a photo studio, so pieces can be delivered, catalogued, cleaned up and photographed for the store's website before heading into the showroom.
The bigger space has led to Scott hiring several new employees, and she may end up hiring more depending on how things go.
"We're testing the waters right now," Scott said.
Scott has also expanded Divine Consign's business hours. It's now open an hour earlier and closes an hour later, Monday-Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The consignment shop, which opened its doors quietly on June 1, takes up a little less than half of a former Sports Authority store. The rest of the former retail space will eventually be home to a Cook County Health and Hospital System primary care clinic. It's expected to open in late 2018, but interior build out has yet to start.