Neat rows of clothing and accessories, grouped by type and fabric, then arranged in a rainbow of colors, are lined up and labeled. Music hums in the background, and the glow of lit candles lends a tranquil feel to the room. As the door of Second Hand Rose opens, owner Gina Saab extends a warm greeting that you can hear a smile in, similar to the smiles that often spread across shoppers’ faces as they check the price tags on the stylish garments in her shop.
Though you’ll find countless designer items on the racks, this isn’t a department store retailer. Rather, it’s Alabama’s oldest consignment store, complete with a reputation for high standards and beautiful pieces. Established almost 30 years ago, Second Hand Rose is the perfect spot for the stylish woman searching for a unique addition to her wardrobe at a truly unbelievable price.
From Louis Vuitton to Michael Kors, Burberry to Rag & Bone, there is something to suit every style waiting on the racks. Most pieces are listed at 75 percent to 80 percent off retail prices and, because many local boutiques bring in their unsold, end-of-season items, about half of the merchandise in the store is brand new with tags still attached.
“It’s always Christmas around here, we say, because you never know what’s going to walk through the door,” Gina says.
Every piece that comes in to be consigned is thoroughly researched and compared to current retail before pricing to make sure the customer is receiving the best bargain possible. Second Hand Rose accepts clothing and accessories that are less than two years old and in keeping with the season and current fashion. Items are sold on a 60-day consignment at a 60/40 profit split. With this fine-tuned research and cataloging system and more than 8,000 consignors, there’s always something gorgeous to be discovered.
“We get a lot of Louis Vuitton purses. We have a list of customers a mile long that we call when one comes in to the store, so they don’t even stay here 24 hours,” Gina says. “But my favorite things are the more unique items that we don’t see a lot. I get really excited when a high-end designer piece comes in that we’ve never had before.”
Gina has always had an eye for well-made garments and accessories, but growing up in a large family didn’t allow for designer labels as a staple in her wardrobe. “When I was a freshman in college, I wanted a Gucci handbag—a doctor bag—and it was $300,” she says. “My mother told me, ‘Okay, but if you get that one thing, that’s all you’re going to get.’ And I told her, ‘Mama, that’s fine. That’s all I want.’ So I have always followed fashion, and I know what I like.”
Gina’s love of fashion inspired a career immersed in style. After working in boutiques in Mountain Brook for more than 20 years, she purchased Second Hand Rose 10 years ago and brought with her a keen eye for the Birmingham woman’s aesthetic and a commitment to maintaining a highly organized, beautiful shop. Those standards have earned Second Hand Rose a dedicated following, and have developed a base of customers and consignors across the Southeast. “There’s a great sense of loyalty with our customers,” Gina says, “and I think that’s because we’re doing something right to keep them happy.” Business has been so good, in fact, that Gina opened a second location in Cahaba Heights four years ago to help accommodate her ever-growing inventory and client base.
Gina loves being able to offer unique items and pieces that aren’t available elsewhere in Birmingham. “Our consignors shop all over, so we end up with merchandise from all over,” Gina says. “They shop at the high-end stores at The Summit, and they also shop when they are traveling and then end up bringing those pieces here. So we have a lot of nice labels all under one roof. We can take care of our customers from head-to-toe—literally.”
Staff members are always happy to help with styling and putting full outfits together. Clients often arrive looking for an outfit to wear on a Friday night out and end up loving the ensemble so much, they snip the tags on the way out the door so they can wear it right away. From classic staples to trendy scarves and jewelry, Second Hand Rose is the place to get a dash of uncompromising style without compromising your budget.
“The Birmingham woman is very up-to-date and fashionable.” Gina says. “Anything goes! I love that about fashion … it’s just whatever makes people happy. That’s what clothing is all about.”
Second Hand Rose has two locations: 2015 Valleydale Road in Hoover, and 4200 Oakview Lane in Cahaba Heights. The Hoover location is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Cahaba Heights location is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the Hoover store at (205) 987-7027 or the Cahaba Heights store at (205) 970-7997, or visit shrose.com to learn more.