From children's consignment to West Coast flair, several new stores have opened on the Peninsula this year. Here are the details on these new spots to shop.
Brigitte's Closet, Coffee & Consignment, Hampton
You may remember that little Phoebus coffee shop once made world-famous by the presence of Al Jazeera English during the 2008 presidential election.
The bar remains intact, and coffee is still served, though now suit jackets, formal dresses and designer shoes surround customers.
Brigitte Booker-Rogers and her husband, Michael Rogers, have transformed the store into a consignment boutique, focusing on the designer fashions of professional men and women. Nine West shoes sit on a rack at the front of the store for $20. A Dolce & Gabbana handbag sells for $99. A pair of never-worn Kate Spade shoes from Neiman Marcus is on sale for $99.
The clothes are second-hand, but Brigitte, who hails from Paris, swears she only takes the best. The store owners are also quite proud of their men's collection, which is extensive compared to other consignment shops in the area. Michael may even invite you to check out the bathrooms, to prove that the pair wants customers to feel luxury in every corner of the store.
Info: 33 E. Mellen St., Hampton. 946-0080.
Nestled in Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News, Apricot Lane caters to 20-somethings and older with its West Coast-inspired merchandise. Flowing silhouettes, wide-brimmed hats and loads of chunky costume jewelry can outfit a local lady to rival any California character. Look closely to find specialty items like legging boot straps.
Prices are higher than many of the other mall stores. Blouses range from $50 to $80, with many dresses nearing the $100 mark. But though your teen may find some outfit inspiration in this locally owned boutique, it's mom who will leave the Apricot Lane dressing room looking hip.
Info: Patrick Henry Mall, 12300 Jefferson Ave., Newport News. 249-4305.
Closets of Camelot
With mom taken care of at Brigitte's, Phoebus shoppers can walk a few steps to Closets of Camelot to outfit their tots.
A consignment store focused on babies and toddlers — though clothing ranges into pre-teen sizes — Closets of Camelot primarily houses clothing items, though equipment, books, toys and bedroom décor are all accepted. A local crafter provides handmade bows.
Right now, owner Souade Knight is offering 50 percent off to customers who become a fan of the store's Facebook page.
Info: 15 E. Mellen St., Hampton. 722-3919.
Zoe's Dynasty Collectibles
Consignment is the theme for this year's new store openings, and Zoe's is no exception. Set up like a maze, the store incorporates clothing, home décor, knick knacks and everyday items into one space, though most has an Asian theme.
The clothing, home décor and collectible items are generally of thrift store quality, and although there are some good buys, many of the items are priced higher than local competitors. The store is worth a stop for shoppers who are looking for unique and low-priced China.
Consignors make out well, earning 70 percent of the selling price — higher than the more typical 50 or 60 percent consignment split.
Info: 10600 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. 599-6705.
Although there are several Tuesday Morning stores on the Peninsula, the newest spot near Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News is worth a look.
While some Tuesday Morning locations can take on a junk store feel, this new spot emulates a Burlington Coat Factory or well-organized T.J. Maxx in both price and atmosphere, without the emphasis on clothing.
Though the organizational focus is still on rows of shelves packed with goods, items are categorized, lined up and presented in a more clean-cut format. Particularly good prices can be found on some of the toys, and the pillow selection is surprisingly upscale. This is also a go-to spot to look for bargain luggage, and, if you're already in the Christmas mood, some holiday items can be found in the back.
Info: 12638 Jefferson Ave., Newport News. 890-0472.
Ben Franklin in York County threatened to close, stayed opened a bit longer, hosted a "Going Out of Business" sale, closed, then boasted a "Grand Opening" sale a few weeks ago.
What the new owners want shoppers to take away is that the crafts chain, although named Ben Franklin, is not affiliated with the previous store. A new beading department is the pride of the new store, and employees — many of whom worked at the previous store — claim that the shelves are stocked with a more extensive lineup of craft and art supplies.
The new store is certainly interested in promoting its presence with sales. Yankee Candle lovers should sign up for the store's email newsletter. It often boasts deals on the candle brand.
Info: 5007 Victory Blvd., Yorktown. 283-5345.
Quirks of Art
Jenn Raines closed her Williamsburg Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine boutique in August 2010 after failed negotiations with the store's landlord. She took her American crafts business online for a few months and recently opened a new storefront in The Shops at High Street in Williamsburg called Quirks of Art.
The 1,600-square-foot storefront focuses on handcrafted American artisans, and Raines often encourages her loyal shoppers to "shop local."
From wall art to stationary, the store houses funky work that is sure to catch your eye, and, perhaps, your pocketbook.
Info: 1430 High St., Williamsburg. 645-4366.
Paitsel can be reached at 247-4737 or email@example.com.
For more local deals, visit SavvyShopperToday.com. Connect with the Savvy Shopper at Facebook.com/SavvyShopper or Twitter.com/HRSavvyShopper. Text DPFREE to 71593 to sign up for mobile alerts.