By Diane Y. Welch
Tucked away in the Village on Cedros Avenue is the showroom of Polo Bay Consignments. The space, recently vacated by Re-Gallery — where artwork made from recycled materials was exhibited — now showcases furnishings and home accessories, gently used and of high-end designer quality, artfully displayed in eye-catching vignettes in a boutique setting.
The vacancy was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up by Mary Kellejian, ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and her partner and daughter, Kelli Kellejian Barrett, Allied ASID, who saw the potential in the former gallery as a showroom that could expand on Kellejian’s current interior design company, Polo Bay Interiors, just steps away.
An expansion of her business into consignment came to mind immediately, said Kellejian. “Kelli and I had always talked about consignment, we’ve always consignment shopped, so we were on the same page and, of course, we got Joe into it, too.” Joe Kellejian is the former Mayor of Solana Beach City and is Mary’s husband and Kelli’s father.
An official ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the showroom was held by the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept 26. Kellejian, past president of ASID, has been a chamber member since she moved her interior design business to Cedros Ave. just over two years ago after being located in Del Mar for 25 years.
Joining in partnership with her daughter was a natural fit. While Kelli was in design school she worked with her mother as an assistant but then branched out onto her own career path, which included working for a model home company in Orange County. She then represented a window covering firm and, in 2010, was hired by Sterling Interiors in Sorrento Mesa as a full-service designer. “Then my mom called me and said, ‘I want you to come back!’” chuckled Kelli who, with 15 years in the design industry, remains a part-time consultant for Sterling Interiors. However, she plans to segue into full-time partnership with her mother as the business takes off. Which, from the amount of foot traffic and number of daily inquiries, won’t be long, they both agree.
The merchandising of the showroom reflects an artistry that creates an airy coastal feel that mixes and matches textures, colors and the scale of items so that each is visible. “I don’t want to take someone’s furniture and then hide it in a corner where people don’t even know it’s there,” said Kellejian. “We truly want to showcase these items.”
The main comments that they have been receiving from walk-in customers are “It is so cute in here” and “Your prices are excellent,” Kellejian said. Prices are set fairly so that items do not sit for too long in the showroom. After a month without selling the price is reduced 10 percent, the next month another 10 percent, and by the third month the consignor has the option to pick up the item, have it marked down another 10 percent or donate the item. Polo Bay Consignments plans to donate these unsold and unwanted pieces to the Wounded Warrior charity to help support wounded veterans.
Because the display space is limited, turn around of merchandise is swift. “We advise customers not to think too long about an item because chances are it will have been snapped up when they return,” said Kellejian. And if a consignor has a large scale item it is recommended they send in photographs that are then placed in a binder which may be shared with clients.
“In this regard we serve as matchmakers too,” said Kelli. Having long-term relationships with many of their customers, both Kelli and Mary Kellejian know in an instant if a piece of furniture, a light fixture or an accessory is exactly what a client may be searching for. “We are happy to go that extra step,” said Kelli, “to let people know that we are thinking about them.” And with excellent pricing it comes with significant savings for the client she said.
Showroom hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. –5 p.m., with extended hours during the Holiday period. Visit www.polobayinteriors.com and click on services, then consignment to find out more details about the service. Or call Kelli Kellejian Barrett or Mary Kellejian at (858) 259 1334; firstname.lastname@example.org. Polo Bay Consignments is located at 348 South Cedros Avenue, #H - Solana Beach, CA 92075.