Local shop empowers community beyond fashion

Kinsey Meyer in her store on June 22.

, Livhanson95

For two years while studying at Iowa State, Kinsey Meyers was working at a consignment shop. After graduation she was set to move on to an internship at Coldwater Creek in Sandpoint, Idaho, which she hoped would turn into a full time job.

But just three weeks before graduation Meyers got an email stating that the company was going bankrupt and was closing all its stores. Her position as an intern was liquidated.

‘I didn’t know what the hell to do. I was distraught, upset and sad,” said Meyers.

But there was something in the stars for Meyers. The shop she’d worked at, “Miss Meyer’s Consignment,” was waiting. Now, Kinsey Meyers is the owner of that local consignment shop, located at 432 Fifth St. in downtown Ames.

“[The last name] Meyers was Katherine Meyers’, the previous owner’s maiden name, and that’s actually my last name. So it was just kind of written in the stars,” Meyers said. 

Meyers told the previous owner of Miss Meyers Consignment, Katherine Meyers, that she was going to be staying in Ames. At that point, Katherine had already filled her position. Luckily, Katherine was able to squeeze her in for a couple Sundays that summer.

So Meyers stayed in Ames and took the rest of summer off. She helped with vacation bible school at Memorial Lutheran. She was still searching for what she was going to with her career.

Then, Katherine approached her asking if she would want to buy the shop. 

The consignment store offers a place where women can come in and find their favorite fashion clothing and accessories at discounted prices. The quality of the clothing is one thing that draws in many customers, as well as their selection of designer bags.

With over 3300 consignors at this point, and a small space to work with, they must be very selective about the things that they take. So during the consigning processes they go through the clothes very thoroughly to make sure there’s, “no stains, no rips, anything missing, anything coming undone, anything” Meyer said. The quality of the clothing they take is one of their number one priorities.

All consignment customers must set up an appointment beforehand and are allowed to bring in only 30 items. After the inspection process of the garments is over, they will enter the garments into an account for the consigner. Consignors get 40 percent of what their items sell for and then they can either use that as in-store credit, or get a check so then they can do whatever they want with it.

One thing that sets Miss Meyer’s apart from the rest is their store set up. Everything in their store is arranged by color, size, and garment style.

“I think that’s the thing we get the comments on the most is, ‘It’s so easy to shop here,’” Meyers said.

Meyers and her staff are a group of women that care about the women of the community. Their goal is to enrich the lives of each person that comes into their store. They also offer a keen eye for fashion, as well as constructive criticism where warranted.

“There’s a lot of moms who come in when they have 10 minutes for themselves and they get to just look and browse and try on and have 10 minutes to breathe. We offer our opinion and we are very opinionated women. We would never want someone leaving the store looking bad, ever,” Meyers said.

Meyers believes that everyone has the right to feel good about themselves and wants to be able to help people do that. Although feeling good about yourself doesn’t just consist of having a good outfit on, it can help and it’s a first step.

“When someone puts you in a good outfit or you feel really good in something, it starts to change the way you feel, the way you treat other people, the way you act,” Meyers said.

She also says that there’s many women out there who just don’t know how to put an outfit together or just don’t have the time. That’s where Miss Meyer’s Consignment steps in to help.

“And it can be easy, it can be simple, its just finding the right pieces and having someone help you put them together,” Meyers said.

Meyers and her staff have gone beyond just empowering women though, they make it clear that they are there to help empower the whole community. Meyer’s said that they’ve helped the transgender community, as well as cross dressers. It is a place where anyone can come in be themselves, and always be able to expect a helping hand.

“If anyone needed anything, we would help them here. Or do our best,” Meyers said. “A lady who was homeless came in and last December and she was living in her car and her car got broken into. Her stuff was stolen and she had nothing. It was like blizzarding out and she came in in a hooded sweatshirt. So we had this coat in the back and I think it was a Land’s End [coat]. It was a beautiful down coat, like ankle length. We donated it to her and she cried and so we started crying. So we do anything to make someone feel good and that’s empowering them in the slightest way.”