Connect
To Top

Meet Wendy Serrino of North Shore Exchange in Glencoe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Serrino.

The idea for North Shore Exchange (NSE) came about when the Woman’s Library Club decided to close it’s 80-year-old thrift shop due to many years of financial losses. The new concept for the old building was for a charitable resale shop that would sell luxury women’s fashion and high-end home furnishings via consignment and donation and would give all of its profits to Chicagoland charities. The shop would be run by a board of directors and a large group of volunteers.

North Shore Exchange qualified as a 501 (c)(3) enterprise and opened for business in March of 2013 after completely renovating the old thrift shop building for the Woman’s Library Club. The shop has been very well received and has grown substantially in the four years it has been open. It is run 90% by volunteers and 5 part-time paid staff. Sales have reached almost $900,000 a year and by September of 2017, NSE will have given $1,000,000 to charity. We have shoppers/consignors from all over Chicagoland and from faraway states like California, Arizona, Washington, Florida and Texas.

NSE has won the Make It Better Best Resale Shop for three years running – 2015, 2016, 2017. NSE has also won the prestigious Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce – 2017 James Tyree Award honoring a local emerging business for leadership and philanthropy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There was tremendous support from the community from the beginning to make the concept work. Renovating a building on a shoestring budget with donated architectural and design expertise along with donated building materials in five months was challenging.

It was also a huge learning experience in that none of the team had run a retail/resale shop before. All of it was new – from the concept to the execution to the people involved.

Unexpected and extraordinary happy results followed and the community that was created lives on every day at our shop.

North Shore Exchange – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are known as a fabulous place to shop for great deals on high-end women’s fashion and home decor. We are different than other resellers because 100% of our profits go to charity. So whether you shop, consign or donate you get to participate in the mission of North Shore Exchange.

We have a strong community of loyal volunteers, employees, shoppers, donors and consignors so just coming in our shop makes you want to stay, chat and look around.

For our consignors – We sell fast. We pay fast. We price competitively. And every item sold helps Chicagoland children and families in need. What’s in your closet that you aren’t wearing? Turn it into cash!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Our ultimate measurement of success is the amount of money we can give to Chicagoland Charities that serve the poor – but in order to do that we have to have a successful growing business that is efficiently and happily run by our volunteers and staff. So our measurements are: Total profits generated in a year, sales growth, product quality, volunteer satisfaction, and also positive feedback from our shoppers and consignors/donors.

Pricing:

  • Our pricing ranges from $20 to above $5000 depending on the item.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Chicago’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Chicago has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    voyagechicago staffOctober 17, 2017
  • Fun Things to do in Chicago in October

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Chicago over the next few weeks. Check them out below...

    voyagechicago staffOctober 15, 2017
  • Suggested For You

    Dave Mason, one of the founders of the Cusp Conference, shares his unique perspective with us below. I have seen the...

    Dave MasonSeptember 1, 2017
  • Local Ramen to Warm Your Soul

    There is nary a soul that seeks not the warmth of ramen in the windy winters.  However, some ramen is so...

    voyagechicago staffJuly 8, 2017
  • The Best Latte Art in Chicagoland

    One hallmark of a truly advanced society is the ease with which one can find latte art. Friends, we have much...

    voyagechicago staffJune 29, 2017
  • 15 Amazing Female Founders Changing the World

    Meet 15 incredible women who aren’t letting the world hold them back. They’ve built hugely successful businesses, created thousands of jobs...

    voyagechicago staffApril 10, 2017
  • Seasons of Love

    Kadam Malik, relationship guru and entrepreneur, shares his thoughts about love, romance and dating in the city. I find myself in...

    voyagechicago staffMarch 22, 2017
  • Meet Lynzie Wellin of Lyfe Style Win in Lakeview

    Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynzie Wellin. Lynzie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you...

    voyagechicago staffMarch 19, 2017
  • Life is Uncertain. Have Dessert Every Day

    The Top Desserts in Chicago– handpicked by our editors – one for each day of the week 🙂 1. Smores &...

    voyagechicago staffFebruary 8, 2017