Destination: Just step off of the train in Old Town Manassas and you’ll find Black Swan Boutique between Foster’s Grille and City Square Cafe. Store owner, Nicole Ro, said she was encouraged by the friendly community to create the consignment shop. The small town has its share of heavy foot traffic, with attractions like salons, restaurants and shops.
Atmosphere: Created and decorated by Ro, the boutique mirrors her spontaneity and favorite phrase: Own it. “What I hope to portray is that you can take the simple things and you can make [them] elegant, and you have to own it,” she says. “You take that shirt and you make it yours.” She encourages her customers to step out of their comfort zone, choosing from the funky racks of clothes and jewelry displays in her store.
Bread and Butter: Ro is all about her business motto: Making Elegance Affordable. And she does just that. “Just be who you are and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg,” she says. “You can dress it up, you can dress it down, you can be chic and you can be elegant, you can be modern and you can be classic.”
Sweet Surprises: If you’re looking for items that’ll punch up your wardrobe, make your way to the shoes. With platform cheetah print pumps or Coach sandals, you’re sure to make a statement. But don’t hesitate too much, because in the true fashion of consignment shops, one day it’s there, and the next it’ll be gone.
Fiercest Fan: Typical customers range from women in their early 30s to late 50s, but Ro has items that will entice a woman of any age. She is planning to expand her merchandise to include young girls’ clothing with pieces that will “mix it up.”
Blows to the Budget: Items can be as low at $20 and as high as $50, but as a consignment shop, high-fashion labels can go higher. One thing is for certain—at Black Swan you will never break the bank. —Taylor Ness
Destination: Black Swan Boutique
9425 West St., Manassas; chicblackswan.com