Profiles of Dress with Nicole Wrona | Owner, Simplicity Consignment

By: Kadiyah Lodge

Profiles of Dress is a journey through the lives of fascinating people who believe in the power of dress and who let their clothing speak for themselves.

Nicole Wrona, the owner of Simplicity, a consignment boutique located in Poughkeepsie, New York, is passionate about clothing and the impact dress makes on our everyday lives. Simplicity boasts of not only clothing, but the boutique is also adorned with vintage accessories.

Whether Nicole is selecting pieces from brands that make a social impact or she is giving back to her community, the boutique owner makes connecting with her customers a top priority. Through her styling services, Nicole thrives on creating looks she knows her customers will feel good in.

Perched on a vintage table, and expertly dressed in one of her go-to looks, I sat down with Nicole to get the scoop on her fabulous boutique, the connection she has with her customers, the long term social impact she’s already making and the key pieces (hello black blazer!) she grabs when she’s in a rush.

 

ABOUT NICOLE

What is the best piece of fashion and style advice you’ve received that’s too good not to share with the world?

To invest in quality pieces for your closet—a good jean, a black blazer, a solid pump. You do need to invest in pieces that have longevity in your closet, [pieces that] can upscale any single outfit. If you have a black blazer, it’s easy and versatile to wear with many different outfits.

In what ways has this advice been invaluable to you?

I think it’s allowed me to stock my closet properly.

Fashionably speaking, what are your go-to items for getting dressed in a hurry?

In the summer, it’s a maxi dress with sandals; I wrap my hair in a bun and I’m out the door in five minutes. But in the fall and winter, I think I have two go-to outfits—I wear tights with skirts and sweaters tucked in and I wear tunics and ponchos over tights. I do keep a neutral color palette. Every once in a while, I’ll pull bold pieces in, but I also think when you stick to one color palette, it allows you to interchange so many outfits.

 

ABOUT SIMPLICITY

As a consignment shop owner, can you share with us the process of how you go about selecting pieces for your boutique?

I have thousands of consignors and I book about 100 appointments a week. I really like to get into the mind of my shoppers when I’m consigning because I think it’s important to know your clientele and to know what they’re looking for. I really look for antique pieces. I look for quality pieces.

When we first met, you spoke about your desire to leave a social impact. How does Simplicity contribute to this concept?

Social impact is honestly something that I think, live, dream and breathe. It’s always on my mind. Simplicity alone this year has donated over 10,000 [pieces] to local nonprofit communities from items that we were unable to sell. We also pull in brands that directly coincide with my belief of social impact so we do have a few of my favorite brands right now. We just brought in a brand called Sudara that works directly with women in sex trafficking in India. I also purchase from a company called Headbands of Hope. For every headband sold, they donate a headband to a child with cancer.

Clothing and accessories that are passed down almost always tell a story. Is there a story you would like to share about some of your favorite pieces that are currently in your boutique?

We have a woman in her 80’s whose mother used to own a dressing boutique in Poughkeepsie. She’s actually continued to keep these vintage dresses in beautiful condition and so we get a lot of those in every season.

Who are some of the people that have influenced your personal style?

My style is always changing. I don’t like to say, “I dress this way” or “I like these looks” because some days I wake up and I want to wear cowboy boots and a denim shirt and go. [However] I remember when Gigi Hadid wore a graphic tee, blazer, and pumps. I saw that and was like—that’s what I’m wearing to work on Monday.

 

ABOUT THE SIMPLICITY CUSTOMER

How are you helping the Simplicity customer connect to the pieces they purchase? 

I think it’s important to form relationships with your clients and know exactly what it is they are looking for. I think the most important part about forming relationships with clients is the joy I get when receiving pictures of when they wore that outfit for their daughter’s wedding or when they went out on a date and felt so good in the outfit they had. It really forms a relationship and a connection between the store and the clients and me and the consignors. There’s a whole chain of emotions and love for a piece that once somebody else loved and then I loved, and took, and now, somebody else loves. It’s fun to be able to pass that joy around.

Simplicity offers style consultations. Where do you draw inspiration for each look you’re trying to achieve?

I vibe off them. It’s also the need to be in tune with color palettes. I have been every size from four to a 12 and I’ve learned to dress for the body I have and I think that’s also important when you’re styling somebody. To me it’s not about sales, it’s about that connection between what you’re wearing, where you are going and how you’re feeling.

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