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Old Friends Build Anew Room

c. High-end consignment offers endless decor options

Article by Jennifer Draher

Photography by Terry Fravel

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

Ten years ago, over dinner, longtime friends Ruthanne Wilkof and Sam Messerly casually discussed an idea for a high-end furniture, art and decor accessories consignment shop. The idea turned into reality when five years later, Wilkof started selling real estate and saw an opportunity to help clients get rid of specialty items they no longer wanted. Now, after more than five years in business, Anew Room has survived a move, a three-month storefront street closure and the Coronavirus.

“People told me if we can survive three years, we’re in good shape,” says Wilkof. “We’re at five, and I believe it’s because when you’re passionate about something, you will succeed.”

The truth is Wilkof has always had a passion for the art of decorating. Add real estate clients who want to downsize, and it’s a match made in consignment heaven. Anew Room consigns upscale sofas, tables, lamps and more, giving some people an opportunity to sell their pre-owned items and others the chance to purchase pieces at a fraction of what they would cost new.

Some consignments come from clients of Interior Designer Josette Kark with JK Designs. Kark occupies approximately 1,200 square feet of Wilkof’s store with a design studio and showroom to sell new furniture. The combo creates a one-stop-shopping experience where consigned and new items, along with design services, are all available under the same roof.

Messerly, now the store’s General Manager, says there is a price range for everyone in this store.

“We don’t want our items to feel overpriced just because they are beautiful,” says Messerly. “Our pieces are stylish and affordable, and we don’t take anything that’s worn or damaged.”

A merchandising and interior design background equips Messerly for pricing, staging and selling the store’s unique pieces. His extensive knowledge even helps some clients realize a higher value of their items.

Wilkof is certain that hiring Sam and moving the store to its current Whipple Avenue location are the two best business decisions she has made.

“We have the best landlord around,” says Wilkof. “And our client base is very supportive.”

After 28 years in banking, 10 as President/CEO of the Jackson-Belden Chamber and five in real estate, Wilkof says there are not too many people in town she doesn’t know. But she’s certain there is no other store in Stark County like hers.

To consign with Anew Room, email photos and detailed information about the item(s) to anewroom4349@gmail.com or visit anewroom4u.com.

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