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Luxury on Rotation

India Shepherd, owner of Birmingham’s Rotate Boutique, offers designer items at consignment prices — plus hot holiday picks.

Rotate Boutique owner India Shepherd has always had a passion for fashion. After a deal to open her dream shop — a high-end shoe boutique — in Downtown Detroit fell through, she decided to return to her work as a real-estate agent.

Shepherd, however, wasn’t ready to give up on her dreams. In 2018, she browsed her own closet for items she no longer wanted and began selling them on Poshmark. Beginning with about 10 pairs of shoes — a fashionista’s paradise of pumps and boots by Fendi, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin — she quickly gleaned a lot of interest from potential customers, but not a lot of follow-throughs.

“We were negotiating all day for one shoe, and no money came,” Shepherd says. So she began investigating the possibility of a brick-and-mortar store. She started making friends with local resale shops and asking questions, then hosting small pop-up shopping parties. 

In April 2019, she took the plunge and opened Rotate Boutique (rotateboutique.com) in Bloomfield Hills. The space was small, with limited visibility and foot traffic off the main roads. When the pandemic hit less than a year later, things got even tougher, but Shepherd managed to survive through online retail and savings.

“I was suffering and struggling, but I was still learning the business,” she says. “I said, ‘Either I stay here and just figure it out and remain this hidden gem, or I push myself into the uncomfortable unknown space.’”

With that, Shepherd relocated to Downtown Birmingham in August 2022. The move, she says, has been a great success, bringing in new clients and friends, locals and walk-by travelers and neighboring shops. 

“It’s great, it’s even more than what I had envisioned,” she says. “I’m happy.” 

Rotate brings high-quality pre-owned pieces — mostly for women — at a discount, from luxury brands like Chanel, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, plus little-known high-end retailers rarely found in the United States. Items can range from a $65 Off-White tee-shirt to $5,000-plus Chanel suits and more. All items come with a certificate of authenticity, verified by Entrupy. Rotate also sells new, lower-priced items that range from $15-$35, including graphic socks, umbrellas, accessory trays and make-up bags.

The shop is based largely on a consignment model. With a motto of “If you’re over it, rotate it,” Shepherd works with those looking to sell their high-end pieces, inspecting the items and researching their current market value to negotiate a sale price and profit share. The items are then held in the store for 90 days and returned to the owner if they don’t sell. 

Shepherd says her shop is a perfect one-stop-shop for holiday gifts, with a variety of clothes and accessories, plus gift-wrapping and delivery services. 

“You’re getting high-end quality pieces, great customer service, a warm inviting environment and a pleasant staff,” she says. “And you’re getting more bang for your buck.”

INDIA’S HOT HOLIDAY PICKS 2023

Fuchsia 2018 Chanel Double Flap Purse: $6,800

Featuring the brand’s signature Caviar Leather, the bag can be worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody. Its distinctive color makes it the perfect gift for someone with an adventurous spirit. “You’ve got to be daring to want to wear this bag with anything,” Shepherd says. “Don’t be shy.”

Christian Dior Book Tote: $2,000

Embroidered with a burgundy-and-gold paisley print against a blue background, this tote is great for a woman on the move. “She loves to travel — she throws her essentials in and goes,” Shepherd says. “It’s even for a cool, stylish, fly mom on the go.”

Chanel Black and White Lucite Kiss Lock Clutch

A rare piece from the early 2000s, she says, “This clutch is for that one girl that loves a handbag that’s a conversation piece, a showstopper. You won’t go to a party and see anyone else carrying this.”

Silver and Crystal Chanel Brooches: $500-$700

Rotate has a selection of silver and crystal Chanel brooches featuring its trademark emblems: Double C logo with metal fringe: $700; Standalone Double C logo: $500; perfume bottle: $600, offering an “instant update to almost any outfit,” she says.

Hermes Bracelets: $385-$800

The Hermes Extra Wide Bangle ($385) is a whimsical piece featuring an enameled pattern of multicolored hot air balloons set against a purple background with silver edging. For a simpler look, the Hermes Chaîne d’Ancre Bracelet ($800) features a chain link design of sterling silver. 

“Must-haves for the accessory-loving woman looking for an everyday statement piece,” she says.

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