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Consign To Design: Redesigning Consigning

Consign To DesignIn this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are proud to feature the founders and owners and husband and wife team of Knoxville-based Consign To Design, David and Kristi Hickey.

David and Kristi have truly redefined how others view the consignment furniture marketplace, providing homeowners and renters alike with the perfect venue to sell their high-quality, gently used furniture, art, and home décor items to other quality conscious individuals who may be shopping for that perfect single accent piece, bedroom or living room suite, or an entire home full of furniture. With just over 10,000 square feet of floor space, Consign To Design’s showroom provides shoppers the perfect venue to discover just the right furniture, art, or home décor items at just the right price – often up to 80% off full retail.

EK: Your store is incredible. Tell our readers how this concept developed.

David: Our first exposure to this concept was through a friend with a similar store. We were so taken with the idea that we decided to open our own. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to provide the community with a place to find high-quality, gently used furniture and home décor at reasonable prices.

EK: How did customers respond at first? Was Consign To Design an instant success?

Kristi: Customers were very excited when we opened. We heard things like Knoxville needed a store like ours. We have been thrilled with the excitement of our customers – both buyers and consignors. In fact, we have made some wonderful friends. I would say “Consign To Design has been an instant success.” We started out in November 2010 with about 4,300 square feet and grew to just over 10,000 square feet in March of 2012. We just recently added more than 1,000 square feet for our new intake center.

EK: Consign To Design doesn’t look like what most people would expect a furniture consignment store to look like. Explain.

David: I think many people have a preconceived notion of what a consignment store will be like. Some expect dusty old pieces like an antique store while others expect worn out furniture lined up on concrete floors. We work very hard to ensure that what our customers find when they come in is of high quality and only gently used. In fact, many of our pieces are so gently used that they basically look brand new. First timers often have a hard time believing that our merchandise is consigned.

EK: Is it true that visitors often confuse your store with a furniture store selling only new furniture? Is it also true that your growing list of shoppers includes many interior designers?

Kristi: When new customers come in the store, we hear “wow” as their face lights up. We hear “this can’t be consignment,” “everything looks brand new,” and “this is displayed as beautiful as a new furniture store. Who gets rid of this beautiful furniture?” We have interior designers and decorators who frequent our store often. They buy for their clients or have their clients come in the store. A lot of times they come in together, and usually they don’t leave empty handed.

EK: What is the significance of the word “design” in Consign To Design?

David: We hope to be a place where customers can not only find unique and interesting items to decorate their space, but also a place where they can find inspiration and new ideas. Also, in addition to having a designer on staff, many local designers and decorators come in on a regular basis, either shopping for their clients or for themselves.

EK: Where do most of your furniture, art, and home décor items come from?

Kristi: Most of our great items come from people who live in the West Knoxville area, and a large amount comes from the lake and golf front communities located in Loudon and Monroe counties. They are either moving, just moved in, or are redecorating their homes. Some bring us an item or two, and some bring us their entire household of items. It seems like the furniture never goes in another home like it does for the one you purchased, and a lot of our customers have just relocated to the area and are downsizing or are empty nesters. There are others that family members have passed away and/or have moved to assisted living or nursing homes, and the family needs help with selling their furniture and household items.

EK: You frequently display furniture in tasteful vignettes. How does this assist shoppers?

David: We wanted to display items in vignettes that were comfortable and inviting. Our hope is that this would not only create a relaxing atmosphere for customers, but it would help them visualize how the items might look in their own homes.

EK: You also have an interior designer on the Consign To Design team.

Kristi: Yes, we sure do. Sher Hutchins has been a godsend to us. Sher owns Cent$ible Interiors here in Knoxville. She started as a consignor, and after frequently shopping in our store, she started working here and assisting our wonderful customers.

EK: Can you list some of the brand names our readers will find at Consign To Design?

David: We have had items from manufacturers such as Henredon, Hickory Chair, Stickley, Drexel Heritage, Baker, Lexington, Ekornes, Councill, Hekman, and Ethan Allen, just to name a few.

EK: Any shopping tips for buyers?

Kristi: The best tip I can give you is that if you see something you love, buy it immediately. We do markdowns every 30 days, and we put the markdowns on our tags, but if you wait for the markdown and you love the item, you will unfortunately be disappointed. So I say “if you love it, buy it; if it’s a well, maybe then play the game.” Our store changes every day with new items coming in and going out, and we usually only have one of that particular item.

EK: How can our readers learn more about consigning furniture?

David: They can visit us online at or come by the store and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.

EK: Is there a way to view your furniture and home décor online?

Kristi: For now, you can visit our Facebook page, I try to post daily. Also, we will have an inventory link coming soon to our website where you will be able to view everything online. We are very excited about this, but it takes time to get it all set up. But it’s coming soon!

EK: Anything else you would like to say to our readers?

David: A great big thank you! We have made some wonderful friends that have become family. We appreciate your support of our business and for telling your wonderful friends, because they come in and tell us who sent them to the store. If you haven’t come in, please do – we think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Consign To Design
10420-D Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37922

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