Krista Dietz has been selling used clothing and other items since she was in high school, where she and her husband, Brian Combs, got the idea for their own consignment website.
When the couple moved to York, the website idea spawned another entrepreneurial venture.
“We got the bright idea to see if opening a shop would be a good idea, and here we are,” said Dietz, 33.
Combs, 34, is the owner and Dietz the manager of 803 Industries, a retail shop that sells new and pre-owned name-brand clothing, accessories, shoes and other items, at 23B N. Congress St. in downtown York.
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The shop opened in April after the couple spent several months doing renovations to their rented retail space. The website, www.803consignments.com, is up and running, too, but Dietz said they’re still in the process of loading merchandise.
She said the two intend to have a good selection of online merchandise in another month or so.
“There’s a lot of potential,” Combs said of the business. “We think that we’re going to have a nice little niche in York. This brings a lot of things in, and it gives people a good value.”
The store also offers a thrift section in the rear: Lilly’s Fun Finds, named after their 21/2-year-old daughter, Lilliana, where all the items cost $5 or less, and some are as low as 25 cents.
The main area includes new and pre-owned clothing, accessories, shoes and household merchandise. Name brands include Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ann Taylor, Talbots, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and others.
So far, Dietz and Combs said, the shop has been well received by customers in York.
“We weren’t real sure how the foot traffic was going to be,” said Dietz. “It’s definitely been better than we had anticipated.”
Dietz said the shop includes merchandise sold on consignment from individuals and from other boutiques, as well as new merchandise from other retailers. The new merchandise includes overstock and off-season items, as well as items that come direct from the manufacturer.
Dietz said all the merchandise is clean and in excellent condition and is displayed on wood hangers or pine shelves and racks made by Combs, who is also a cabinetmaker.
Prices are in line with those at consignment shops in Charlotte, she said.
“We want to make it more of a retail shop experience,” she said.
Dietz hails from Pittsburgh, and Combs is from Largo, Fla., where the couple met. They relocated to Charlotte in 2009, when Dietz was transferred for her job as a human resources representative.
The couple lived in Charlotte for a while, but when they were ready to purchase a home, they chose York; they had fallen in love with its small-town charm.
“Everyone is always so friendly and so willing to help, and they really care,” she said.
Both Dietz and Combs also have other jobs. Dietz works in human resources with Emerald Carolina Chemical in Charlotte, while Combs is a cabinetmaker and software specialist with Covenant Building Services in Gastonia, N.C.
Kasie Shannon, the store’s boutique stylist, staffs the shop during the day and helps customers choose merchandise.
“She knows every piece we have in here,” Dietz said.
Dietz said the store is intended to provide excellent customer service. “If you’re looking for something and we don’t have it, the second it comes in the door, (Shannon) will give you a call,” Dietz said.
Dietz said the store also offers a perks program that rewards loyal shoppers with points for purchases that they can apply toward future purchases.
Dietz, who enjoys hunting for deals and offering them to the customers, said the store has been a longtime dream.
“We saved for a long time to be able to do this,” she said.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077
803 Indistries, a retail shop at 23B N. Congress St. in York, sells new and pre-owned brand-name clothing, shoes, accessories and other items. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday.
Details: 803-400-3999 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The owners are also working on a website: www.803consignments.com.