Blazers are in, says owner of new ‘Vida Style’ consignment shop in Old Town | ALXnow

Alicia Valencia Erb has just dedicated herself to a new business venture in the old town.

After a career in marketing, the Alexandria resident opened Vida Style, a new consignment store at 210 N. Lee Street on August 1, and held a grand opening last Sunday (August 28). Erb gives consignees 50-60% of the profits and 60-90 days to sell them before they are returned.

“There are things in the back of your closet that haven’t seen the light of day in a while,” Erb told ALXnow. “Let me help you solve this decluttering problem and give these clothes a second life. We’ll see if it goes with Vita Style, if it’s on brand here. If it’s something my customers will buy, I will take it on consignment for 60 days.

Until June, Erb spent five years as vice president of member relations at the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. Prior to that, she was an engagement strategist for over a decade with the Credit Union National Association and worked for 20 years with various associations.

While attending the University of Maryland, she also spent two years as a hotline operator for the television show America’s Most Wanted, where she helped track down Andrew Cunanan, the killer of Gianni Versace.

“I actually helped capture Andrew Cunanan, who killed Gianni Versace,” Erb said. “I got some really, really good advice on sightings from Andrew Cunanan when he was traveling from Chicago, Illinois, and Florida.”

Twenty-five years later, Erb says the pandemic has changed his career focus. Working from home, she began researching other businesses to go into, even going as far as herding alpacas before deciding to open a consignment shop. She even got a part-time job at a local consignment store in the Old Town for nine months to master the business.

“I’ve never worked so hard in my life,” she says. “I’m not frantic, nervous or anxious. It’s just one step at a time, and it gives me joy to do something for myself.

Erb says blazers are all the rage because office attire has become flexible over the past couple of years. Popular discount brands in the small boutique include Prada, Neiman Marcus, and Banana Republic.

“Blazers are really hot right now,” she said. “Traditional fall sweaters and blazers are very popular.”

Erb brings a personal touch to the business.

“I engage with everyone who comes in,” she said. “I had tears at checkout just because I’m sharing my story and customers are sharing their story. I make friends wherever I am. I love doing this.

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