REVIEW: Bargain Boutique

Bargain Boutique, Manhattan’s first vendor-market booth rental-consignment shop, sits downtown at the corner of 431 Poyntz Avenue. Booths full of clothes line up side by side, organized in racks by sellers. The thrift store opened its doors May 20, with its grand opening June 10. The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday. (Jersey Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

As I stepped into the newly-opened Bargain Boutique on Poyntz Avenue, I experienced senses of whimsy, comfort and homeliness. I was greeted by an environment that fits in Manhattan so well; the store is already becoming a staple here. It boggles the mind that the opening date was just three months prior to my visit. 

Aricca Wallace and Jamie Pearson, co-owners, Kayd Price, general manager, and the rest of the employees have put their greatest effort and care into the store. You can truly tell from June of this year to now that the wonderful team at Bargain Boutique has made the store a standout spot in our humble college town. 

The pricing is higher in comparison to other second-hand stores. The prices allow the boutique to offer more interesting and stylish pieces that were handpicked by vendors and worth the extra money.

I asked some peers if they’d heard of or visited the little store smack dab in the middle of downtown Manhattan; in spite of its praise and its location, the answer was a resounding “no.” I went into the Bargain Boutique with completely blind eyes, somewhat expecting a tiny thrift store still finding its footing in a city that already boasts many options for cheap clothing. 

Marshall’s, Ross, The Salvation Army and Goodwill are pre-established go-to options for Kansas State students and young residents of the Little Apple. These shoppers are often looking for a pair of pants for the fall, a jacket for the winter, a suit coat for that important interview or just a cool t-shirt. They might not be able to afford high-end — or even middle-end — clothing stores. Competing with this stacked vintage and fashionable roster is no small feat considering the trials and tribulations any local business might face.

The Bargain Boutique lives in defiance to the odds it faces; it carves out its own special niche. While I was in the store, the sights, sounds and smells all contributed to an environment many would have a hard time not falling in love with. Decorations sitting both outside and inside the store, clothing that is even more vintage and fashionable than the aforementioned stores, the sound of friendly and welcoming conversation and the smell of incense burning creates a relaxing and enchanting aura. All of these factors make the Bargain Boutique the Bargain Boutique.

If nothing else, what I gathered from a small chat with Price is she and her fellow “boutiqists” are extremely passionate about the culture surrounding the Bargain Boutique and are going to put forth the effort to ensure the future of the store is an amazing one. Fashion lovers like myself will be waiting with baited breath to see what great things are around the corner for this sensational shop.