What’s old is new again.
It’s tough to make it in the small retail business these days. But two area businesses recently opened with a focus of the resale model.
Around the corner from where I live in Brighton, I noticed signs going up at 1494 Monroe Ave. for Eli Estate Jewelers. Robert Eli Bass recently set up shop at the site, taking over the space that had been occupied by Manuel Jewelers. Steve Manuel, a neighborhood fixture, decided to retire after 33 years.
Bass, 48, is no stranger to jewelry, having sold jewelry on eBay for 16 years and having worked at a high-end jewelry store in Florida. He is also a GIA-certified gemologist.
The Rochester resident wanted to go back to his retail roots and decided he enjoys interacting with people as opposed to an eBay business. He is selling estate jewelry, meaning previously loved jewels. Estate jewels could be 1 year old or over 100 years old.
His inventory ranges from Victorian jewels to newer pieces, as well as art to wear. Amethyst gold earrings were $40 at the shop and an art copper hair clip was $100. Because the pieces are secondhand, the prices are much more reasonable than new pieces.
So far, so good for the new store, Bass said. Bracelets have been especially popular and he carries diamond tennis bracelets as well as other precious gemstone bracelets.
Bass is continuing his e-commerce at eliestatejewelers.com but discontinuing his eBay business.
On the other end of Monroe Avenue in the city of Rochester, Classic Feel Vintage Sportswear opened at 980 Monroe Ave., next to Misfit Doughnuts in the Upper Monroe area.
Corey Rivers had left the Army and moved back home to Rochester to be near family, enlisting his cousin Willie Sanders to help with his retail business idea. In his travels, he noticed that T-shirt and sneaker resale stores were popping up in big cities.
Classic Feel Vintage is designed to cater to that niche for trendy street wear. There’s something in every price range from old concert T’s for $2.50 to A Bathing Ape hoodie for $190. That’s a popular kitschy Japanese brand, and a Marine friend in Okinawa helps Rivers score the goods.
Another popular skater brand is Supreme — a T-shirt sells for $65.
During my visit, I found a Led Zeppelin shirt for $2.50 and soccer jerseys for $5. The best sellers are slightly used sneakers, such as Air Jordans for $25, Rivers said. There are also team jerseys for sale.
My hipper than me teen daughter tells me that rock jerseys are now all the fashion rage. If I’d only saved my concert shirts from Van Halen and The Kinks.
New at the mall
From independent shops to malls, some new retailers are opening at The Mall at Greece Ridge.
Citi Trends is a new 14,046-square-foot shop featuring urban fashion apparel, shoes, accessories and home décor for the entire family. It is at the Regal Cinema wing of the Greece mall.
In the Food Court, Sultan Lebanese Cuisine & Bakery is now open. This is the second location, with the first at Mt. Hope Plaza in Rochester. The restaurant menu includes kabobs, falafel, hummus, shawarma and more. I’ve dined at the city location and enjoyed the manakeesh, or Lebanese pizza with minced meat and garlic.
On the entertainment end, Glowgolf will be reopening in a new location near Sears. The 10,845-square-foot location will include a Laser Maze Challenge, 3KICK and a new Glow Pool, in addition to 27 holes of glow‐in‐the‐dark mini golf.
Bargain of the week
The newly opened Classic Feel Vintage at 980 Monroe Ave. is having a T-shirt sale. It’s pre-owned inventory is currently half off its retail. I selected this soccer jersey for only $7.50 at the sale.
People often ask me about my collection of glasses. I always get them at the Eye Openers annual Garage Sale at its shop next to Mann’s Jewelers, 2929 Monroe Ave. in Brighton.
The sale kicks off Aug 1 and wraps up Aug.19. All sale frames are $79. These are high-end designer frames, many selling for $800 and $900. I picked up Judith Leiber Swarovski frames that retailed for $800 in years past. There’s always a line the first day and the store gets very crowded and busy during the sale days, but the bargains make the wait worth it.