Club Spotlight: Coach's Consignment Shop a Perfect Fit
by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, special to U.S. Figure Skating
Coach Alyssa Henderson began her Simply Skating Consignment Shop three years ago when the mother of one of her former students contacted her about what to do about skating gear she no longer needed. Henderson was off and running and a new idea was born.
“They were moving overseas and couldn’t take the items with them, “Henderson said. “I ended up taking the items and found out through our club that we had young skaters who needed them,”
Henderson’s club, Body Zone Figure Skating Club in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, did not have a pro shop so there was a big need in their club to have quality used dresses and skates available for new skaters.
Coincidentally, at the same time, figure skating items on Facebook’s Marketplace began to grow.
“I realized that everyone was looking for gently used items for their skaters,” Henderson said. “I joined a few of those groups and started selling and advertising my business and service.”
Today, Henderson features her page through Facebook, and she is proud to report that Simply Skating Consignment continues to grow.
“I attribute that in part to being a former competitive skater as a child and having a background in retail management and merchandise,” she said. “I was fortunate that when I was a child my mom made all my skating dresses so I have a general understanding of fabrics, design and functionality of a dress.”
Henderson finds consignment sales are also popular because parents are always looking to save money on skating expenses when they can.
“Most coaches have a vision for their skaters when it comes to obtaining a dress,” Henderson said. “Having a dress made is costly, and it’s only used a short period of time. If you can resell gently used items, it takes away some of the financial burden and puts that money back in the pocket for lessons, ice time etc. I think it’s really important to keep people in the sport as long as possible and selling consignment is a good way to do it.”
Henderson sells items in good to new condition and items are priced up to 70 percent off the original retail price.
“I really try and carry something for everyone at every price,” Henderson said.
Henderson also holds “swap sales” at the Body Zone club twice during the year.
“They’re open to all members to sell their items,” Henderson said. “Our club members benefit seeing their items take on a new life with a skater who will enjoy it. That’s fulfilling. Some of the dresses have been passed on four or five times and are still going strong.”
Swap sales also brought more people in to buy and sell lightly used items.
“It really helps keep the cost low for the beginner skaters, and gets them engaged in joining the club. It’s nice to have my coaching colleagues ask me if I have an item for their skater, and I’m proud to help them and their families,” Henderson said.
Most of all, Henderson enjoys spending time with her customers, many who regularly shop with her on her Facebook page.
“I enjoy helping them find the perfect item for the next competition, test or show and it makes me feel good when you know that an item is going to make them skate like a star. I get messages from parents all the time thanking me for the dress and skates,” Henderson said. “I’m lucky that I have been able to make this work.”
Body Zone Coach Alyssa Henderson poses with some of her club skaters wearing their practice/competition dresses purchased thru her consignment boutique.