Local Consignment Shop Spreads Happiness
November 6, 2017
A navy blue flag sways slowly in the breeze, bearing a pink summery bicycle carrying flowers and a wheat-colored straw hat. The flowers, friendly and pastel-colored, mirror those crowded at the base of the white-picket fences surrounding cute cottage homes. Pots of all sizes, filled with green shrubbery, tiny flowers, and succulents are scattered at the entrance of the store. At the top of the building, a paler-blue poster reads, “Rumor Has It: Come consign with us today!” As I peer through the window at the lamp shades, hanging light strands, mannequins dressed in shirts and scarves, and other accessories are playfully positioned in front of a loose cotton-white curtain, an abundance of items brought from the diverse backgrounds of consignors is revealed. To the right, behind a desk, a woman wearing a blue and black striped dress appears. She has beautiful red hair, extravagant jewelry, and heeled combat boots.
It soon becomes apparent that the store’s stylish idiosyncrasies are embodied in this woman – Deiseray (Deezy) St. Andrews.
The name Deezy is the first thing that strikes me: it is not your typical name and she is not your typical businesswoman. She is all smiles as she presents a brochure and a formally written explanation of how her store works. Deezy instantly comes off caring, confident and prepared. After asking how my day is going, she takes me to a back room. Decorated with a turquoise couch, a blue dresser, and a small kitchen with desks and a cabinet, her “office” is nothing short of chic. The room radiates a warmth and happiness that is born from her work and her new “handsome, big sweetheart” fiance.
Nothing has come easily for Deezy, but that has never stopped her. As a teenager, she felt outcast in Marin, as she was unable to afford the many things her friends could; she lived in a small apartment with only her mom, while her friends’ families lived in mansions. Starting at 16, Deezy worked at a pizzeria, gradually making her way to higher end stores in the mall, including Armani Exchange. Her upbringing and this effort in her work have taught her to work hard and feel pride in her accomplishments. “I never judge a book by its cover and I always welcome everybody with open arms,” she goes on, an attitude she wishes had been more present in her childhood. Deezy later moved to San Francisco, where she worked as an executive assistant to a venture capitalist, making the most money she ever had. However, this wasn’t really her “vibe.” Moving between four different high schools made her accustomed to trying new things and exploring her passions. Ultimately, she followed her heart and settled down here where she is the happiest.
Her ability to be complimentary and sensitive to individuals has made working with clients the most enjoyable part of her day. She is not only selling her products but also connecting with her customers on a personal level. One particular client of hers tried on a bunch of different outfits and ended up having a heart-to-heart with Deezy. “She came out in every outfit and [I] told her how fabulous she looked, what outfits looked good and which didn’t look good, that kinda stuff,” she recounts, smiling. Her focus and care for her customers shine through as she explains the ways in which she can address all their needs, both personal and shopping. With shocking ease, she is able to make her customers feel comfortable opening up to her, even about their most personal problems. “[She] told me she had gotten divorced and [that] she’s been feeling down, but that I made her feel really good and pretty in her outfits…. then a couple weeks later she sent me a letter in the mail and it brought me to tears-I have it on the board there,” she points over to wall with a few other tacked up papers, probably from all her other fans. She offers everything she has to assist people, to the point of shedding tears, she tells me, over what she can’t do to help them.
As it happens, one of those other papers on her wall was a letter from another customer, a woman who Deezy gave a free succulent to just because she knew how much she wanted it. “[She] was having a really hard last couple months and the succulent reminded her of her grandmother…so she felt it was her grandmother speaking through me, giving her the plant,” Deezy shares, gazing over at the letter in sentimental appreciation. It becomes clear that these experiences mean everything to her.
She talks about another “type” of customer who walks in just to say something sweet. “Your energy pulled me in from the sidewalk,” she quotes. Deezy is always delighted to hear this and likes to do her part by striking up conversations with her neighbors, the owners of the Indian store Lotus next door, and the latino woman who shouts “Fruita, fruita” down the street every Friday, to sell her fresh fruit.
In the middle of her story, a gentle chime rings in the background as her mom comes into the room where we are seated. “Sorry to interrupt: a lady needs a mannequin from way up high,” her mom says, and Deezy rushes off to save or counsel yet another one of her customers.
In her absence, I become aware of hidden details in the room, specifically a mini-fridge covered with images of her and her mom and stickies with endearing quotes. Two magnet strips read, “all I see is magic,” and a sticky note pad is decorated with a message in cursive that reads, “choose happy.” With all the loving messages around her every day, it’s no wonder Deezy is such an optimistic and benevolent businesswoman. Using her “a la mode fashion intuition” and her mother’s thirty years of interior design experience, she has molded this store into her home, down to the very small notes and letters that cover her office.
Again we are interrupted, but this time with one of her best guy friends who casually strolls down and sits across from us -another person pulled in by the beauty and kindness found in Deezy and her store. “This is what happens all of the time…friends of mine just pop in,” she explains.
Deezy went to high school in Marin, and names Sol Food as one her favored haunts. “[It was a] hole in the wall…where like five people could fit in there at a time,” she explains. “Now they’re this huge big green building that everyone knows and has a line that wraps around the door. I hope I’m like that one day…big Rumor Has It…big teal building,” she sits looking down at the couch as if imagining the color of the big display of her store.
I get up to leave, and we walk back out into the jungle of luggage, clothes-lines, and accessories in the store. As I thank her to go, she hugs me, saying to come back anytime, and hands me a free succulent before I walk out the door with a smile on my face.