November 9 and 10
The iconic downtown Sarasota consignment store unveils its new 3,000-square-foot furniture wing and newly renovated clothing, jewelry, art and housewares departments.
Sarasota, FL— The Exchange (formerly the Woman’s Exchange) is celebrating its new 3,000 square-foot furniture wing and freshly renovated clothing, jewelry, art and housewares departments, Friday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This free event, open to the public, offers opportunities to register to win free gifts, including a Huffy Cranbrook bicycle and a selection of high-end creations by famed designer Isabella Adams. A 10-percent discount is available on Friday and refreshments will be served both days. The Exchange is located at 539 S. Orange Ave. in Sarasota. For more information, call 941-955-7859 or visit www.sarasotawex.com.
“We’re thrilled to show off our brand-new look,” says Karen Koblenz, The Exchange’s executive director and CEO. She explains that the new 3,000-square-foot furniture wing, designed by Hoyt Architects, greatly expands the consignment shop’s offerings.
“This allows us to devote an entire wing to furniture,” she says. “We can now give more space to other departments. That includes a gallery of works by regional artists and a new men’s clothing department—one of the few of its kind in the area.” Koblenz adds that the iconic consignment shop now encompasses approximately 15,000 square feet and covers half a city block. She explains that the bigger footprint, which also adds 36 additional parking spaces for customers, was designed to raise more funds for the grants and scholarships it awards annually to local arts and cultural organizations—more than $8 million since it was first established in 1962.
Koblenz notes that The Exchange’s expansion has been a six-year process. After years of careful deliberation, the organization purchased the neighboring convenience shop and its parking lot in 2017. This addition effectively solved the difficulties of creating a loading zone for the nonprofit and ensured The Exchange’s future for years to come. Hoyt Architects was retained to oversee the entire project.
Chris Gallagher is a partner at Hoyt Architects, a past-chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of directors of The Exchange. He says that his firm was honored to work on the project.
“The Exchange is an utterly unique shopping destination in an intimate, historic downtown district,” he says. “More than a retail outlet, its mission is to create meaningful volunteer opportunities and a profitable, small-business model for area consigners. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of this business are the arts and cultural groups of Sarasota and Manatee counties. What’s not to like about the downtown treasure we call The Exchange?”
Elizabeth Lindsay is a distinguished community leader and co-founder and lifetime member of The Exchange. “The four women who formed a 501C3 corporation in 1962 were intent on building a not-for-profit business that could benefit the entire community,” she says. “Part of that mission was to provide financial support for the programs of the growing visual and performing arts groups in the area without competing with those same organizations’ fundraising efforts and events. To this day The Exchange does just that!”
A consignment store like no other, The Exchange has become a favorite haunt for Sarasota residents and a must-see destination for visitors from around the world. With funds received from its consignment operation, which consists of more than 260 volunteers and 5,000 consignors, The Exchange annually awards grants and scholarships to support the arts and high school and college students in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The 15,000-square-foot boutique offers an ever-changing inventory of affordably priced treasures, including high-end furniture, clothing, jewelry and accessories. The Exchange is located at 539 S. Orange Ave. in Sarasota. For more information, call 941-955-7859 or visit www.sarasotawex.com.
About The Exchange
The Exchange is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization with a central purpose of supporting and enriching a variety of programs for local cultural organizations. Funds for this purpose are realized through a consignment operation in which merchandise is accepted either for donation or for consignment to be sold in its store. Grants and scholarships derived from the earnings of this store are used to enrich and strengthen arts-related programs and to encourage creativity in organizations and individuals throughout the community. Visit www.sarasotawex.com.