India Shepherd, owner of Rotate Boutique in Bloomfield Hills, gives SEEN a peek inside her luxury consignment store — and shares the inspiration behind it.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Derrick Martinez
1. Can you share your background? For the last 17 years, I have been involved in all aspects of real estate, from a licensed salesperson to [doing] investing and property management. During that time, owning a women’s clothing boutique was just a thought of mine. In early 2019, I decided to bring my love for fashion to reality by opening Rotate Boutique, a luxury consignment store carrying pre-loved and vintage pieces and accessories.
2. Three words to describe the store? Chic, elegant, upscale
3. Rotate has a unique business model: Designer consignment is a major part of your store experience along with some new items. Can you explain how the consignment process works? Yes, we carry a small collection of new retail from various brands RILEY, Ultracor, Beyond Yoga, Vintage Havana, Mary Frances and Kathryn McCarron just to name a few, along with jewelry, accessories and doggy couture. How our consignment process works is when a client brings in their gently worn items, primarily from higher end designers, we agree on a price comparable to our competitors. The consignment period is 90 days and once the item sells, the commission is then given to the client immediately. [It’s] that simple and easy!
4. What is your store’s mission? Our mission is to offer an upscale environment with excellent customer service while visitors find amazing treasures and consignors are quickly rewarded. I kid you not — every client that enters my door comments on how good the store smells and the perfect vibe they get while shopping. I’m happy to create that space.
5. What inspired you to get into the fashion business? I was cleaning my closet last year and thought I would be successful with selling my items to the highest bidder online. But it became a second job for me and just too much with all of the online negotiating and small talk with potential buyers. I just didn’t have the time to manage that. I was sure other women felt the same way. So I thought I could create an environment with a clean and luxurious setting for like-minded women to sell their valuables and shoppers to grab gorgeous affordable items, too!
6. Most valuable lessons you’ve learned about being in retail? I’m learning everyday. But what has been working for me thus far is building relationships by remembering the details. For my shoppers, if there is a hot handbag or sexy shoe someone is in need of, I try my best to find it for them at a low price. Also, I never hassle consigners to lower the price on their item where it would make them uncomfortable and unsure of their decision.
7. What does a typical day look like for you? You never know! Each day is different.
8. Who inspires you in the fashion world? Right now I appreciate fashion designer Winonah de Jong. She’s mature and doesn’t try too hard. She has a contemporary classy style that is timeless.
9. Who inspires you in the overall business world? My husband, being a local, successful business man, has mostly inspired me to keep pushing toward my goals.
10. What are your current favorite items in the store? Right now I am obsessing over this large “Lady [Christian] Dior” handbag and a Chanel Western Skirt. [As of press time, both were still available for purchase.]
11. In regards to your personal taste, do you have a signature style that you gravitate towards? I tend to choose a sexy and comfortable look. Denim, a high heel and chunky jewelry is a must for me.
12. A few pieces in your personal closet that you can’t live without? I can’t live without my Balmain Blazer and Chanel lambskin backpack.
13. Can you share a few trends you are excited about? I am so here for the snakeskin footwear. [Yves] Saint Laurent has a pair I’ve been eyeing. And of course all the tonal dressing this winter season.
14. What’s your favorite design/lifestyle/food/business blog, magazine or Instagram account? My faves are @thevintagepoint_ for styling purposes and @hipfoodiemom1 to keep inspiring me with great recipes.
Local Love List…
15. When you’re not in your store, where can we find you? Busy running errands with my three teenager daughters.
16. Favorite place to eat? I love a good farm-to-table spot with an intimate setting and Lady of The House in Corktown is making me happy right now.
17. Favorite quote or words to live by? Two things define you: “Your patience when you have nothing, your attitude when you have everything.” And “We’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
4076 W Maple Rd, Bloomfield Hills