New Ventures: Clothing reseller opens first drop-off site

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Rahmieneh Ortiz prepares a dress to be photographed for sale on her website.
Rahmieneh Ortiz prepares a dress to be photographed for sale on her website.

A Northampton County-based apparel reseller has opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in an effort to expand the business.

Recycle Your Fashions, which has been operating for more than four years, now has a storefront at 630 Selvaggio (Municipal) Drive in Nazareth.

“This is our first drop-off location,” said Rahmieneh Ortiz, who runs the business with her husband, Carlos. “Before we had a warehouse situation, and we didn't want people to have to walk into a warehouse.”

Instead, she said, the business has been operating through the mail. And while that has been successful, it limited the kinds of clothing, shoes and accessories people would sell.

To figure in the cost of postage, customers were more inclined to only send in high-end items. By having a drop-off location, the store can accept items for resale that are in the mid-price range – and the business now carries everything from Gucci to the Gap.

When Recycle Your Fashions receives an item, Rahmieneh Ortiz and her staff put their skills to work making sure the item is clean, neat and pressed. A professional photograph of the item is taken to be listed on Ebay.com and her website, www.recycleyourfashions.com. The business keeps 50 percent of the sale price.

Ortiz said she would like to open more drop-off sites.

She said that while she does business globally, such shops would create jobs and make it easy for new customers to access her services.

Metro Bank, which has locations in Berks County, has launched a new online business valuation tool called the Metro Bank Business Valuator.

Users provide basic information about their business to receive an estimated valuation, as well as a comparison to industry specific key performance indicators, within minutes.

Thereafter, a 22-page report specific to the business is prepared, and a Metro Bank representative contacts the business directly in order to review and explain the findings of the report and answer questions.

The bank said it partnered with BizEquity, a cloud-based business valuation service.

Metro Bank Business Valuator said the free service is geared to empower business owners and entrepreneurs by helping them understand what their business could potentially be worth in real-time. It is available on the bank's website, www.mymetrobank.com.

In the next few weeks, the West Ward community of Easton should be welcoming its newest restaurant at 612 Northampton St.

Ginny's Bistro & Wine Bar is geared for an opening March 28 or April 4, according to Thomas Campbell Jr., director of operations.

“We are going to have local produce and local meats as much as we can,” he said.

According to the restaurant's website, wines will be local, too, as Ginny's will serve wine by the bottle or glass from Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown. The restaurant also will be a BYOB and offer wine bottles that can be taken home.

Highlights of the menu include salads, desserts and tapas such as homemade hummus and Creole crab cakes, plus entrees that include chicken Marsala, filet mignon and seafood options. Peter Choida, executive chef, will offer Mediterranean, Asian, Italian and Spanish options.

On some Sundays, the restaurant will offer children's themed activities and interfaith jazz brunches, according to Campbell.

“We are going to start small and work our way up,” he said, adding that he plans to offer live entertainment and has partnered with the Pennsylvania Jazz Collective.

“We also will look for local entertainment, including plays and spoken word, and local artists to display their works for sale,” Campbell said.

The restaurant partnered with the State Theatre of Easton for advertising and is in discussions with Lafayette College to possibly offer student discounts.

The restaurant will have two full-time workers and six part-time workers and will be advertising for wait staff, Campbell said.

For information, call 610-438-1676 or visit www.ginnysbistro.com.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle on .

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