Clothing XChange has eco-friendly, community focus

It's been a hot point in the bohemian Hillsboro Village for nearly two years, luring in a variety of the area's artists, musicians and students with vintage jackets and tops and recycled designer jeans.

Now, the Clothing XChange, located at 1817 21st Ave., has expanded its focus by bringing in spanking-new items, including eco-friendly designs and an eclectic mix of recycled home furnishings, and ramping up its community outreach.

"We wanted to be more of a lifestyle brand," said store manager Marcia Masulla.

Offering photo frames made of recycled magazines, eco-conscious fashion from Threads For Thought and the work of local artists and fashion designers during special events, Masulla said the store is now a meeting place for seekers of the unique.

As part of their Art Attack series, the XChange is hosting an art event this Saturday, April 25, featuring the work of a local artist who will be in-store to discuss his work. The events offer a laid-back, BBQ feel, Masulla said.

On Sunday, April 26, the XChange will participate in the More Unpredictable fashion show at PLAY Dance Bar, a fundraiser for the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce. Next month, they'll host a trunk show where an independent designer will showcase her work and offer a private shopping experience to customers.

"It's all a part of our focus on being event-driven and interactive with our customers," Masulla said.

The store now offers shoes from Gwen Stefani's Harajuku line, Peter Grimm hats and will soon sell Boy Meets Girl, a brand that has been seen on many celebs and in Vogue and Elle. Store owner Kelly Paul said the re-branding of the store is a part of its new image, having moved to Hillsboro Village after being located in Cool Springs for about three years.

"The whole idea of what we’re doing has changed since we moved our store," Paul said. "In Cool Springs, it was more mall brands but now we don't carry as many. It’s a new clientele and the vibe in this area. They're attracted to vintage stuff and high-end denim and our new lines are already doing very well."

The XChange's pricing is also a rare find at other boutiques in Music City, Masulla said.

"Nashville is very well-known for vintage and recycled clothing," Masulla said. "But they tend to be very expensive or very inexpensive. We thought there was a void in moderately priced items."

Most of the store's eclectic home furnishings cost less than $25 and run the gamut from pillows, to quirky books, to lanterns made from recycled steel and vintage labels.

The home goods and new designs make up about 45 percent of the store's offerings while recycled clothing accounts for the rest.

The XChange offers cash on-the-spot to clients who bring in their gently worn, brand-recognizable clothes. Paul said the XChange's resell offerings have helped the store stay competitive in the poor economy.

"Being in the type of business we're in, we're one of the few retail businesses that have done well at this time," Paul said.

Clients can resell their clothes to the XChange for cash or in-store credit but their duds must be clean, in great condition and in season.

"If they aren’t with current trends or in good conditions as far as stitching, we won’t take it no matter how cool it is," Masulla said.

Call 615.463.0209 for more information about the Clothing XChange.

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