Deja Vu Boutique: Shippensburg’s Consignment Wonder


Published: 04/26/2011

No nook or cranny goes unoccupied, with wild colorful clothing, mannequin heads wearing wigs, handbags hanging from the ceiling and jewelry galore; Deja Vu Boutique has something for everyone.

Even Deja Vu’s owner Essee Martin is stimulating to take in with just one look. Her hair is styled short with deep red and contrasting platinum blonde.

Bright red-rimmed glasses and a lime green top compliment her blue eyes.

Even her fingers are exciting to look at with a gold-banded diamond ring, complimented by a funky purple, green and yellow design on each manicured nail. Deja Vu is a spitting image of its owner.

After being a bus driver for 13 years and a stay-at-home grandmother, or Mimi as her grandchildren prefer, for the last 10 years, Martin knew it was time to make her dream a reality.

According to Martin Deja Vu, stands for “here we go again or second time around,” says Martin. Not only is it the second time around for the consignment clothing, it is Martin’s second time around to do work that she truly loves.

Located on North Earl Street, Deja Vu is a rare diamond in Shippensburg, Pa. For the past 30 years, it has been a dream of Martin’s to own her own high fashion boutique.

“I wanted to have a little shop, a boutique in Shippensburg, mostly because of the college kids, to offer them different styles that you can’t find around here. Like New York City styles, but at small town prices; that’s my slogan.” says Martin.

Although Martin offers some designer brands at her boutique, such as Vera Bradley and Coach, she does not consider herself to be a label reader.

“As long as it is upscale, great taste and pleasing to the eye, I don’t look at the label,” says Martin.

Deja Vu is also a consignment shop, which resells items that her consigners bring to her that are in style and good condition. Not everyone is accepted to be a consigner because Martin has to be selective to make sure the items will sell.

“I had a lady bring in two big tubs of clothes and I had to refuse them. The clothes were not within two to three years of style, and I couldn’t accept anything,” said Martin.

Martin’s vibrant laughter fills the shop as she chats with a customer while ringing in some selections, and she lights up when talking about the young high school girls coming to get their prom gowns, “Money can’t pay for the gratification I get from that. It’s very fulfilling,” says Martin.

People-pleasing is what Martin does best. As each new customer enters the shop she greets him or her with a cheerful, “Good morning.” Meeting people is one of her favorite parts about her job.

With over 450 consigners, and a bundle of regular customers, Deja Vu Boutique’s business is going particularly well. Even better than Martin had foreseen.

“I mean I have to give God credit for this because the doors just opened one after another, and it almost went too smoothly that it was scary. I just felt that it was meant to be,” says Martin.


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