People Will Stare - Make It Worth Their While at Real Deal Collection
The first thing you’ll notice strolling into Real Deal Collection is the smell of leather—a smell anyone can happily luxuriate in. Handbags and shoes line the walls of this downtown boutique, and if you’re into top-tier brands, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven because the prices are fabulously feasible. The boutique is located in a lovely retail space just a few doors down from the fabulous Lensic theater.
Real Deal Collection’s most popular brands are Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and Balenciaga, according to owner Corey Palmer. She ticked off items for sale as she looked around the boutique: Handbags, wallets, jewelry, belts, shawls and scarves, as well as shoes in like-new condition. “Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags are the Lamborghinis of handbags. Right now, we have a vintage Kelly on sale,” she beams. Clients can use the store’s layaway plan, making payments over the course of 90 days. Plus, if your Prada shoes are lying unused on the shelf in your closet, take them to Real Deal Collection and trade for store credit.
When new goodies come into Real Deal Collection, their private email list (kept absolutely confidential) is sent notification, and clients receive special holiday promotions. Items are easy to find both in the boutique and online, where collections are meticulously organized by price (so you can quickly match your budget), type of item (do you need a new cocktail ring?), color (to coordinate with that opera outfit), and, of course, by designer. Real Deal Collections carefully research the authenticity of each item in their inventory, and grade conditions from “pristine,” to “pampered” to “pre-loved.” When Corey speaks of finding “good new homes” for the luxury goods she sells, it’s clear she’s head-over-sumptuous-heels in love with her work.
Real Deal Collection has been an online presence for nearly 10 years. While Corey lived in New York City, she saw lots of fakes being passed off as authentic, often at great cost. She was exacerbated seeing her online friends getting scammed. Her skill set as a graphic designer and web developer, along with a seasoned knowledge of authenticating luxury items, made her the perfect entrepreneur for creating a place that's safe and easy to buy, sell and trade splendorous goods. Now nearly 10 years later, I guess it obviously was a good idea.
The brick-and-mortar store opened three years ago. Corey notes that nearly every day locals come in, often attracted by the iconic brands exhibited in the window, and exclaim, “Oh, I didn’t know you were here!” Sales associate Anita Babcock was a customer who found her calling after she noticed the orange Hermès boxes in the display window one busy evening during Fiestas. She dashed into the street without looking both ways and barely escaped getting hit by a car, zeroed in on her target. Now she’s in her element.
Find Real Deal Collection at 223 W. San Francisco St., or online at RealDealCollection.com. If you’re in Santa Fe, don’t miss the opportunity to explore and enjoy their inventory in person, with store hours Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm.