Stretching muscles and dollars

Stretching muscles and dollars

Yoga and Pilates instructor Celina Dominguez hopes that, in the lean economy, a twist on her business will help students tighten more than their core muscles.

Catering to tighter clothing budgets, Dominguez's new Yoga Swap Shop at Inward Bound Wellness opens in Ashland this month for consignment sales. Customers can find dozens of gently used clothing pieces priced between $10 and $20, along with second-hand yoga and Pilates gear and books on exercise and spirituality, Dominguez says.

"People aren't buying retail like they were," Dominguez says. "I also just really like the idea of recycling."

Dominguez's own cost-conscious buying habits inspired the new enterprise. Shopping at Ashland's two adult consignment shops, Deja Vu and Avant Garb, Dominguez, 34, asked the store owners how business was faring. While both shops apparently perform well in their niche markets, there's a clear local need for second-hand exercise wear, Dominguez says.

"There are people like me who just basically live in yoga clothes," Dominguez says. "Workout clothes have become their own style, and you can pay a lot of money."

Consignors will receive half of their items' Swap Shop selling price. If consignors want to use their profits for classes, services or other merchandise at Inward Bound, Dominguez says she'll return 60 percent. Dominguez mined her students, colleagues and friends for the store's first merchandise, most of which is women's clothing.

"I've gotten a great response."

If enthusiasm remains high, consignment could become Inward Bound's new retail model, Dominguez says, adding that she already has curtailed orders for new inventory items.

"I'm not really interested in promoting consumerism right now," she says. "I think that would be fantastic if we had used consignment stores for all different kinds of things we did."

Swap Shop hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, open to the general public, at Inward Bound, 611 Siskiyou Blvd., suite 10, next to Ashland's Safeway store. Call 488-0108 or see the Web site www.inwardboundwellness.com for more information.

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