Fairfield Women’s Exchange
332 Pequot Avenue, Southport
I had heard of this place and avoided it, as “Women’s Exchange,” for me, conjured up images of crocheted toilet paper covers, second-hand throw pillows that read “I Love My Grandchildren,” and Christmas ornaments made of googly eyes and dried starfish. In short, I assumed I wasn’t their target market.
But assuming makes an ass out of u and me, which is something I read on a plaque in a Women’s Exchange.
So I was very, very surprised to note the chic tableware and sophisticated linens I’d see at any upscale boutique. Their great selection of baby and toddler clothes are darling and unique, including name sweaters and rain gear. Further, the back room boasts an impressive selection of antiques, prestige china and sterling serving pieces. The FWE routinely holds trunk shows for high-end accessories and tableware and scouts NYC shows for artisans and consignors.
A not-for-profit store, FWE donates all of its profits to women’s and children’s charities, making it the perfect storm of retail and charity. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, the prices are very reasonable.
Robin’s note: They sell a brand-name handbag, spotted on numerous well-heeled FC residents, for about $45 less than a neighboring shop.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Women ages 30-75 years old.
Their specialty: Beautiful hand-knit baby wear, consigned from all over the country.
What you should buy: A stack of 11 dinner plates of Rosenthal Eminence-Cobalt blue china* for $395. These retail for about $175 a plate.
What you may not know but should:
1. The 30 year-old store is run entirely by women volunteers.
2. Currently, they sell embroidered items made in Haiti, to benefit women and children in Haiti.
*I’m not a dinnerware expert, but I’m 99% sure I’m right about the pattern.