Last month the London Financial Times profiled Mannequin Madness in a weekly segment about unusual business ventures. Some of the other people they recently profiled were – professional mermaid, migratory beekeeper and firework display designer.
Here is profile below
Used mannequin dealer
As told to Catherine Contiguglia
People probably don’t think twice when they see the mannequins in a shop window, but used mannequins are my life. I recycle, repair, rent and sell them across the US to all kinds of clients – from Diesel and Gucci to art students.
People may not realize it, but mannequin styles change just like clothing trends, so retailers throw out hundreds every year. By recycling their mannequins, we help them reduce their waste costs while helping the environment.
I got into this business by accident when I went to buy a mannequin for an art project. The seller told me he was leaving the state so I bought his stock of 50 used mannequins on the spur of the moment. But he left without giving me his client list. Over the next few months I acquired a couple of hundred more. Not having a client list actually ended up being the best thing. I had 500 mannequins in my house and all over the backyard that I couldn’t ignore, so I ended up pioneering a national used mannequin market from our base in the San Francisco Bay Area. By using ecommerce, we created a network that allows chains all over the country to recycle used mannequins.
I really like it when people repurpose them in non-traditional ways. One client turned a beat-up old mannequin into a mailbox.