to open a brick-and-mortar store

Cathy’s Marketplace just started setting up shop so they can open May 7.

Selling a home is hard enough without having to worry about selling your furniture, as well. Cathy Lee of RSVPStyle knows this, and is opening a store that will sell new and consignment pieces as an extension of her site.

I got a preview of the store yesterday as the staff was busily setting up shop and unwrapping items for display. While the website is always available for business, the brick-and-mortar store doesn’t officially open to the public until May 9 in the Varsity Building at 1110 University Ave. (on the first floor of the round building).

Lee had created to be like a high-end Craigslist, where people could submit home items and her staff would review them for quality standards before posting them for sale. If a buyer liked a piece, they could contact the seller through the site and arrange to see it in person for purchase. While this is still a popular option, it has had some challenges: some sellers didn’t want strangers coming to their home; others were never available to show their pieces or their schedules didn’t sync with the buyers; some homes were inconvenient to get to.

Lee’s expertise is in bringing people, and pieces, together. She once owned a video dating service, back in the 1990s when it was a big business. The inspiration for her current furniture venture is RSVP Style, in which she teaches people how to pull together furniture and accessories — sometimes unexpected items — to make a home look good. So another benefit of having this showroom is the ability to display a variety of new and consignment pieces in vignettes to show potential buyers the possibilities for their own homes. I can see myself bringing in items for sale, only to walk out with more!

While they are getting ready to open, Lee says they are still taking in things on consignment in preparation for the grand opening, so this is a great opportunity for home sellers or people just trying to edit or downsize. If you would like to submit anything, contact them at 808-738-8488 or email

Actually, I should clarify my statement on “submit anything.” They’re not going to accept any old junk for Cathy’s Marketplace — they’ve got standards! Make sure your items are good quality and in good condition.

See you at the store on May 9!