By Haddon Libby
Caroldean Ross, owner of Resale Therapy attributes her success in the retail trade to her mother and grandmother. When visiting her grandmother in London, Caroldean would be exposed to fashions that had not yet come stateside. When returning home, she would return with a suitcase of clothing and shoes unlike any worn by her classmates. This initiated her love for style and fashion that led to her lying about her age when she was fifteen in order to get a job at a shoe store where she would “play Barbie” by trying on shoes to her heart’s content.
During her senior year at college, her mother started a consignment store in Claremont named The Beehive.
As it should be no surprise to anyone that knows Caroldean, she is a graduate of the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. After graduation, she worked on Rodeo Drive as a wholesale buyer and design consultant. While working in Beverly Hills, her employer asked her to go to their El Paseo store to find out why that store was underperforming. After a short visit, she realized that the employer had no choice but to close that store. At the same time, she also decided that she did not want to leave the desert. Armed with a favorable lease from that landlord and some clothiers willing to sell to her on consignments, Caroldean was able to make her start and stay here in the Coachella Valley. During these early days, she served as one of the Bob Hope Classic girls and made a cameo appearance in the film, “Glitch!”
She also brought to the desert marketing campaigns that sizzled with sex appeal. She developed a brand that was like no other local business.
After eighteen years on El Paseo, a mix of high rents, low foot traffic and an expanding collection of clothing on consignment caused her to move to new locations in Palm Desert and Palm Springs. Only recently, she consolidated these two stores into one larger store anchoring the emerging Consignment District in Cathedral City on East Palm Canyon. Her current store is constantly bustling with shoppers looking through her racks of thousands of items made by top designers.
To others interested in starting their own business like Caroldean, she offers this advice, “Don’t take no for an answer – period. Don’t do the same thing as everyone else. Find your niche, get passionate about it, stand behind it and run!”
While the clothes that she sells make you feel beautiful when wearing them, she still believes that the clothes are a reflection of the beauty that comes from within.
While Caroldean has been a regular fixture on the social circuit here in the desert over the last twenty years, her priorities changed just a little bit four years ago with the birth of her son, Declan. Now you can find her equally comfortable at home watching a movie with him, at a fashion runway event or black tie affair.