Photo by Jessica Keller

Natalia Biner-Wittke, owner of Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique, straightens merchandise before opening her store in Magnolia last week. The new shop specializes in selling high-end clothing and accessories.
Photo by Jessica Keller Natalia Biner-Wittke, owner of Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique, straightens merchandise before opening her store in Magnolia last week. The new shop specializes in selling high-end clothing and accessories.

Although business owner Natalie Biner-Wittke has lived in Magnolia since moving to Seattle in 2011, for the last 10 years she commuted to her consignment boutique in Belltown and enjoyed the vibrant and diverse community.

Now, Biner-Wittke is working closer to home after moving her upscale shop, Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique, to Magnolia.

Her journey to opening a consignment store began in Arizona, however.

“I always knew I wanted to open a consignment shop,” Biner-Wittke said.

Biner-Wittke attributes her entrepreneurial spirit to her parents, who immigrated to Arizona from Ukraine speaking no English and with no money. She said they worked hard to establish themselves and opened a restaurant, where she helped out.

Like many young people starting out, Biner-Wittke wanted to look nice and dress professionally but didn’t have a budget to buy a brand-new wardrobe. That’s when she discovered she could buy expensive-looking clothing at the fraction of the cost at thrift stores. While her finds gave her the polished look she desired, the shops she visited were not the prettiest and the merchandise crammed on shelves and racks.

Biner-Wittke decided then she wanted to offer women a pleasurable and affordable shopping experience in her own shop that reflected her tastes, which she eventually did in Belltown.

“I thrived there,” Biner-Wittke said.

Then, COVID-19 hit, and conditions in downtown grew dangerous, and businesses owners began closing shop.

“I was one of the longest ones to stay,” Biner-Wittke said, adding she and a friend who owned a business were hoping things would improve. “We thought we were going to stay until the end because we didn’t want to give up hope.”

She said she eventually decided it was time to leave after she grew concerned for her own and her customers’ safety. Around that time, she noticed the vacant storefront on 33rd Avenue West, down from Starbucks, on her walks to the coffee shop and was drawn to the location and its windows.

After a little consideration, Biner-Wittke had two months to close her shop in Belltown, pack her inventory and open in her new location.

“It feels great,” Biner-Wittke said about opening in Magnolia. “First, I feel safe. Second, it’s beautiful, and people are so friendly.”

Biner-Wittke said she is also thrilled with her boutique, which is smaller than her previous store, but perfect for what she wants to do.

“This is about 1,000 square feet, but it’s really cozy, and I like that aspect. I feel I can do everything I want to do,” Biner-Wittke said.

She also appreciates the windows that let her look out onto 33rd Avenue.

“Even when it’s dark outside, it feels like it’s daylight, and that makes me happy,” she said.

Biner-Wittke has also taken steps to become involved in the community since moving her shop to Magnolia. Biner-Wittke first joined the Chamber of Commerce and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, which was her soft open. She also will be part of Winterfest festivities, as well.

“I feel like I’m a real part of the community,” she said.

Biner-Wittke said she also plans to resume posting merchandise showings weekly, during which she unveils new shipments of clothing, shoes, purses and accessories in an online video for patrons to see what she has to offer in the comfort of their home.

Biner-Wittke said, while she is thrilled in her new shop in Magnolia, she hopes Belltown and the area around Pike Place Market makes a comeback and thrives once again.

“After COVID, I feel we lost a lot of that heartbeat, and I hope we get it back someday,” she said.

Visit Sellyoursoleconsignment.com for more information about the boutique.