Hilary Arthur's passion for fashion started burning when she was a teenager.
The Central York alumna said she thought she had died and gone to heaven when she landed her first job, which was at a Gap store in the York Galleria.
Customer service skills gleaned from working on that selling floor eventually led to a career representing some of the biggest designers to be featured on New York runways.
Most recently armed with 14 years of experience serving as a senior account executive for Calvin Klein Collection and other fashion firms in the Big Apple, Arthur is now sharing her high-end eye with York.
This week she launched a luxury consignment store on her website, www.arthuranddaughters.com, selling designer fashions at a discount. Labels like Balenciaga, Calvin Klein Collection, DKNY, Escada, Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta, which sell for thousands at retail stores, are listed on Arthur's site at prices ranging from $30 to $250.
Easy finds: What buyers typically both love and hate about consignment shopping is combing through vintage items to find a hidden gem among the "hot mess," Arthur said.
Her site helps shoppers skip through the hot mess to get to the good stuff, she said, finding pieces that, at best, will stop traffic and, at least, will stand out every day.
And there's absolutely a market for high fashion in York, she said.
Arthur moved from Brooklyn to York City a year and a half ago, getting closer to her Springettsbury Township roots and finding a 200-year-old home she fell in love with. She lives downtown with her husband, who is a physician for Wellspan, and their two daughters.
Her website allows her to be a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing her passion, she said.
Catwalks: If a chain store in Springettsbury Township helped develop her love of fashion, seeing styles on New York's catwalks helped her hone it, she said.
"It was like Christmas to me," she said.
Arthur learned the artistry of the higher-end luxury market, an attention to detail and skill, and loved learning the inspiration behind each new, special piece, she said.
"Seeing what's next" has always been the most exciting part of fashion, Arthur said.
"Fashion is always looking forward, with a nod to the past," she said.
Arthur's past has always included her love of couture.
She left York when she was 18 to study sociology and criminal justice at Fordham University in New York.
Her education led her to a job investigating police misconduct. However, she quickly learned government work didn't pay enough by itself to sustain a New York lifestyle, so she sought supplemental work in the fashion industry.
The tiresome schedule of earning multiple sources of income inspired her to narrow her focus to fashion, landing a job as a visual merchandiser with Escada -- a position she held prior to her 14-year career selling runway collections to New York retail giants, such as Bergdorf Goodman.
Again, she drew on lessons learned during her first job in York.
Anyone who wants to pursue a career in the fashion industry should have some retail experience, she said. For all the marketing and research, it's all about what happens when the product hits the store, she said.
As for Arthur's favorite stores, she says she shops anywhere and everywhere.
"Nowhere is off limits," she said.