Chattanooga Consignment Boutiques are THE Place for Great Deals

By Molly Farrell

With the holidays looming, shoppers are looking for ways to save money, especially college students. Consignment and resale shops are the answer to financial woes for those who are looking for an inexpensive way to wear the season’s hottest trends”

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC) — For many students and other bargain hunters, consignment and resale shops are the best place to find name brand clothes at a fraction of the selling price.

Chattanooga is home to a number of these popular places. Plato’s Closet, a young men and women’s store that sells gently worn items, is a popular place for students to find inexpensive steals on the latest styles.

Whether it’s a night out or a change of season, consignment clothing stores are a favorite for Alexandra Gellis, UTK junior. “I love Plato’s Closet because they have a little of everything; if I am in a hurry to find a dress or something to go out in, I always look there first.”

For the more designer-conscious, Encore Consignment, owned by Sherry Gravitt, has a plethora of top designer clothing at unbeatable prices.  Encore also has a great selection of women’s suits and dresses for those with a more subtle attire.

If vintage is what you’re looking for, Collective Clothing, located in the heart of St. Elmo, is the perfect place to find unique pieces.

Sondra Aten, owner of Collective Clothing, says her purpose for opening the store was to give Chattanoogan’s a unique shopping experience. ” I wanted to give people in Chattanooga an opportunity to be able to purchase [vintage clothing] without having to drive to Nashville or Atlanta.”

Sondra explains the driving force behind resale shops is availability. “I try to find more unique things that are timeless, rather than ‘fast fashion’, that just comes in and out.” Consignment shops thrive on customer participation like bringing in new items to sell.

Plato’s Closet, Encore Consignment, and Collective Clothing are just some of the resale shops Chattanooga has to offer.

Who: Plato’s Closet                                                                    

Where: 2200 Hamilton Place Blvd, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Gently used young men and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-10 pm, Sunday 12 pm-8 pm

Plato’s Closet of chattanooga offers consignment clothing at great prices.  The store is organized by racks of jeans, shirts, jackets, and dresses in a variety of colors and sizes.

They also sell a wide selection of gently used shoes and accessories for both men and women.

Plato’s takes name brand clothing items that are gently used (no tears, holes or stains) for a reasonable cash payout. Most stores take clothing year round, not just seasonal clothing.

Positives: Great selection of clothing for both genders, new merchandise arrives daily

Negatives: Pays customers only a fraction of the selling cost for consigned clothing, does not recognize designer brands

Who: Encore Consignment Boutique

Where: 11500 Hixson Pike, Suite C, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Upscale ladies apparel and accessories

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-4:30 pm, CLOSED Sunday and Monday

Encore Consignment carries primarily upscale ladies apparel, including dresses, suit pieces, and designer accessories. The store has been awarded by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as “readers choice” since 2002.

Encore only takes clothing that is of a designer brand and in excellent condition, and primarily buys from consignors.

Positives: Great selection of high fashion designer brands, pricing is very reasonable

Negatives: Store is very small and crammed, most clothing is geared towards an older crowd

Who: Collective Clothing                                                                

Where: 3933 St. Elmo Ave, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Vintage/Unique clothing and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday 11 am-8 pm, CLOSED Sunday

Collective Clothing has something for everyone. The small store is crammed with vintage pieces mixed with new, trendier clothing.

Collective offers a wide selection for both men and women, and the clothing is organized into type and size.

The back of the store features a small room of accessories, and shoes from every decade can be found along the walls. The vintage, thrifty feel of the establishment is a far cry from most clothing stores.

Positives: Great selection of vintage pieces/ unique styles

Negatives: The prices are on the high side for older pieces, some clothing shows signs of wear


Chattanooga Skatepark Unpopular with Older Patrons

By Molly Farrell

Chattanooga’s only skatepark leaves some visitors wanting an alternative. An indoor park is in the works to meet the needs of advanced skaters.  The new park offers thousands of feet of skating space and obstacles.

Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC/ TheLoop) — Chattanooga boasts popular attractions like the aquarium and numerous hiking trails, but for skateboarding fans, the city is bleak.

In Chattanooga and the surrounding area there is only one skateboard park for visitors and residents. Deemed Chatt Town Skatepark, the site offers both a skatepark and roller hockey rink.

The park is run by the city of Chattanooga and features ramps and boxes for rollerbladers, skateboarders, and BMX riders.

Stephen Sherwood, a visitor of the park, is disappointed with Chattanooga’s slim offerings for skateboarding.  “You really only have a choice between the one skatepark or the street, and that’s really dangerous,” he says. ” They definitely need to build another one.”

Though the park is popular, its many rules and a costly entrance fee keep some from visiting more regularly.  Visitors must pay $8 to skate; the park does offer a $50 membership, but each visit costs an extra $2.

The park also requires a signed waiver for under 18 skaters, and a helmet must be worn at all times by all ages.

Stephen Sherwood, who is 20, thinks the helmet rule is unnecessary. “I’ve been to other parks that don’t make you pay a fee or wear a helmet. The feeling there is much more casual. Why should you have to wear a helmet if you’re over 18? I just don’t get it,” he says.

Plans for an indoor park in Chattanooga are in place under a popular rock climbing facility, 801 Riverfront. The park will offer 20,000 feet of ramps, bowls, boxes, and rails. Visit this website for more info.

Forest Magic Redefines Music in Chattanooga

By Xan Gwaltney

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — A group of UTC graduates has been entertaining and engaging audiences like no other local act as it enters it fourth year performing as Forest Magic.

Forest Magic (L to R): Joel White, Nick Turner, Joshua Bennett, Allie Stafford, and Allen Hartley.

Forest Magic (L to R): Joel White, Nick Turner, Joshua Bennett, Allie Stafford, and Allen Hartley. Photo by Julia Davis.

The band formed in the fall of 2006 including members of established bands Suomi, Tremont Beauty Salon, and Brokedown DeLorean.  While Forest Magic has at times included as many as nine members, the current core group consists of guitarist and lead vocalist Joshua Bennett, bass player Allen Hartley, violinist and keyboardist Allie Stafford, guitarist Nick Turner, and drummer Joel White.

They have taken a communal approach to making music, focusing less on songwriting and more on the creation of an environment through their music.  Stafford, a 2007 graduate, recalls her introduction to the group as an opportunity to share musical ideas and “create something positive.”  Bennett, a 2006 graduate, says that Forest Magic was actually “a concept before there was a single note played.”

Bennett describes the band’s approach as a redefinition of folk music that is less concerned with a specific sound, but with the idea of detachment from popular music and a rediscovering and reinvention of music through communal learning and collaboration.

Turner, a 2009 graduate, says having the concept before the music helped give them direction.  He says there was never an effort to commercialize the group.  Instead, he says, they made music for themselves, and committed to having “a positive impact on each other.”

The result is an organic experience in which Turner says music is “a form of meditation or a religion of sorts.”  In a sense, it’s gospel music, just not like you’ve ever heard it before.

The band’s first album was released in the fall of 2009 and reflected the group’s eclectic and conceptual nature.  Turner says even the title, Is Energy, refers to the band’s music being “more of an emotional thing rather than just writing songs.”

Forest Magic's Is Energy

Forest Magic's Debut LP - Is Energy

Listen to Is Energy on Muxtape

More often than not, comparisons are based on the concept and experience of Forest Magic, rather than on its sound.  Admittedly, that sound can be hard to pinpoint, as the group regularly crosses genres and defies classification.  The closest comparisons would be to Animal Collective’s layered rhythmic and melodic blend of neo-folk, noise rock, and psychedelia; however, Forest Magic’s sound often includes elements of the chiming, atmospheric textures of Sigur Ros and the ambient post-rock of Godspeed, You Black Emperor!, as well as aspects of various types of world music.

Although the concept is rooted in the folk tradition, the band is more often found nodding along to Wu-Tang than Woody Guthrie.  And their wide range of influences is reflected in an eclectic sonic mixture.

Visit Forest Magic’s Myspace page

Forest Magic now boasts a catalog of close to 50 songs, and fans can expect to see another album plus individual EPs from group members in the coming months.  Fans can also expect more performances at JJ’s Bohemia where Forest Magic gained notoriety during a resurgent period for the Chattanooga music scene that saw the rise of such local staples as Moonlight Bride, Coral Castles, and Night of the Wolf.

Discover more local music at JJ’s Bohemia

While the band members do not expect to always stay together in their current form, Turner says “we’ll always be personally and musically connected.”

Listening to Forest Magic and experiencing a live show, audiences can expect to feel the same way.

Top Photo by Julia Davis

New Website Gives Chattanoogans A Look At Themselves… From Last Night

Have you ever gone out for the night, were sure you had a great time, but forgot to document the night in photos? Some local Chattanoogans have answered this problem with the launch of a new website. is the brainchild of Robert Parker and David Ruiz, two local amateur photographers who like to capture the Chattanooga night scene with a focus on the crowds that show up.

“ is basically, we’re free event or party photography, a promotion kinda thing exclusively for Chattanooga events,” said Robert Parker.

Parker and Ruiz can be found at almost any local show, whether it be a nightly showcase at JJ’s Bohemia, the monthly Banger’s Ball or even stand-up comedy nights. After taking hundreds of photos throughout the night, the duo promptly post the pictures on their website and on Facebook, where friends are free to tag themselves and save moments from the night before.

Look out for this orange hat on your next night out.

Look out for this orange hat on your next night out. Photo Courtesy of

Thursday November 19 marked the official launch day of the site, so Parker and Ruiz celebrated by throwing a party at JJ’s Bohemia complete with bands and DJs.

The audience was entertained by acts such as:

In between sets, DJs BNGRZ, Talk, and DrugMoney kept the crowd moving with dance beats.

Enthusiasm for the site is running high as evidenced by the tight crowd inside of JJ’s Thursday.

Parker said he was very excited about the turnout and where the site will be going in the future.

“If it turns out well we plan on having quarterly benefit shows for the site.”

Parker also hopes to use the site as a “springboard” for local designers.

“We’re gonna leave the initial design up for about six months but then every three months we want to bring in a local designer to totally re-do it and throw the benefit.”

“It’s great because no matter how messed up you get, you can count on the website to capture all the moments of the night,” said Jason Clark, senior, Franklin, TN and one half of Machines Are People Too.

The website already has a large collection of galleries going back to July 2009 which anyone is free to check out. Event planners are welcome to contact the photographers so they’ll know where and when to show up. The photos are available for personal use by any visitors and have been popping up on Facebook profile pages all over the Chattanooga network.

Related Story: Streaming Live To Survive

Top Ten Places to Shop Local

 By: Laura Kelton

Chattanooga (UTC/The Loop) -All over Chattanooga, businesses and individuals alike are supporting local shops in troubling economic times.

Shopping local provides a great sense of support in the Chattanooga area. With hundreds of small businesses all over the community, the opportunity to shop local lies around every corner. Supporting local businesses has been seen as one of many ways to take part in the ever-growing ideas of being “green.” Not only is it a way to keep those businesses open, but also helps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through less shipping and travel.

Chattanooga is a place booming with some great places to shop and dine, and here are a few ways for you to support your local economy.

10. Niedlov’s Breadworks

Niedlov’s provides Chattanooga with some of the most fresh, beautiful bread in the city. They specialize in organic breads that are naturally leavened, and their process may take up to 20 hours. Their signature loaf is the “Wholely Whole Wheat” comprised of unbleached wheat flour, whole-wheat flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. Their phrase, “We love to knead. We knead to love,” says it all once you have sampled their goods. Not only can you purchase their breads at the bakery located at 215 E. Main St., but they can also be found in local restaurants such as The Blue Plate and Easy Bistro and Bar.

9. The Blue Plate

The Blue Plate is located at 191 Chestnut St. and is open Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Their restaurant offers both a breakfast and dinner menu all day long. As a local business, they understand the importance of supporting other local businesses and provide goods from Bluff View Bakery, Niedlov’s Bakery, River Ridge Farms, and Stone Cup Coffee. UTC sophomore Sarah Binion said that The Blue Plate has a “fun, modern, comfortable atmosphere. It’s a cool place to just hang out with people while enjoying a good meal.”

8. Aretha Frankenstein’s

Quaintly tucked away in an old house on Tremont Street, Aretha Frankenstein’s offers a wide variety on their menu. From breakfast food to quesadillas, it’s the perfect place to pick up an evening snack, a coffee, or a beer and run into a few of their neighbors. What makes Aretha’s stand out the most, is their substantially large pancakes. Standing at an inch high, they’re hard to measure up to. UTC student Anna Tribo said, “I don’t think I could ever go back to normal pancakes, I would have to eat 10 of them to make one Aretha Frankenstein pancake!” 

7. Rembrandt’s Coffee House

In the heart of the Bluff View Art District you can find Rembrandt’s Coffee Shop. In a beautiful French stucco building, there is interior and exterior seating to hang out and enjoy an item from their full menu. Their menu ranges from coffee and pastry goods to salads, sandwiches and paninis. A perfect spot in the rain or shine, their warm and inviting atmosphere creates a great spot to meet with friends or study for a test.


Rembrandt's dessert display and toasty fireplace!

Rembrandt's dessert display and toasty fireplace!

6. Collective Clothing

Reflective of their name, Collective Clothing is a vintage clothing and accessory store located at 3933 St. Elmo Ave. While the majority of their merchandise is vintage, they also feature local handmade goods. Collective Clothing has also become an entertainment hub for local artists to perform at. Local DJ Daniel Lewis comments, “Collective Clothing is not just a thrift store. These are clothes handed down, but many of these are sorted through, and are actually relics of their time. I’ve seen tour t-shirts from bands and hip hop groups that were actually tour t-shirts printed in that time. Collective reminds me of the shops you see at Little Five in Atlanta, because that’s what it’s modeled after.” Collective Clothing will be featuring items in the MainX24 fashion show at the Choo Choo on Dec. 5.

5. Chazzy Dogz

Owned by their neighbor, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Chazzy’s Hot Dog stand claims itself to be “Chattanooga’s Coolest Little Hot Dog Shop,” so my friends and I decided to check it out. The shop is no more than a walk up window with a few patio tables outside, but in that little space they have a whole lot to offer.


Chazzy's convenient walk-up window at the corner of 2nd St. and Market St.

Chazzy's convenient walk-up window at the corner of 2nd St. and Market St.

Guests can choose from “Nathan’s All Beef Hotdog” or “1/4 Pound All Beef Hot Dog” ranging from $2.50-$3. After making their decision, they can then pile it high with any toppings they wish – for no additional charge! And trust me, if you can think of it, they have it. They suggest a few styles such as “The Basic Chazzy Dog,” “Chicago,” “Atlantic City,” or “Tijuana.” It is an unbeatable hot dog, for an unbeatable price. Chazzy is open Sunday- Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

4. Greyfriar’s Coffee and Tea Company

A local coffee shop in the downtown district at 406 Broad St., Greyfriar’s Coffee and Tea Co. is the home of RareCoffee. RareCoffee offers freshly roasted coffee beans for sale on their website and in house. Their passion brings about a quality of coffee that can only be brought about through “thoughtful experience and creative artistry” according to their website. Be sure to stop in on your next stroll downtown on a cold winter day.

3. Chattanooga Cupcakes

Located at 500 Broad Street, Chattanooga Cupcakes is a sweet deal for some sweet treats. Owner Sonya Reagor said she has always wanted to open up a bakery of sorts, and cupcakes seem to be the hot item right now.


Even the building looks delicious!

Even the building looks delicious!

With an assortment of cupcakes on the everyday menu to featured cupcakes of the day, there is something there to satisfy any sweet tooth. From Lemon to Chocolate Overload, these cupcakes are melt in your mouth succulent and stacked high with delicious icing. UTC sophomore Nick Friend said that Chattanooga Cupcakes “offers some of the most extravagant desert treats I’ve ever laid eyes on. Not only do they have a colossal amount of icing, they are very creative with the flavors that they use, like cappuccino and red velvet.” Friend also comments that they provide a comfortable and relaxing environment that “seems like it would be perfect for a day date.”


Nick Friend enjoying a cupcake with Sarah Finley

Nick Friend enjoying a cupcake with Sarah Finley

2. Leo Handmade Gallery

Leo Handmade is located below Clumpies in the Northshore strip along Frazier Avenue. The gallery features handmade clothing, jewelry, accessories, and posters from local artists. Owned by Bridget Miller and John Hall, Leo’s brings about a clean, creative atmosphere along the strip. Some artists featured in the store include Young Monster and OwlEyes’ Accessories. Stop in to pick up a one of a kind item, and make sure to check the back room for $20 and under vintage items!


Accessory display

Accessory display


Look what I found! OwlEyes' Hair Accessories for sale

Look what I found! OwlEyes' Hair Accessories for sale

Want to learn more about OwlEyes’?

1. The Chattanooga Market

The Chattanooga Market is a local weekend hot spot to find both family and friends on a Sunday afternoon. With vendor’s selling items from fresh produce, art, jewelry, and cooked goods, the market provides a free, fun atmosphere for all. The market has something to keep everyone entertained in the afternoon with a rock-climbing wall, children’s play area, and live music.

Local artists such as Paul Fontana find the market to be a great place to show and sell their art on the weekends. Fontana’s photo transfers onto wood drew me in that Sunday as I mingled with the locals and talked to them about their goods. He says the market gives him a great way to get his art out there and tell people about his work, which can also be found at the In-Town Gallery on Frazier Avenue.

Although closed during the colder months of the year, the Market offers events such as the Holiday Market during the first weekend of December. The festivities will re-open April 25, 2010, and go on throughout the summer and fall. 


Rock Climber’s Found Dead on Suck Creek Mountain

By: Ashley King

CHATTANOOGA (AP/UTC)–A Chattanooga resident was found dead Wednesday at the foot of Suck Creek Mountain in Hamilton County after what appears to be an accidental fall. 

A relative found 23-year-old, Jesse David Brude, inside Prentice Cooper State Park. Brude had left for his climbing trip Monday.


 "Mountain comparable to Suck Creek Mountain located in Prentice Cooper State Park"

"Mountain comparable to Suck Creek Mountain located in Prentice Cooper State Park"

According to relatives he had plenty of experience and equipment. and he was apparently climbing alone.

“Something just went wrong,” said Dusty Stokes, Hamilton County Sheriff Sgt. 

AP Copyright 2009