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From impoverished to 'fame-ish': A conversation with St. Louis' own 'resale queen'

Sue McCarthy is the founder of Vault Luxury Resale and the author of the new book "Good Better Best: The Rags to Riches Story of the Upscale Retail Queen"
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
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From sleeping in a park at night as a homeless child to owning one of the finest high-end resale shops in the country, Sue McCarthy said she always had aspirations for better circumstances.

Now the entrepreneur, star of the television series “Resale Royalty” and founder of The Vault Luxury Resale in Brentwood has published a book, “Good, Better, Best: The Rags-to-Riches Story of the Upscale Resale Queen."

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, she gave host Don Marsh a taste of how she went from relative obscurity to being – as she puts it — not famous, but “a little bit fame-ish.”

After years of odd jobs — including selling candy from the dumpster behind a candy factory and styling the hair of cadavers at a local funeral home — McCarthy finally found her calling.

“I had always shopped [at] thrift stores, rummage sales, yard sales,” she said. “And then I heard about this thing called a consignment shop.”

She loved the consignment shop concept. However, when she saw one for the first time she was struck by the carelessly placed items and overcrowded merchandise.

She thought, “I know that I can do this, but I can do it better.”

Thus, McCarthy’s St. Louis-based, multimillion-dollar resale empire Vault Luxury Resale was born. Today, the store boasts an extensive roster of high-end clientele and a diverse panoply of luxury commodities.

The new book sheds light on the glamorous world of high-end retail.

“Our daily life is fascinating,” said McCarthy.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Caitlin Lally is thrilled to join St. Louis Public Radio as the summer production intern for "St. Louis on the Air." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Caitlin also freelances for area publications like Sauce Magazine and the Belleville News-Democrat. In her career, she's covered topics such as Trump's travel ban, political protests and community activism. When she's not producing audio segments or transcribing interviews, Caitlin enjoys practicing yoga, seeing live music, and cooking plant-based meals.

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