By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
s a child, Jill Cooper watched her father sift through other folks’ decarded gems at thrift shops. She was slightly intrigued, but she didn’t realize it would later be the secret to her success.
Eight years after incorporating Lost + Found Resale Interiors, Cooper is expanding her business by moving across the street to 15530 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, Suite 100. The new space is 4,000 square feet larger than her 5,000-square-foot former location.
“I really need more space,” Cooper says, overlooking her former storefront. “We’ve really built a reputation. Moving across the street, it will be so visible. We’re taking all of our clientele and then we’ll get more new business, too. I’m really excited.”
Cooper says this new chapter is a “complete rebranding” of her company.
“It’s still going to be Lost + Found, but it’s going to give new life and I think people are going to be so excited to come to it,” she says. “A lot of my neighbors and consignment shops are expanding. I turn down so much furniture.”
The high-end consignment furniture store offers upscale, unique and eclectic resale and consignment items—from midcentury modern and vintage to contemporary. She doesn’t solely rely on consignment.
“I went to two auctions last weekend in LA,” she says. “I love to do that. I would buy everything if I could. That’s what makes (Lost + Found) eclectic.
“If I just took consignment in, I wouldn’t have funky things. I love to go over to the Long Beach Swap Meet and just pick funky, cool things.”
Besides furniture, Cooper looks for lighting, area rugs and one-of-a-kind art pieces. Cooper says she believes a home should be an eclectic combination of all styles.
The store carries name brands like Lorts, Robb and Stucky, McGuire, Baker, Drexel Heritage, Ethan Allen, Marge Carson, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. Cooper has also been known to reupholster or refinish pieces to give them a fresh, interesting feel.
“We have everything from Pottery Barn to the highest-end furniture, like Kreiss and above. So you can furnish your whole house here.”
Local designers frequently drop pieces off at Lost + Found.
“Those are great customers to get because their stuff is so eclectic,” Cooper says. “We price, like, 20% to 40% off retail. If you’re looking at a $20,000 rug, you might be able to get it for $4,000.
“We go off of retail, and if we can’t find retail then we go to eBay and try to find what someone’s selling it for. EBay is a good pulse.”
Schooled in construction
Cooper earned a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from ASU and hoped to head to medical school—before she had a change of heart.
She began her career as a project manager with a commercial construction company. After a stint in medical and pharmaceutical sales and then raising her children, she returned to the construction industry. She specialized in remodels, interior staging and design work.
“I went into construction after college because that’s what I was doing in college,” she says. “I learned about commercial construction and how to do remodels. Then I did pharmaceutical and medical sales.”
While working with clients on remodel and design work, Cooper found she had a knack for finding creative and unique furnishings.
“I got a booth across the street at one of the consignment stores, and I was finding great deals for people,” Cooper says. “Then I met a guy, for whom I did design work, and he offered to back my company.
“At first, I thought it was crazy. I had never worked retail in my life. But this—Lost + Found—wasn’t what I expected, but that’s how life works. Just like that—it takes off.”
Cooper, who incorporated her company eight years ago, admits she was a little nervous during the pandemic, but instead of inviting the public to the store, she scheduled appointments for visits.
“I paid my staff,” she adds. “But I was lucky. We had two private customers come in who were furnishing whole homes. That helped a ton. One of them spent $26,000 in one day and then she spent $7,000 the week prior. In between that, she spent $1,600.”
Up next is an eCommerce site for Lost + Found. She knows it’s going to be challenging because the items are “onesies,” as she says.
“The second it sells, I have to run and take it off the site,” Cooper adds. “We’ll see how it works.”
She scrutinizes all pieces that are offered to her shop, so her staff is confident that the pieces are high end.
“My staff knows I have researched every piece that goes in here,” she says. “They can confidently look at them and say, ‘We know exactly how much it goes for.’”
Her goal is to shop and run it remotely—that’s how much she trusts her staff.
“It’s hard to remove yourself and just go let this thing run on its own,” she says. “But it runs like a system. Scottsdale shuts down in the summer. We can do fantastic and then all of a sudden you just fear that summer is coming. Our new location is going to make a big difference. We’re going to be out there. We’re not going to be hidden.
“My employees make the business. My customers are just so damn nice. They’re just loyal and my employees are so loyal. They’re like family. It just makes the business.” ν
Lost + Found Resale Interiors
15530 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, Suite 100, Scottsdale