Simsbury Consignment Shop Shuts Down Without a Trace - NBC Connecticut

Simsbury Consignment Shop Shuts Down Without a Trace

(Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016)

As it turns out consignors in Simsbury had no idea the woman they were working with would unexpectedly disappear.

A glimpse through the windows of this now empty space reveal remnants of a once thriving local business.

"I was disappointed we weren't given the opportunity to get our items and I hope I still have the opportunity to do so,” Abigail Vacca told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

Vacca consigned for years at Teenage Wasteland in Simsbury without any issues--until July.

“She abruptly closed shop," Vacca said. "We were given no chances to pick up our items ahead of time and I was not under the impression she was having any financial difficulty."

But apparently the owner, Kim Ruszala, was.

She initially apologized to customers on her now defunct Facebook page.

In July, Ruszala told customers on Facebook that she was looking for a buyer and would update her followers about the process.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters grabbed screen shots before the page was deleted.

Ruszala has never answered our messages for a comment or Vacca's, she claimed.

"I was under the impression she'd reopen, she'd just sell the store and someone else would just take over. We'd get our items back," Vacca said. "As time went on, it became very clear to me she probably had no intention of reopening."

As Vacca combs through her closet, she tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters she sold dozens of items through Teenage Wasteland but she still has a lengthy list of clothing items that are unaccounted for.

“Numerous items, including my prom dress. She indicated on her Facebook page (that) the items were in a storage unit so that is why I gave her some time before I contacted any departments because I thought she'd get a buyer and we'd pick up our items,” Vacca told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

Vacca made a complaint to the Department of Consumer Protection in late July.

That office reached out to Ruszala at an address in Pennsylvania.

They threatened her with fines for potentially violating laws regarding quote "misrepresentation and deception."

A DCP spokesman said Ruszala committed to sending a refund check to Vacca but now DCP and Vacca said that has not happened.

"I’m pretty surprised, but again, just disappointed. I just don't want her to be able to open up shop and do this again," Vacca said. 

Ruszala has not returned NBC Connecticut’s repeated calls for comment.

DCP couldn't offer more assistance other than to tell Vacca when a company goes out of business, "warranties, guarantees or certificates offered by the company are usually no longer in effect."

The DCP reminds everyone to always be looking out for yourself.

The department suggests reading the fine print: understanding the agreement and what happens if the store shuts down.

Customrs should also check on their consigned items weekly and know what happens if they don't sell in a certain time frame.

If you have questions or need to file a complaint email dcp.frauds@ct.gov

The property owner at 141 West Street in Simsbury, where Teenage Wasteland was housed tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters Ruszala just left her location without notice either. Susan Johnson says Ruszala was behind on rent, got caught up and then signed a new contract but left with seventeen months still to go.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have reached out to Ruszala several times without a call back.

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