A New Leaf owner Meg Gaudet with a refurbished TV cabinet. Photo by Betsy Levinson

New Leaf consignment shop to close in May 

April 22, 2024

By Betsy Levinson — Betsy@theconcordbridge.org 

It’s a place of serendipity and surprise. A place to come upon the very thing you didn’t need but can’t live without. 

It’s A New Leaf, the consignment shop in the heart of West Concord started by artist Meg Gaudet more than a decade ago. 

And next month, it will close. 

“I’m retiring and closing the store in May,” Gaudet said as customers recently prowled the crowded aisles for bargains. 

Gaudet said the business started as an outgrowth of her work repurposing and painting old furniture from her house as gifts for friends. Needing more room to work, she leased space on Commonwealth Avenue and began accepting consignments. 

Personal flair

Gaudet sells an eclectic mix of furniture, household goods and accessories on consignment from about 1,500 local homeowners. 

If an item doesn’t sell within a particular period outlined in the contract, she will often refurbish it with her own flair. 

An old pipe organ is now a unique hat rack. Photo by Betsy Levinson

“See that coat tree?” Gaudet asks. “That was a church pipe organ.” 

She also finds her own things to bring back to life with a coat of paint and other repairs. 

The artistic flair she often brings to a repurposed item “has made us unique,” said Gaudet. 

For instance, she transformed a heavy old television cabinet into a modern bar. She painted a dark brown chest white, transforming it from trash to treasure. 

Nothing is thrown away at A New Leaf. Gaudet sends unwanted items to other resale outlets rather than putting them out with the trash. 

The oddest thing she sold? That would be the “opium bed,” an ornately carved Chinese wood canopy surrounding the sleeping area “where people would lay and smoke opium.” 

“Roadkill,” rejuvenated

She’ll adopt a piece of “roadkill,” or furniture left by the side of the road, recognizing that “I can’t hurt it any more than it is.” 

Once she found a buffet left in the rain with its doors hanging off. “I can only make it better,” she said. A fresh coat of paint and mirrors on the back of the shelves brought it back to life. 

Gaudet with volunteer Paula Doyle. Photo by Betsy Levinson

A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Gaudet sells her own artwork in the one-story warehouse. The place used to be Wild Bill’s gas station, then the Acadia machine shop, she said. 

While COVID forced potential customers to shop online, Gaudet said that now, “people like to see something before putting it in their home.” 

“My favorite thing is when young people buy something,” she said. “Everything has a story. I like that young people appreciate older things in a culture of cheap disposable goods.” 

Gaudet keeps a “wish book” at the shop and will call a customer when the item they wanted comes in. 

“It’s an unpredictable business,” she said. 

Longtime customer Lisa DiBartolomeo is a regular. 

“I love Meg,” she said. “I’m a huge fan. I can come in here and find anything. It’s so much fun.” 

The closing sale going on now at A New Leaf will continue until West Concord Junction Day in May.