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communityspotlight Cynthia and Paul Fitzgerald


Furnishings Find New Homes

by Karen Adams


f anyone understands the importance of home, it’s Paul Fitzgerald, who made a life-changing decision to be a stay-at-home dad when his first child was born three years ago. A year later, he and his wife, Cynthia, opened their furniture and home décor consignment business, Urban Consign and Design, in Hoboken. Now they help people set up their own homes.

After 16 years working on Wall

Street at a demanding job with increas- ingly longer hours, Fitzgerald gave it up to be home with his infant son, Parker, now 3 (the couple now has an 18-month-old girl, Riley, as well). “I was on the phone 24/7, and when the market tanked, I was working even harder,” he says. “I thought, ‘What am I doing?’” So he and Cynthia decided he would stay home while she worked. Fitzgerald wanted to start his own business and got the idea for furniture consignments. He knew from his Wall Street experience that there were many people constantly moving in and out of the area, especially those transferred by employers. “But when they move, I thought, ‘Where does all this nice

16 Hudson County

furniture go?’” Many people don’t like the risk of selling directly to strangers, Fitzgerald says, and he saw a lot of things end up in dumpsters. Besides seeing beautiful, perfectly good furni- ture going to waste, Fitzgerald didn’t like the idea of adding to area landfills needlessly, so Urban Consign and De- sign was born.

“People say to me, ‘I’ve spent too much money to give this away,’” Fitzgerald says. “Some furniture still has the tags on it.” Plus, there are al- ways others moving in who need nice furniture in their own new homes, so the circle continues. Besides new residents that buy and former residents that sell, many of Fitzgerald’s custom- ers are designers that often buy pieces

and remake them with new paint or upholstery. Business has been so good that the store recently relocated to a new space with a loading dock and 18-foot ceilings.

Fitzgerald likes knowing the stories behind his consignments and research- es every piece that comes in the store. “I need to know where everything comes from, so I can tell people,” he says. “I like telling stories. I’m Irish.” His inventory has included a desk that was used on the Will and Grace TV show, a Thai painting that was part of an international fundraiser for the victims of the Indonesia tsunami and a pair of unique, portable, late-1800s “campaign” lounge chairs, made in Ireland and used by European generals

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