The Second Blessings Thrift Shop in Frog Level hit the jackpot and is temporarily setting up shop in a second location.
Store Manager Deb Kasbeer said she received a phone call from a Florida store owner who was relocating to North Carolina and wanted to donate the clothing items accumulated in his Venice store to a shop that had the capability of handling the volume.
After several phone calls and a store visit, the Frog Level shop that supports the Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church’s Open Door was selected.
Kasbeer credits both Clark Thompson and Richard Bates will helping seal the deal.
Upon visiting Second Blessings, the donors found the store was large enough to accommodate the large donation, but it would have required liquidating most of the existing inventory at Second Blessings.
“The retail value of this clothing, if it were new, would be between $650,000 and $750,000,” said Thompson. “Since it’s used, the value to us is between $65,000 and $75,000. These are nice, designer clothes and athletic wear like you would find in a department store.”
Thompson called the donation a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The next problem became how to display the merchandise. Bates and Thompson started thinking outside the box and arranged to use the former Sears store space in Waynesville Plaza as a temporary location to sell the clothing.
Funds raised from the clothing sale will offset any costs to operate the Open Door, which in some years has been subsidized by Long’s Chapel.
For now, volunteers are busily unpacking bags and have about half the floor space in the storefront on hangers. The merchandise is grouped by color and category, such as women’s tops, athletic clothing, shoes or jackets.
In addition there are 100 or so bags of clothing yet to unpack and display, including winter and men’s clothing.
“This is an all-volunteer operation,” said Kasbeer, noting the storefront will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays starting Oct. 18.
Until then, volunteers are needed to help unpack and sort clothing. The church is also searching for racks and hangers on which to display the clothing as they have used all that they have available.
To help out, contact Thompson at 550-3941.