By Jenny Tribley, Urban Thrift Store Manager
When the Hub on Smith closed its facilities in March to help do our part in containing and stopping the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Sheridan, many discussions centered around making lemonade out of lemons. There were many efforts focused on using down time to clean and organize the Hub’s facilities. This took on a whole new meaning for the Hub’s thrift store! Urban Thrift, formerly known as Green Boomerang, took the facility closure time to not only clean and organize, but to examine its business model and look for ways to make a bigger impact in the community.
The goal? To create a unique shopping experience for a variety of shoppers while raising funds for the community, provide quality goods, and offer employment opportunities. We wanted to create a new energy, vibe, and customer experience at Urban Thrift. The name change was part of these efforts. Lower, Standardized prices help provide access to shoppers from diverse income levels and also allows for merchandise to turn over faster, ensuring new items on the floor continually. We want Urban Thrift to be a “MUST STOP” place on Main Street when shopping or visiting Sheridan.
Some people shop second hand for the thrill of the hunt and some people shop for bargains. With the loss of several clothing stores on main street over the years – Urban Thrift helps fill this void for shoppers. Many people also seek places to donate items to be given a second life and are happy to know their donations lead to revenue that supports programs at the Hub. We appreciate this sentiment, and are seeking donations that are in good condition, good quality, and in working order. We are also seeking items that may be hard to find elsewhere, such as vintage vinyl records and record players. Record players and original vinyl records from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s are in very high demand and somewhat hard to find.
While providing revenue to the Hub, Urban Thrift is also part of the Experience Work program that provides job training for individuals over 55 years of age. Wages for participants in this program are paid by the State. We also partner with Wyoming Workforce Services to provide training and professional opportunities. The store is also in the process of developing partnerships with community organizations to provide vouchers for eligible community members in need of clothing and household items.
Managing a retail store is a new experience for myself and Urban Thrift’s assistant manager, Jane Perkins—but we have lots of energy and enjoy the challenge of learning new things. Our team is structured on collaboration, excellence, and fun. This new challenge has resulted in great professional growth for both of us! We are committed to creating a positive, welcoming environment for our staff, volunteers, and customers. We want our customers to leave wanting to come back. We have a strong team of committed volunteers who inspire us.
Urban Thrift opens July 8-10 from 12 – 4 pm. Starting July 14th the normal business hours will be Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 – 5:30 pm – pending Covid 19 updates and DOH regulations. Closures will be posted it on Facebook, the Hub website, and on our storefront.
Donations are being accepted by appointment to ensure staff is available to accept and assist with the drop off. Please call 675-1974 to schedule a drop off. We aim to be flexible and accommodating with people schedules.
We look forward to seeing all your faces at Urban Thrift—be sure to like our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date on what we have planned. Remember, good things come to those who thrift!