Hospice Care & Share Thrift Shop, located at 5565 Arapahoe in Boulder, counts many blessings in making it one of the premier thrift stores in the area. Donations, volunteers, devoted shoppers and philosophy are driven by their cause: HospiceCare of Boulder & Broomfield Counties. All proceeds go toward providing the hospice benefit to those in need and for services – such as massage – outside the benefit, for family and clients. They also support the HospiceCare Grief Center which is located next door to the shop. “Often I will walk someone who comes in, over there, to receive help” says Lynn, store manager.
The store, open since 2005 under the same management, moved 1 block east recently – from near the Humane Society thrift store – to near the NE corner of Arapahoe and 55th St. HospiceCare&Share has a cadre of devoted, caring volunteers and loyal donators and customers – often known by name. The organization prides itself on its clean, neat showroom and the high quality of its merchandise.
Clothes are organized by kind and size, prices are clearly marked and the changing rooms are clean and roomy. The sales are frequent. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Seniors’ (60+) 20% off days, and July to September students and teachers receive 20% off all the time. 50% off sales occur each month, often corresponding to holidays in which the store is open, and 50% off sales increase to two per month in the summer, when the donations pile up. There are one to two 25% off sales a month. Monthly fliers as well as a weekly sales email track these sales.
Clothes are divided into “bulk” items – all one price, such as $3.50 – and “Boutique” – individually-marked, often brand-name clothes. The store “rotates” clothes – the different colored barbs tell workers when to remove clothes, which are recycled, for additional proceeds. This maintains a “fresh supply” for shoppers, who can also utilize frequent shopper discount cards.
Lynn’s challenges include the many variables – fluctuating volunteers (though how she values her “regulars”!) donations and economic conditions. In general, the recession has meant a decrease in donations, but now that it’s becoming more “cool” – and smart! – to shop at thrift stores, business has increased. Her greatest rewards are the people – the sometimes grieving donators, and the wonderful volunteers and shoppers with which she has daily interaction. And, she admits, getting to handle all that great stuff is fun, too!
The store is open every day 10-5:30. The phone # is: 303 604-5353. The eBay ID is hospicecarethriftshop and website is: http://hospicecareonline.org/thrift_shop/index.php
More interviews with thrift shops, as well as more tips are upcoming on this page, so keep visiting, and happy shopping!