Local Love – Hope’s Closet

We had only been attending our church (Eleven22) for about a month, when one Sunday morning, they announced plans to open a thrift store this fall. Yes. A THRIFT STORE! What? I looked at Anderson and reverently whispered, “It’s a sign.” I mean, we already knew this was the church for us, but that just sealed the deal. I heard angels singing a cleaned up version of “Thrift Shop.” It was a big moment.

The thrift store, Hope’s Closet, is part of the first phase of Eleven22’s Community Transformation Center. The 15,000 square-foot retail store will offer gently used clothing and home goods as well as new items from the church’s ministry partners Okoa Refuge, Rethreaded, McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation, The Carry Cross, and Alfies Clothing.

One of the things I often think about while thrifting (other than “Why don’t we own a pickup truck, so I can buy this amazing armoire?” and “There has to be a better way to flip through these sleeveless shirts than touching all of them right on the armpits!”) is how hard it would be if I had to shop for my family exclusively at thrift stores. It’s one thing to do it for fun. But I can’t imagine how it feels to not have any other options. When I start thinking from that perspective, most thrift stores suddenly look dark, dirty, and even depressing. That’s why I love the mission of Hope’s Closet: “Our mission is to glorify God by providing affordable merchandise in a dignified retail setting that will allow us to disciple people, fund the Transformation Center’s programs, and promote and support our ministry partners.” I love that word – dignity! A sense of pride and self-worth makes so much difference in people’s lives.

The big Hope’s Closet grand opening is this Friday, and Kingston and I got to tour the (beautiful!) space earlier this week. I’m excited to share a little sneak peek with all of you! If you’re a seasoned thrifter, you won’t believe this store. It is not your typical thrift store! The thought that went into every detail is so obvious from the moment you walk through the doors, and the small army of volunteers were still working hard on all the final touches while we were there.

If you’re local, I hope we’ll see you at the grand opening Friday morning. And if thrifting scares you to death, this really is the store for you. Read this post I wrote last year with “10 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping” and come out to the big event! There’s even a fashion show at 10:30am! I planned to be part of it, because A FASHION SHOW IN A THRIFT STORE is basically my dream come true. (I need emojis on this site. This is where I’d put the weird one eye open with the tongue out smiley! Just imagine it.) But then I remembered we have preschool open house at the same time. And you know, mom first. But we will be there some time that morning to show our support, and to fight you for some of the things we spied during our tour!

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When we got there Monday morning, they were putting up the sign. And since my side-kick is 4-years-old, we had to stop and watch for a while.

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A prayer tree – where people can write down requests and attach them. And someone will actually pray for each one!

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I loved all the signage… and of course the chandeliers!

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I want to give you a really clear description, but it’s hard when you’re thinking in terms of thrift stores.
So think more Altar’d State meets the cute baby that Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters would have. That helps, right?!
The merchandise looks/feels more like a high-end consignment shop with prices that are pretty consistent with a chain thrift store. More helpful?
If not, you just need to come check it out!

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And yes, I found a tacky John Travolta picture. Because no thrift store is complete without one.
And let’s be honest, that’s just the kind of treasure some of us are looking for. I mean, not me obviously…

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The jeans display!!! Seriously though.

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Ironically, if there’s one item of men’s clothing I loathe, it’s the pique polo. I seem to have been enjoying this particular one though. 🙂

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I thought about rolling this up, putting it in my purse, and leaving the money tucked under the corner of that basket. Someone please hold this for me!

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I honestly couldn’t believe all the displays around the store. Look at the tables the items are sitting on! They nailed the “dignified retail setting.”

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I don’t think this rug is for sale (not that I broke a sweat looking under every inch of it for a price tag), but I will be inquiring!

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The clothing is organized by size. Yes! In a thrift store!

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Are you excited? Hope to see a bunch of you Friday morning!