Saturday, July 13, 2024

A New Style of Thrift Aims to Make Change

(Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

WILLIAMSBURG — New2You Thrift Store and companion shop, 3 Doors Down at Five Forks are committed to changing the community, one donated item at a time.

“We are different from other types of retail shops in many ways,” said Teresa Randall, manager of the two shops.

Teresa Randall stocks books at 3 Doors Down (Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

Begun as an idea to raise funds for Williamsburg Christian Academy, the nonprofit community thrift stores with a boutique feel now offer support to several Williamsburg organizations.

New2You and 3 Doors Down are both run by a board of directors that oversees operations as well as donations to the community.

Having been involved with the project from the beginning, board member Elena Flagg said, “It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with these amazing people and to see the results of community effort. They say ‘one’s person junk is another person’s treasure’ and we see that. The donations we receive just blossom and spread good into the community.”

The mission to support Williamsburg Christian Academy, as well as other local nonprofit organizations such as Proclaiming Grave Outreach, Care Net Peninsula, Lackey Clinic, FISH and the Boys and Girls Club, are proudly displayed in the stores.

(Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

Stocked exclusively with merchandise donated by the community, Randall takes pride in the limited waste the stores produce. Items the shops cannot use or be sold are given to other organizations, repurposed for sale, or recycled.

“Our mindset is we, obviously, want to sell it, but if we can’t, we try to find ways to repurpose items. We have taken apart bed frames to make benches and folded old book pages to create cute paper Christmas trees,” said Randall.

In addition to donations, the shops rely on volunteers. There are people with expertise in furniture and books that assist with pricing as well as homeschool students who donate time going through boxes and organizing items.

“I might cry,” said Randall, “but, we get as much from the community, if not more. Customers bring us goodies, out-of-town folks tell us we are a must-stop when they are in Williamsburg, this is an amazing place doing amazing things. This truly is a community and we look out for each other.”

New2You accepts items ranging from clothing and kitchen items to high-end estate pieces. Merchandise arrives and is stocked daily. It has just launched an eBay storefront and is in the process of adding a variety of collectibles on the site.

New2You. (Stephanie Sabin/WYDaily)

“The power of someone’s unwanted items to be turned into funds we provide back to the community is magical,” said Flagg.

For store directions and hours, visit the New2You web page.

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