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Thrift store that supports the community marks first anniversary

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India Thomas, the marketing coordinator of Hidden Treasures Thrift Boutique, shows off some of its affordable high-end clothing (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

A family that runs a thrift store that sells upmarket goods at affordable prices will celebrate the store’s first anniversary this weekend.

Rossini Lawrence and Gina Thomas, the husband and wife team who started the Hidden Treasures Thrift Boutique in Warwick, opened last May after the need for inexpensive goods had “skyrocketed” because of the pandemic.

Now, the store attracts customers from all walks of life who want to take advantage of bargain deals and the couple plough most of its profits into community work.

Mr Lawrence said: “A lot of people were out of work when we started, so the demand was just overwhelming.

“When we opened up for retail last year around Stage 2 it was just another eye-opening experience.

“We already had a small base when we opened, but the demand just skyrocketed.”

He added: “We’ve seen a greater diversity of people who come to the store, so now we have people who come in from all walks of life still wanting something that’s inexpensive but classy.”

Mr Lawrence also said: “People love it here – they love how clean it is and they love how welcoming all of our workers are.

“Someone once called it a small TJ Maxx.”

India Thomas, the marketing coordinator of Hidden Treasures Thrift Boutique, shows off their selection of affordable high-end clothing (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

Hidden Treasures, on the old T.N. Tatem Middle School campus, has a selection of stylish clothing and home decor from as little as $1.

The store donated about $5,000 worth of merchandise in their back-to-school and Christmas giveaways last year, as well as through their weekly “free table” that offers clothes, canned food and school supplies.

It also works with the Foster Parents Association of Bermuda, a registered charity.

Mr Lawrence, a firefighter, said that he and his wife worked part-time from “behind the scenes” and young volunteers ran the store during the day.

He said that the store saw about 50 shoppers a day, but get more than 100 customers on Saturdays when they give away items.

Mr Lawrence added that they also sold new clothing as well as donated clothes to ensure that they appealed to a wide customer base.

He said: “It works because when these people come in they are now willing to volunteer their time, their services or anything like that.”

Mr Lawrence said that Hidden Treasures hoped to launch a website so people could shop online.

He added that the store also wanted to start a “young entrepreneurs programme” to promote young people and their businesses.

India Thomas, Gina Thomas’ 23-year-old daughter, who does marketing for the store, said that she appreciated how much Hidden Treasures gave back to the public.

She added: “Sometimes people come in who really need something and we might just give them for free if we see that they’re really in need.”

Hidden Treasures Thrift Boutique is open from 9am to 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.

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Published April 28, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated April 28, 2021 at 7:25 am)

Thrift store that supports the community marks first anniversary

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