The first items given to The Classy Thrifter when the store began accepting donations a week ago were a colorful collection of autumn-themed decor.
The carved letters to the word “welcome” were framed by sunflowers — an appropriate message, considering Corry’s newest thrift store is now welcoming donations and soon will be greeting new customers.
Heidi Ehrhart, the store’s assistant manager, said The Classy Thrifter is off to a good start gathering donations from the community.
“The word’s getting out there,” said Ehrhart, of Spartansburg. “We have a huge space to fill, so we can use all the donations we can get.”
The Corry Higher Education Council is renting the first-floor space at 51 N. Center St. from the Corry Redevelopment Authority. The Hi-Ed will use proceeds from the store to help finance the education center, which offers classes of all kinds in the Smith Education Center at 221 N. Center St.
The Hi-Ed is on target to open the store in late May or early June.
Filling the store with donated items to sell is a big job, but Ehrhart said the community is coming through, so far.
Several rows of items now line a side wall of the store, waiting to be processed by Ehrhart and store Manager Bill Saborsky. The inventory includes canes, crutches, dishes, fishing poles, vacuum cleaners, luggage sets, dress clothes, everyday clothes, shoes, knickknacks, lamps and homemade baby blankets.
A self-professed thrifter, Ehrhart pointed out a metal cash box that she wouldn’t mind having.
“I love shabby chic,” said Ehrhart, who happened to be wearing jewelry and shoes that she had purchased at a thrift store. “We’ve got lots of neat items.”
Donations must be in good condition. They are being accepted Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and may be dropped off at the store’s side door on West Washington Street.
Some items will not be accepted. They include baby equipment, upholstered furniture, exercise equipment, mattresses, bed frames, box springs, televisions, computers, cosmetics, microwave ovens, typewriters or large appliances. A list of acceptable and unacceptable items may be found on the store’s website, classythrifter.com.
“We are called The Classy Thrifter and we want to uphold that,” Ehrhart said. “We’re looking for nice items.”
All clothing donated to the store will be cleaned onsite. Two sets of new washers and dryers have been purchased and are awaiting installation.
While the store will deal in used items, Ehrhart also urges community residents to support similar stores in Corry, such as His Helping Hands, which is operated by Lifecare Pregnancy and Outreach Center at 127 N. Center St.
Thrift stores like The Classy Thrifter offer people the chance to buy gently used items at reasonable prices, Ehrhart said.
“We need this in Corry. The economy is tough right now and anywhere people can save money is good,” she said. “It also satisfies the urge to shop without spending your whole paycheck.”