As the warmer moths roll in, families across the nation participate in seasonal spring cleaning. According to a 2020 Annual National Cleaning survey administered by the American Cleaning Institute or ACI, 78% of households spring clean every year.
This usually means purging old furniture, getting rid of worn-out household trinkets and sorting through mounds of unwanted clothes. Most of what doesn’t get sold in yard sales gets donated to secondhand stores like Goodwill and Deseret Industries. For small, curated businesses or online resellers, the spring-cleaning season is a gold mine.
Rosey Kong, the owner of Daisy Links, gave her observation about the relationship between spring cleaning donations and her business success.
“I feel like there are always opportunities [to thrift] just because people are always in different phases in their lives … but, I also think since we live in a college town, all the time people are moving, coming and going … since there’s so much traffic through Rexburg, it's always a really good season for getting donations or being able to source really good pieces,” she said.
Deseret Industries employee, Jessica Blaire, also recognized a correlation between college semesters and donation intake during her experience as a DI job coach.
“Our biggest donation time or when we get the most is when the college kids leave … End of spring semester is definitely the biggest because that’s kind of like the end of the year and there’s that bigger gap when people are going home and just getting rid of whatever they have,” Blaire said.
Unlike donation-only franchises like Goodwill and Deseret Industries, curated thrift stores like Daisy Links, specifically select the types of clothes they tag and put on the shelves. Kong searches for pieces that are not worn out and “are something that someone could love.” She goes to Boise, Idaho Falls and Pocatello to source clothing for resell.
“Then I'll buy them, bring them back, price them, tag it, and put them on my rack,” she said.
Sariah Andrews started her vintage clothing business online and recently opened a storefront in Rexburg called Revive and Thrive Clothing. Throughout years of finding curated items for her business, Andrews suggests that thrifters should look outside the box in order to find the diamonds in the rough.
“Once you know your style, I can literally go to a rack of jeans and not even touch them and just know which ones are vintage based on the quality and the look, Andrews said. “So once you know your style, go for racks you wouldn’t think of. I find some of the best womens’ shirts mixed into the mens’.”
Ernie and Ethan Lozano, the owners of Superlame Vintage, say they look for clothing with personality. They recognize that clothes go through a journey before ending up in their shop, so they feel a responsibility to do every piece justice for those who wore it before.
Each store owner says they have pride in knowing that their efforts to offer used clothes at an affordable price positively influence the community. With inflation raising prices for essential goods like gas and food, thrift shops may become a more essential resource.
“When COVID happened and a lot of places were forced to shut down, people just didn’t know what to do with this disease but then also you realize how much you needed those resources like a thrift store … the community is a little maybe reliant on the thrift store process,” Blaire said.
Opening hours for each thrift store are posted on their individual platforms online or through Facebook. Be sure to take advantage of the unique experience Rexburg has to offer this spring.