Recycle your clothes and your ideas – it’s National Thrift Shop Day!
No one would ever accuse me of being a fashionista. I have lots of clothes – but I honestly cannot remember the last item (other than delicates) that I bought new, because I predominantly shop thrift stores and resale shops. It’s not about affording new clothes and other items – although I’ve never been a brand-name shopper – as much as it is the recycling, giving still-usable goods new life, and the thrill of finding something completely unexpected.
After we recently moved house, some of the things I came across during my thrift shopping included:
- Tea kettle – $4
- 6-bottle wine rack – $5
- 6 curtains – $12
- Like-new air popcorn popper – $4
- Coffee grinder – $5
- Pair of shorts for my husband & 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle – 54 CENTS!
As it happens, today is National Thrift Shop Day. I don’t know about your community, but thrift stores are popping up everywhere in the Phoenix area.
NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals, reports that the resale industry in the U.S. has annual revenues of about $16 billion, including antique stores. In that same article, NARTS references Buffalo Exchange, a resale clothing store that began in Tucson, Arizona (home of my alma mater, the University of Arizona). The company got its start with a 450-square-foot shop in 1974, and has grown to 45 stores, plus three franchises, in 17 states. It employs more than 700 people and had annual revenues of $81.6 million in 2012. Amazing! I used to live around the corner from the store that was its second home, on Helen Street, near the UA campus.
The thing about Buffalo Exchange is that it really is a place for people who know fashion. If that’s your world, you’ll probably be thrilled to talk shop with the knowledgeable staff and offer your trendy or vintage clothes for consignment. I am not such a person, so trying to sell clothes there has always caused me a bit of trepidation. I did have a great victory back in college, though, when the (snooty?) Buffalo Exchange buyer paid me $6 for a top I had made from a Simplicity pattern on the little Singer I kept in my dorm room.
Founded by an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team, Kerstin and Spencer Block, Buffalo Exchange was a trendsetter. After Spencer passed away, his wife and daughter compiled some of his writing into an ebook called The Way of the Buffalo, in which they share “the funny, poignant, and always down-to-earth insights of a truly alternative entrepreneur whose values keep Buffalo Exchange the vibrant and ever-changing company it is today.”
Here are just the tip of the iceberg, 10 Basic Beliefs and Values of Buffalo Exchange:
This is not a perfect book, by any means. But it’s a thoughtful book and a labor of love that preserves the best of the concepts that enabled the tiny acorn of a dream to grow and flourish into a multimillion-dollar business.
It’s certainly not the first time a brand has used a book to further its mission and message:
- In October 2014, Renaissance Hotels released a coffee table book, The Art of Discovery, in partnership with the Creative Coalition, a social and political advocacy organization for the entertainment industry. The volume features 100 celebrities sharing their personal stories of discovery. The hotel chain’s goal with the book is bring to life its tagline, urging travelers to “Live life to discover.”
- In April 2011, Pam Gaber published Gabriel’s Angels: The Story of the Dog Who Inspired a Revolution, about the work she and her Weimaraner did to launch the pet therapy field for abused, neglected, and abandoned children.
- Back in 2009, I met Gary Kadi, the entrepreneurial dentist and author of Million Dollar Dentistry, a book that coaches dentists to transform and grow their practices.
For a business owner or entrepreneur with a success story to share, a book may be one of the very best ways to do that. And it doesn’t have to be long to be effective. It doesn’t even have to be printed to reach the masses, although printing is easier and less expensive than it’s ever been – so it’s probably a good idea to do both an ebook and a printed book.
If you’re ready to explore how easy it really is to write and publish your book, talk to us! We can walk you through the outlining and writing process, editing, cover design, and formatting your book for both print and ebook. And when it comes to marketing, we’ve got the knowhow to get your books into readers’ hands.
Why not recycle the ideas that brought you so much joy, satisfaction, and success – and put some extra money in your pocket in the process?
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!