Everyone loves a good thrift store. In Boone, thrift shopping is a lifestyle, especially for college students. I spent eight weeks this summer interning at Hospitality House’s “Welcome Home Thriftique,” a thrift store with a purpose. The Thriftique operated solely on donations and 100% of proceeds went to Hospitality House. When I first learned that this would be where I’d be spending my summer, I was excited to get to be a part of something so special.
Before stepping foot into the Thriftique, however, I knew that this would be the last summer it would be open. I and three others would be the last interns to run the store. Everything had to go! “No problem,” I thought. That is until I walked in for the first time. When we got there, the Thriftique was full of furniture, clothes, electronics, and even a squatty potty. There was a lot of work to be done, and none of it would’ve been possible without my partners in crime, the other interns, Haleigh, Nate, and Richard. Our time at the Thriftique involved a lot of organizing, planning, posting on social media, and marketing. While I have learned a lot that will benefit me on my career path, the memories I will hold most dear are those I share with the three other interns.
One great thing about internships is getting to work with people who are in different majors. If it weren’t for the Thriftique, I would’ve never met the three wonderful individuals that I spent over 120 hours with this summer. My company included one graduated art major, and two seniors preparing for their final year. As a rising junior, I don’t think I would’ve had the chance to meet people like them in my time at Appalachian, let alone spend around 20 hours a week with them and for that, I’m very grateful. In the beginning, I felt a bit awkward around the other interns, we were all so different. Eventually, though, we became very comfortable with each other, and we had a routine going. Every day people would walk in, see that we had a huge relocation banner up and ask, “where ya moving to?” and every day the four of us would look at each other to decide whose turn it was to explain—It would usually be Nate. “We have the wrong banner up; we are actually going out of business at the end of the month.” It was small moments like these when I appreciated how well we had gotten to know one another, to the point that we could communicate with just one look.
Nate, thank you for teaching me more about religion and cards than I thought possible.
Richard, thank you for sharing your marketing secrets, as well as your lunch order at Taste Grill.
Haleigh, thank you for spending 2 hours with me when the boys left for the day, for sharing your love for art, and for always being the one who brings toilet paper to the store when we ran out.
Todd, thank you for believing in us.
Lastly, Welcome Home Thriftique has done so much for the clients of Hospitality House, thrift shoppers, and interns like me. It’s really hard to say goodbye to a place that did so much good for years. Thriftique, you served your purpose, you helped rebuild lives, thank you.