One year in the making, Hospitality House is finally ready to unveil their latest project, Welcome Home Thriftique. Located at 182 Boone Heights Drive, this unique shopping experience will open its doors on Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26 from 10am 6pm and Sunday July 27 12pm 6pm. This three-year project is a collaboration of Hospitality House, Appalachian State Universitys ACT Program and North Carolina Campus Compact. In August 2013, Brittany Johnson joined the Hospitality House team as the NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America.) Serving as the project manager for the Thriftique, Johnson has been working all year on this endeavor, doing everything from writing the business plan, recruiting volunteers, raising money and negotiating the retail space.
The purpose of the Thriftique is to further connect Hospitality House to the community as well as implement another revenue stream of continuous funding to support the organization. However, what sets this store apart from others is that it provides clients of the Hospitality House an avenue in which they can build a foundation for a successful future and learn sustainable living habits. Clients will have the opportunity to develop and further their skills and experience in the work force with the job skills training, financial literacy and internship programs that are at the heart of this project.
Johnson states, The Hospitality House mission is serve the High Country community, specifically those impacted by poverty, by providing positive, supportive opportunities that teach skills and sustainability that will allow people to emerge from crisis, poverty and homelessness.
The store will have no paid staff and will be run completely by client internships and volunteer mentors. Welcome Home Thriftique will provide Watauga County and surrounding counties with high quality, gently used and refurbished furniture, home goods, artwork, jewelry and appliances in a dynamic, upscale thrift shopping experience.
"All items sold in the store were graciously donated by members of the community", says Johnson. "We are so thankful for the donations and ongoing support for this project from our community. Without our supporters, this project would not be possible."
In August, the store will launch Miss Trishs Community Spotlight table, named in honor of Trish Burkhart, where clients and community members can donate their handmade artwork and items to be sold and promoted within the store and on all social media sites.
We have so many clients that are very talented and we want to give them a chance to break into the market and give back to the community at the same time, says Johnson.
Ever since Trish passed away suddenly last year, we wanted to find a way to honor her memory and the legacy of everything that she means to us, states Hospitality House director of development, Todd Carter. I have yet to meet another person who so personifies who and what we are. Trish lived our mission every day with the heart, compassion and love that she bestowed on our clients. We still miss her terribly.
Each month, the store will display a different artist with a bio and provide contact information to those interested in purchasing more items from that artist. Items will range from paintings, jewelry, pottery, etc. Information on how to apply for Miss Trishs Community Spotlight table will be online at hosphouse.org.
- Written by Steve Frank
- Community and Business