Thrifting has become a popular hobby in the past two decades, and for a good reason. While many thrift for affordable prices, many also thrift for enjoyment.
If you haven’t been following fashion-related news, a recent Forbes article reported that the thrifting market will grow 127% by 2026. As an avid thrifter myself, I’m not surprised by the industry’s growth and popularity. When you can thrift affordable clothing you love, you feel proud and relieved that you can enjoy fashion without the heavy price tag. This is the driving force behind thrifting. However, this wouldn’t be possible without local thrift stores.
In the following article, we will explore one of Charlotte’s most influential thrift shops: The WearHouse. However, before discussing its present, we will have to examine its past, and once you’re caught up, I’ll let you in on some of the tricks to thrifting.
A Bit of Background:
In 2005, The WearHouse, originally known as Camino Thrift, set down its roots in the Charlotte community by operating out of the Camino Church closet. At the time, the shop’s goal was to sell donations and use the money to support local families in crisis. However, they couldn’t work with the community on a full-time basis. After seven years of saving their profits, they were able to move the shop out of the church closet and into a permanent location.
Even after the move, the shop was still run by volunteers working irregular hours. Rusty Price, Founder and CEO of Camino, the parent company of Camino Thrift, decided the shop needed someone to make the shop’s dreams a reality. In 2017, Rusty invited Jill Price to join the Camino family and manage the shop full-time.
Jill had the goal of turning the thrift shop into a successful business, and she wanted to recycle that success back into the community. Within the first week, Jill and the volunteers made 17% of the previous year’s revenue.
“Our mission isn’t just to help you up your fashion game at extremely affordable prices, we also help the community. By giving back our proceeds to Camino, we directly aid the Latino immigrant community here in Charlotte.”Jill Price
In 2021, Camino Thrift officially became The WearHouse, but its commitment to the community remains unchanged. Even after all this time, the shop is still committed to the same goals and passion it had when operating out of the church closet. More importantly, the shop’s customers have continued to share and support its mission.
No matter what you decide to buy, whether it’s a spontaneous bookshelf or a whole new wardrobe, you’ll feel proud of your choice and excited about your purchases. If that’s too hard to believe, don’t just take my word for it. In 2022, The WearHouse was voted Charlotte’s best thrift store by the community in a contest hosted by the Charlotte Observer. Those who shop at the thrift store love it for the shopping experience and because they all share the same passion for helping others!
A Dream Turned Into Reality:
If you’ve shopped at The WearHouse you may have noticed it sits on the edge of Camino’s campus. Since Camino is a non-profit, it needs a business like the thrift store to help generate revenue. The money that the shop makes allows the organization to further its impact on the community by equipping more people to live healthy, hopeful, and productive lives.
“The money earned at the store helps to offset the costs of services that Camino offers,” explains Jill.
The relationship between The WearHouse and Camino allows the non-profit to offer affordable care to the community. The store also joins Camino in its efforts to provide integrated care by working with different branches of the organization and its clients. Jill gave a broad scope of how Camino may utilize The WearHouse’s services.
“Through Camino, we assist families and displaced individuals in need through personalized services that the shop can offer.”Jill Price
Camino employs a team of social navigators to connect clients to the various services that the non-profit offers. At times, social navigators can direct individuals or families without clothing or home goods to The WearHouse, where they can receive these items for free. This service is only available through the holistic care of Camino and The WearHouse’s system of in-kind donations.
The Thrift Shop That Keeps On Giving:
“The WearHouse is a unique thrift store that serves the community by offering affordable prices on various goods, like clothing, shoes, home goods, furniture, books, toys, the list just goes on!”Jill Price
Jill and her team are the people to thank for making the shop what it is today. Interestingly, Jill focuses on the senses when it comes to The WearHouse. She wants you to feel welcomed, to smell the flowers, to see every possibility, and to hear uplifting music. The atmosphere that she has built over the years is the essence of the thrift shop.
“The team works hard to cultivate a shopping experience in which the customer feels welcomed and excited about the possibilities of what The WearHouse offers.” —Jill
As a customer, you can see the work put into making this thrifting experience unique and special, but more importantly, you know that your purchases are helping your community. There isn’t a more exciting feeling than that!
Why thrift here?
If you still aren’t convinced that The WearHouse is the place to be, consider its impact.
In 2022, the thrift store helped 431 families that came to them through Camino. The store’s financial contributions also help keep Camino in the position to offer help to those who need it.
If you haven’t already shopped at The WearHouse, then we urge you to come by and chat with the shop’s team. We also encourage you to come and browse the wide variety of goods Jill has curated for you; there is something for everyone at The WearHouse! You can stop by Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. or on Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at 127 Stetson Dr., Charlotte.
If You’re Headed Our Way, Keep This In Mind:
- Patience is a virtue: Walk slowly and with purpose; you may miss your “dream find” if you are too impatient. When you thrift, remember that good things come to those who wait. Flip through each hanger and look carefully at the home goods; the best finds are usually hidden!
- Ask about discounts: Many thrift stores will offer a discount. The WearHouse provides a 15% student or military discount with a valid form of ID. The Charlotte thrifting community wants to support you, so be sure to visit local shops and ask about a discount.
- Shop at a place that you believe in: Where we spend our money matters, and shopping somewhere that gives back to the community is always a good idea.