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Area’s newest thrift store is the cat’s meow

Placer SPCA shop helps fund spay and neuter programs
By: Eileen Wilson Special to the Press Tribune
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With a fluff of cream fur and eyes of iceberg blue, Sadie waits for a home at Placer SPCA in Roseville. But while this patient kitty waits, white whiskers perking with interest, she’s glad she has a comfortable cat condo, fresh litter, and staff and volunteers to make her feel welcome. She knows that more than ever, the cost for unwanted animals is steep. That’s why the Placer SPCA’s Board of Directors created a plan to open a thrift store that would benefit the organization and its various programs. “One of the goals was to find ways to create funding to keep all our programs going,” said Leilani Vierra, Placer SPCA CEO. “We felt that the thrift store was a very good opportunity to create revenue long term, to keep our important programs.” Programs like low-cost spay and neuter, education, and SOS, designed to help keep pets in the home when their owners lose jobs, are just a few of the important services the SPCA offers, in addition to helping the 4,000 animals a year that come into the facility. “Our annual budget is $1,600,000 to provide all these services,” Vierra said. Fluffy-and-furry friends aren’t the only beneficiaries of the new thrift store. Opened in mid-August, the store is already a success, averaging sales of $500 to $1,000 per day. The shoppers love it. “Thrift store shoppers are avid,” said Susan Willson, the center’s development director, who was instrumental in getting the store started. “They love shopping and finding those great finds.” Talented volunteers create a store that is like a small boutique, thanks to interior designers, jewelry experts, book experts and more. “The thrift store is a cut above (other stores),” said thrift store manager Debbie Goldsmith. “We have people donating designer clothes — clothing with store tags still on them. We have beautiful sets of China that have never been used. Right now we have four sets — donors said they were holding on to the China, waiting for the right place to donate. We also have the most beautiful pieces of furniture.” According to Goldsmith, volunteer sorters only put the “best of the best” on the floor. “We take pride in how the store looks, and the cleanliness of the store,” she said. It’s obvious that much care has been taken in the store’s boutique-like layout. Autumn colors fill the housewares section, an area that Goldsmith says does the most business. From bright-burgundy maple-leaf colors, to fun-filled pumpkin, the best items are snapped up almost as soon as they hit the floor, keeping the inventory interesting. The store accepts quality donations, but what they could really use more of are volunteers. “We need six to eight volunteers per shift, at two shifts a day, six days a week,” Vierra said. “Our greatest challenge is finding really consistent volunteers.” Volunteers can work a four-hour shift or less, and are asked to commit to at least four hours per month. “A lot of people love animals, but feel uncomfortable with the idea of coming to the center and working with the animals,” Vierra said. “Some people love the public, and some would rather be in the back pricing.” Goldsmith explained there’s a place for every kind of volunteer, and enjoys the people she works with. “I have a group of women who come in with friends once a month, and also mothers and daughters come in and volunteer together,” she said. “Anybody coming here can find their niche.” In addition to upscale items, the store is known for its bargain prices. “People are impressed not only by the items, but by the fair pricing — almost too good to be true,” Vierra said. “We’re being very generous with our pricing to keep people coming back.” Volunteers, experts in areas like vintage or jewelry, make sure every item gets close attention before sending it to the sales floor. “Everything that goes out on the floor is cleaned, steamed and pressed,” Goldsmith said. “The clothing needs to have a certain quality and look, and I’m most excited about the furniture and housewares we’ve seen.” ---------- Placer SPCA Thrift Store Where: 931 Washington Blvd., Ste 107, Roseville Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday Donations Accepted: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday The Placer SPCA is accepting donations, but they request people not donate the following: • Cribs • Car Seats • Infant/children toys • Helmets • Fire Extinguishers • Mattresses • Open Cosmetics • Firearms • Food (Perishable Items) • Paint varnish, household repair, etc. • Appliances (washers, dryers, microwave ovens, stove/oven) • Television sets • Used Computer monitors, screens, keyboards, etc. • Recalled Items (www.recalls.gov)