Unique items get a second life at Two Rivers Thrift
St. Regis resident Becky Palmer is a thrift shop queen. And any self-proclaimed bargain hunter can attest to how rewarding it is to find something special and give it a second life.
That’s what Palmer, her fiancé, and a crew of workers did with a ramshackle shack on a rundown property near the 135 freeway.
“It was a blessing that fell into my lap last October when my fiancé bought the property and we started cleaning it up. We wanted to do something different with the property, something that would be fun and would benefit the community,” Palmer explained.
So, she combined her passion for thrift and her knowledge of resale marketing, along with some serious remodeling efforts, and Two Rivers Thrift was born.
She exclaimed, “I love thrift stores and rarely buy new items, so having my own thrift store has always been a dream of mine!”
But long before the cabin cleanup and property overhaul last year, Palmer and her fiancé, Sterling Bennet, were busy with other entrepreneurial ventures around St. Regis. They manage three short-term vacation rentals, soon to be five, and they also operate a small cleaning team for their rentals. They also provide residential cleaning for clients, as well as moving cleaning and construction cleaning.
When Palmer isn’t donning rubber gloves, she’s rummaging through thrift stores and clothes racks, looking for her next treasures. However, she was a savvy seller and online shopper long before sites like Thredup and Poshmark became popular.
“I’ve been reselling online for as long as I can remember. I started selling on eBay when I was in college in Phoenix in the late 90s and have been doing it regularly for over 24 years,” he said. remembers Palmer.
Over time, this practice has fluctuated from being its main source of income to being a supplement or just a hobby.
Palmer said, “I source items to sell at thrift stores and garage sales, estate auctions and storage auctions. I’ve even cleaned up dozens of foreclosed homes during the 2009 Arizona real estate crisis, which resulted in huge ongoing garage sales, and I’ve also been hired by many people to handle their real estate sales.
With his knack for business and his fondness for all things second-hand, when the prospect of buying the land behind the local bank grew, Palmer took a plunge.
She described: ‘The original log cabin on the property was built in the 1920s I believe. We haven’t done anything with it yet, but we want to preserve it somehow and have some fun ideas in mind. The two-story log cabin that will be the store was built in 1947.”
An old travel trailer with a collapsed roof was removed and in its place Palmer installed two fifth wheels which will also be seasonal vacation rentals.
There was a weathered log barn that was carefully deconstructed and moved to DeBorgia.
Palmer shared, “I look forward to being able to share this property with the public and learn more about its history and hear stories and memories from people in the community. A few people have already briefly mentioned to me that they lived in the log cabin at some point in their lives, I hope those people enjoy walking through it and seeing the changes and the things we have preserved as much as I liked fixing it up.
Cleaning and renovation were particularly difficult throughout the winter. They started last October, Palmer said.
“The property was messy and the log cabin was extremely dirty, outdated and neglected. I’m very happy with the result of everyone’s hard work and happy with the changes we’ve made. We were able to retain much of the charm of the old building, but decided to modernize some areas that needed it. I did a lot of the work myself, but I also had helpers and volunteers. I am so grateful to everyone who helped.
With the majority of the renovations complete, Palmer is hard at work organizing and fitting out the interior. S
“Right now it will be household items on the bottom and clothes on the top,” she said. unique items, you never know what you might find there.
Its goal is to offer unique and quality items to the community at a reasonable price. Palmer explained, “The upstairs will be a bit of a clothing boutique, with affordable prices. We don’t have a lot of space, so I will only store very nice, clean clothes, items that I select myself. Much of my inventory of clothing and accessories will come from my own personal supply. It certainly won’t be like your typical goodwill store with long clothes racks, half of which are stretched or stained.
Two Rivers Thrift will fill a unique need in the St. Regis community and provide Palmer with an outlet for something she relishes.
She noted, “I really feel that locals as well as passing travelers will support the store.” Palmer joked, “Also, I have an unhealthy fondness for real vintage stuff and it accumulates, so having a store will give me a place to showcase my finds and share them with others.”
Most of her starting inventory will come from her own home and warehouse, either things she’s listed online that she hasn’t sold, or items she’s picked up with intent. to sell but which she was never able to put up for sale.
“Any reseller will tell you that sourcing items for sale is so much fun, but getting those items listed isn’t as much fun, so things tend to pile up in overwhelming stashes of great items that we call ‘death stacks,'” Palmer remarked.
But thrift enthusiasts know that part of the thrill is the hunt, sometimes even traveling for hours to find thrift stores in other parts of the state. But on a good day, when you find a great deal or a rare piece, all the hard work is worth it.
Palmer said, “You never know what you’ll find in a thrift store. This is not your typical department store where you know what you need or want and where you are going to buy it. It’s another level of shopping, where you can reasonably find something you wanted but couldn’t afford, or an abandoned treasure you once had as a child or maybe something a parent had home that brings back fond memories, or that unique gift for someone you love.
And she’ll save just about anything, given the excess in American homes and society. Palmer shared, “I always thought there was no reason to buy new clothes in this country. There is such excess or perfectly good clothing available for cheap or even free. The same rule applies to almost everything in our home, furniture, dishes, pots and pans, toys, etc. and I bet I saved it.
Palmer regularly browses her favorite thrift stores, even if she’s not looking for anything in particular. She admitted: “Because I don’t want to miss a great find, and I know I’m not the only one feeling that way.” In his experience, a well-run thrift store has rotating inventory, so each time you visit, you can find something different. She said: “For me, saving often turns into finding my new favorite piece of clothing or a nostalgic adventure.”
For people who wish to donate, Palmer is currently accepting clean clothing and accessories, household items, and small furnishings such as end tables or dressers.
She said, “I can’t take sofas, deck chairs or beds, we just don’t have room. I know other stores in the area have had issues with people littering so we have installed security cameras and will only be accepting donations during opening hours or by appointment.
Palmer added: “I guess I would just ask people not to bring us any broken items and to make sure all the electronics are working. And basically, to follow the golden rule of saving, don’t give it away if you wouldn’t buy it yourself.
Another unique feature of the store will be the work of Palmer’s mother who just moved to St. Regis last year. “She is a seamstress, and she has even done some minor repairs on some clothes for the store and we are planning to set up a sewing station for her in the back room, so she will also be available to do alterations and reparations for people,” Palmer detailed.
Two Rivers Thrift is aiming to officially open its doors the week of April 18. Depending on the season, the store may have variable hours.
Palmer said, “At this time, we plan to be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer and probably only three to four days during the winter.”