Full Circle Thrift has added a fanciful and fun retail feature in Culpeper
© Culpeper TimesA mix-match of donated cups, saucers, stemware and small bowls sits on a cluttered table.
More of them fill boxes that are stacked underneath.
They have found their way to Full Circle Thrift from the attics, closets, cupboards and kitchens of someone's recent purging of stuff.
They are what Pam Lohr and Denise Williams refer to as “lonely pieces.”
“It's so sad,” said Lohr on a recent Thursday morning, “they may be very unique and very beautiful but they have been overlooked.”
Lohr has been a key coordinator at Full Circle Thrift since 2004. Now working most of her week at social services, she carves out her Thursdays for creative pursuits at the thrift store.
Williams, who has been working at Full Circle for about 14 months, is her creativity cohort. Together they have come up with something new and very different for the store.
“We call it Whimzy,” said Lohr who had set up their new creations on tables filling them with small cookies, grapes and cheese – a sort of mini-grand opening welcoming new and old customers.
“I was going through items one day and was reminded of when I used to make gifts for my daughter's teachers,” said Lohr.
“We began putting together one of a kind pieces...and our collection was born,” smiled Lohr who wants to share their ideas and inspire people to learn what is possible and that oddball pieces can be re-purposed when put together in new ways.
“We're giving life to someone's trash,” said Williams who has many fond memories of special pieces that have remained in her family.
“Every one of these pieces has a story to tell,” she sighed, “they have a history and a special meaning to someone at some point.”
Williams sees Whimzy as a place of last resort for them.
Set up for just a few weeks, discovering Whimzy was an added treat for Diane Grantison who popped into the store and immediately found a treasure.
“I love this idea,” she exclaimed reaching for a glittery bracelet and ring that were nestled in a recently created jewelry dish. “This is wonderful...this is giving me ideas.
She may not have noticed the jewelry pieces so quickly...but perched in a pretty dish they had caught her eye.
She looked at the other items on the table and her face broadened into a wide smile.
“I can make gifts...I can take things from my house and do this...they are absolutely gorgeous...oh, I like this idea...I can't believe what you can do.”
Grantison wasn't alone that morning as others came into the store drawn to the tables and shelving holding the new items.
A small Oriental cup had the saucer glued to its bottom forming a small candle holder, a place to put your rings or perhaps small candies.
Two blue and white plates with a
wine glass filled with blue and clear glass pieces in between was now a cookie, tart or fruit holder.
No longer the discarded cup or solo piece of stemware, each item is now unique and one of a kind.
“We've sold quite a few,” said Lohr noting that she and Williams will often work on the weekends fashioning their new designs.
“It's so busy during the day...that we don't always have time to work on them here,” noted Lohr who is eager to have Full Circle Thrift's Whimzy stand out when compared with other local stores.
Culpeper Helping Culpeper
Full Circle Thrift is aptly named as net proceeds are donated directly back into the community assisting with emergency needs such as gas money for transportation to a doctor's appointment, utility bills, prescriptions, help for the home bound, or an outfit for a job interview.
Special discounts are given for different days of the week. A truck is available for pickup or delivery and there are no restrictions on seasonal donations. In other words, you can bring in a winter coat during the summer.
Items are neatly arranged and there is a separate area for books and toys.
Now, with the addition of the Whimzy collection, it will be hard not to leave Full Circle Thrift without finding a new treasure.
“We want to share our imagination and ideas with others,” smiled Lohr, “let them see what is possible.”
Full Circle Thrift
Address: 210 E. Stevens Street, Suite 100, Culpeper, VA 22701
Phone: (540) 727-8716
Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30p.m.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.