Humane Society’s PAWSibilities thrift shop bigger, better than ever

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 6, 2013 

  • Want to know more? The PAWSibilities thrift shop is at 2144 Carolina Place Hwy (off Hwy. 160 West, around the corner from Lowe’s Home Improvement) Fort Mill. The hours are: Wednesday: 10-4 Thursday: 10-7 Friday and Saturday: 10-5 Sunday: 1-4 Donated items can be dropped off during normal shop hours or 10-2 Mondays. 802-0600 The Humane Society of York County is at 8177 Regent Parkway, Fort Mill. Shelter Adoption Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 1-4 802-0902

— Less than two years since the Humane Society of York County settled into a larger, custom-built home, the shop created to support the animal shelter has doubled its own space.

The PAWSibilities thrift shop, which actually now looks more like a professional retailer than a not-for-profit secondhand store, is holding a grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 8-9 at 2144 Carolina Place Hwy. Visitors will be treated to refreshments and door prizes and, as always, will have the opportunity to shop for bargains on everything from books and clothes to furniture and fitness equipment.

Some of the pets cared for by the HSYC, which moved in 2011 from Carolina Place Hwy. to a facility off Regent Parkway, will also be at the celebration to meet prospective families.

The expanded PAWSibilities, airier and otherwise more shopper-friendly, now has well-defined departments for easy browsing. During an informal tour last week, HSYC volunteer Mary Beth Knapp showed off racks of shirts ranging from casual to dressy and mens’ suits and much of the apparel appears new. In one area, she pointed to stacks of neatly pressed and folded scrubs, which turns out to be one of the store’s best sellers.

“People can’t get enough,” she said, referring to health professionals who have to buy their own scrubs. At PAWSibilities, they cost just $2.50 a pair – a fraction of the retail price. In fact, it was the scrubs trade that led to the expansion.

“When the shop next door became vacant I called the rental agent to see if we could rent the space to sell the scrubs,” said Elaine Siegel, a HSYC volunteer and, along with Sandy Lewallen, co-chair of the grand reopening celebration.

“They let us, and we experimented for four months to see if it would make enough money – because now we had to pay rent on both sides – so that’s what we started to do and the scrubs sale was successful. We also knew that if we expanded we could sell [more] furniture, which is a good money-maker for us,” Siegel said.

Before long, a new agreement was reached and the wall separating the two store fronts came down.

Siegel said PAWSibilities does most of its marketing through an email newsletter and during the celebration visitors will have the opportunity to get on the email list. The newsletter highlights new and interesting items and lets recipients get a head start on special sales.

“A lot of our customers don’t call it a ‘thrift shop’ – they call it a ‘gift shop,’” Siegel said. “Many of our customers come more than once a week and for some who are on fixed incomes or just need a place to go and find friendly people to talk to, this is their safe haven.”

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