I love HGTV. Do you watch it? My husband and I started watching when we were shopping for our first home together. We enjoyed learning about different architectural styles and design trends while trying to figure out what exactly we wanted in a home.
After we found our home, I continued watching for interior design tips and decorative inspiration. The thing about all of those really nice home furnishings and decor items though: they're not cheap. I don't know about you, but I can't bring myself to hand over $40 for a sofa pillow, I don't care how cute it is or how well it's made.
So I turned to a more affordable, fun alternative: thrift shops. Thrift shops are fun because you never know what kind of great deals you can find. They have everything you need or want for your home: furniture, light fixtures, china, pillows, rugs, appliances, tools, wall art, lots of decorative accessories, knick-knacks, even clothes, shoes, baby items and more! There are several Thrift Shops right here in Aiken, even more in our surrounding areas.
Three of them happen to belong to your favorite animal welfare organization (we are your favorite, right?), and 100% of every dime you spend in one of our shops funds our efforts to care for the animals in our shelter while they await adoption into loving, forever homes. The prices are great and sometimes our stores run 50% off specials to save you even more. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for sale notices.
Our Thrift Shops are managed by Michelle Floyd, our Operations Manager. Michelle works with our store managers each day to ensure each store is well stocked with new inventory and is clean and running efficiently. Each Thrift Shop is managed by an SPCA Albrecht Center staff member, and registered volunteers work in the stores to help with item sorting and pricing, store organization, cleaning, and customer service.
All of our Thrift Shops are open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm and you can find them in these locations:
Downtown Aiken - Across from the Visitors Center and Train Museum
404 Richland Avenue East
Manager: Jennifer McBride
Southside Aiken - Mitchell Shopping Center
1557 Whiskey Road
Manager: John Sanders
Northside Aiken - Across from Bi-Lo
1021 York Street
Manager: Karen Boyd
If you're wondering where we acquire all of the great items in our stores, look to your neighbors. Everything for sale in our Thrift Shops was donated by your friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.
If you'd like to help a great cause and donate some items you can no longer use, bring your donations to any of our locations. We'll gladly provide you with a donation tax receipt and turn those items into funding for our organization.
If you have large items, like furniture, or just too many items to bring us at once, don't worry - we pick up! Just give us a call at 803-648-6863 to schedule a date and time convenient for you. Pickups are scheduled Monday - Friday during normal business hours.
Don't have anything to donate but want to help? Volunteer! Retail experience is helpful, but not required. If you can contribute any amount of time in the thrift shops, even if it's just an hour or two per week, we can use your help. Call Kelsey, our Volunteer Coordinator at 803-648-6863, email her at email@example.com or visit LetLoveLive.org/volunteer for more information and to sign up.
In the meantime, I recommend watching HGTV for inspiration and ideas, and then visiting our Thrift Shops to find much more affordable alternatives to those expensive decorative pieces. Maybe you'll even find an antique! You'll certainly find something you wouldn't find anywhere else, and you can leave smiling, knowing a tail will be wagging thanks to your generosity.
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.