Buried in the corner of every thrift shop is a hidden gem, waiting to be found. The same could be said of Treasures Thrift Shop of St. Stephen’s Church in Armonk. Established in 1968, Treasures has managed all these years -- the store is open three days a week and run by volunteers. But neither the volunteers nor church staff had the opportunity to make changes (such as capturing customer information, creating a brand identity) that could maximize the store’s revenue and impact. Church leaders believed in Treasures but they also believed it could be much more and play an essential role in the community.
Treasures has a two fold mission: to raise funds for the church and equally important to raise funds that St. Stephens can direct to expanding its own outreach programs to other local non-profits including the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry and the Hudson Valley Ronald McDonald House. The store also serves as a resource for the community. Its patrons include those on a limited budget, teachers finding items for their classrooms, and teenagers looking for something ‘cool’. And since what is donated one year becomes trendy the next, Treasures helps keep discarded items out of the landfill.
With a clearly defined mission and a belief in the store’s potential, the rector of the church reached out to TAP (through the Armonk Chamber of Commerce) to help bring a new dynamism to Treasures. We began by spending time at Treasures to study the store’s merchandising and operations. We also looked at other thrift stores in Westchester County to understand their pricing, store experience, and online presence, including social media. To address branding, we worked with Treasures to develop a consistent message surrounding their mission and create a brand strategy. We delivered an Action Plan that covered most aspects of the business, including a recommendation to hire a store manager, how to improve store operations and merchandising, what effective marketing (both traditional and digital) might look like, and how to better solicit donations. We offered a sample policies and procedures manual as well as a job description for a part-time store manager.
Today, if you walk into Treasures, you’ll meet the new store manager and see a wide variety of well-priced, well-displayed merchandise and a vital small business in Armonk. At Treasures Facebook page, you can see new offerings and notice of sales. You will also see photos showing just some of the hidden gems in the corners of Treasures that are no longer hidden.
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