Thrift store is new and improved

Brand Spankin' Used finds roomier location

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— Janine Pierce didn't know what she was getting into when she decided to take a chance and expand her Oak Creek thrift store.

"I literally decided to do this overnight. My friend was encouraging me to do it, but I said, 'There is no way. I don't have the time or the energy,'" Pierce said last week.

Later that night, Pierce had a change of heart.

"I said, 'OK, I'll do it.' As soon as I knew I was going to do it, the whole thing just came together," she said.

Pierce's store, Brand Spankin' Used, had been inside the Oak Creek mall on Main Street for four years.

Now, she has moved up the street a few blocks into an enormous building with tons of display windows and enough space to create departments within the store -- a dream come true for Pierce.

"We finally have a men's department. I have a huge library for my readers and book buyers, and a children's area.

"The biggest thing is that this new store isn't so claustrophobic. When there's more than three people in the store, they don't feel like they're stepping on each other's toes," she said. "That was huge."

Brand Spankin' Used went from being crowded in 650 square feet to a sprawling 1,700 square feet.

The new store has been painted and, with the help of woodworking friend Phil Glazer, remodeled.

The wooden display racks were made by hand, as was the dressing room.

The hardwood floors came from an old barn, and the fireplace was found discarded and leaning against an old home.

Nearly everything Pierce used to remodel the store was recycled, which is one of her passions.

"I'm absolutely a thrifty person. Everything is recycled. That's what I do," she said.

Pierce said most of the items in her store were given to her from South Routt residents.

The idea of keeping South Routt residents supporting other South Routt residents is one of Pierce's goals with the store.

"There is definitely a need to have the store here. A lot of us feel like, 'Why drive to Steamboat for something when everything is right here,'" she said.

"Oak Creek wants to support itself. It doesn't want to be an offshoot of something else or depend on Steamboat for everything. It's a matter of buying locally. We need to support our local businesses to keep them here."

Bringing more visual appeal to Oak Creek's Main Street also was a plus in moving the thrift store.

"What I'd like to see is more businesses on Main Street. There's a lot of potential for small or new businesses in this town. You can be really successful," she said.

Pierce said she is always happy to take donations from people as long as the items are in good condition or "gently used."

Any type of donation is welcome, except for large appliances like TVs and computers.

"I always get hit hard after the weekends after people have their garage sales.

The last thing they want to do is haul all the stuff they were trying to get rid of back into the house," she said.

Brand Spankin' Used is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Donations are accepted during business hours or can be left at the back of the business.

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