Clothes Encounters of the Thrift Kind prepares for busy summer
By Sue Tiffin
Jodi Paterson managed to slow down and retire for a year and a half, but now she’s a familiar face in Minden’s business community once again.
During that time away from Minden’s Home Hardware, which she sold in 2017 after 14 years of co-owning the business, she had the opportunity to help keep a local store open and finds she is once again working full-time.
In February, Paterson purchased Clothes Encounters of the Thrift Kind, located on Minden’s main street, from original shop owner Anna Vince.
“I’m one of those people who can’t sit still, I like to keep busy,” said Paterson. “I was retired for a year and a half, and then this came up, and I didn’t want to see Minden losing a thrift shop.”
Since purchasing the downtown shop, which has a large storefront window on Bobcaygeon Road displaying the wide variety of clothing items on offer, Paterson said she has revamped it a bit, making a few changes to show off what is available. The store offers gently worn clothing that includes outerwear, jeans, dresses, jewellery, business wear, kids clothing and shoes and boots, and makes available affordable clothing options without shoppers having to drive far, or buy brand new.
“I’ve always said [people] need to shop local,” said Paterson. “Somebody always finds something in this store. Everything I sell, it starts at fifty cents. I don’t think there’s anything more than $20, maybe a tuxedo that’s worth a little bit more. [There’s] something in there for everybody. I always promote shopping local, no matter what store it is.”
In the winter season, Paterson notes the store had been a bit slow, but just this week traffic was getting heavier at Clothes Encounters, where she works with her daughter Erin Macleod. With racks full of carefully selected pieces intended for a wide variety of people, sizes and styles, Paterson said women’s clothing has been the most popular seller thus far.
“Definitely women’s clothing,” she said. “The kid’s clothing does well too. [But], women’s clothing for sure, it’s the most popular. There’s a lot of dresses flying out right now, people are starting to look at the summer shoes, flip flops, bathing suits, cover-ups ...”
Though Paterson does not currently need more donations due to space constraints, she is honouring former credit initiative cards created by Vince, and said she would welcome men’s clothing and eventually more summery fashions. Additionally, with the loss of Minden’s book store, she is planning to offer a corner of secondhand books.
Paterson said she has noticed the importance of the store for people looking for a wide variety of affordable clothing options nearby or in a pinch. One customer, she notes, has four children and stops in weekly for something for the kids or herself.
“She’ll walk out of there with four outfits for $50, so she’s pretty happy,” said Paterson.
Though eventually, Paterson is looking forward to gardening and volunteering and perhaps taking more of a part-time role, she is focused on making sure Minden’s secondhand clothing shop stays open and serves the community.
“I think every small town needs a thrift store like that,” she said.
Clothes Encounters of the Thrift Kind, at 112 Bobcaygeon Road, is currently open winter hours on Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Follow shop news on Facebook at Clothes Encounters of the Thrift Kind.