Updated: Jun 19, 2022
The CEO of Thrift, LLC, Jeremy Wright, built his career for the past 10 years in healthcare management. More specifically community health as he has a passion for those who are underserved in this area. Both his undergraduate and master’s degrees are in health administration. In 2017, him and his business partner had a garage sale that spiked the idea to open a Thrift store that would deliver monthly boxes to people’s homes. They are very community oriented and knew that whatever they did had to incorporate that passion. It was from this conversation in his basement that the initial concept for Thrift was born. Later down the road as they worked on logistics they decided that they would utilize the thrift store to be an anchor for a marketplace that would help showcase products created by African American businesses.
Sassy Thrifters (ST) had the opportunity to catch up with Jeremy and learn more about Thrift, LLC. Take a look....
ST: How and why did you decide to open up a thrift store?
THRIFT: I've been into thrifting, style, and clothing for my entire adult life. However, I still feel like the business came out of a desire to help black business owners thrive. The thrift store is really just an anchor for a myriad of other activities in support of our community. We allow space for other black businesses to sell products, we fundraise for community organizations, and we reinvest in other black businesses. Thrifting just happened to be the platform.
ST: What made you choose your stores location?
THRIFT: I feel as if my store's location chose me then me choosing it. I was on a search for a building in the south side/south suburban area for about a year. I wanted to buy a 'mixed-use' property (both commercial & residential) where I could live above the store and these type of properties are difficult to purchase. I ended up finding this amazing property down the street from where my mother was born and my cousin still lives in that house to this day. Really a full circle kind of story.
ST: What are your goals for Thrift, LLC?
THRIFT: A huge part of our ultimate goal is to support other businesses by providing a platform for them to bring their products to market. We are really intentional about pricing and making sure that affordable items are available to our customers in the neighborhood. We don't want people to feel like they have to leave the South Side in order to find a quality thrift store. We want to be a community anchor that helps non-profits to raise money, businesses to thrive, and customers to save.
ST: What services or products does your thrift store offer?
THRIFT: We offer clothing for all ages, accessories, housewares, books, vinyl, and a host of products created by black entrepreneurs.
ST: What is most important to you in being a business owner?
THRIFT: I believe that being a business owner is synonymous with being a community developer. It's most important that a business owner sees themselves as a critical portion of the community they serve. We often look at non-profits, community organizers, charities, and residents as the community without understanding that sound economics are critical drivers to thriving communities. As a business owner I am a key component of my community's development.
ST: To what do you attribute your success thus far?
THRIFT: Honestly the support of Sassy Thrifters has been a big part of our success. We've been participating in the fleek markets and being a registered member since we started. Exposure and support like this has been invaluable. I'd also say that my support system is unmatched. I'd be nothing without my mother, aunt, friends, and donors.
ST: What is unique about Thrift, LLC?
THRIFT: In general our company is a thrift store that specializes in high quality but low cost clothing and accessories. However, what sets us apart is that our thrift store is the support system for a marketplace that carries nothing but products created by black entrepreneurs. We want people to be able to buy black and give black in this community without having to think about it so much. We wanted to be able to shop in a place that was an investment in our own community.
ST: Does your company help the community where it is located? THRIFT: We are always looking for ways in which we can help our community. Currently our main way to do this is by hosting fundraisers to help community organizations raise money. They use our store and platform to sell items donated by their supporters. This way the organizations can turn items into cash.
ST: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
THRIFT: I would definitely say that as a business owner you have to set your own pace. Don't let others rush you or slow you down. Keep in mind that you always want to under promise and over deliver. Don't set yourself up not to be able to deliver on your customer promises. That's why for now we are only open on the weekends. As a business owner who has a full-time job that is what I can commit to. We will be open every weekend ready to serve our customers with excellent customer service. We will eventually open more days as our customer base grows and I can support the staffing during the additional days. This way when it happens we can deliver as promised.
2517 W. 59th Street | Chicago, IL
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IG: Thrift LLC