The Many Reasons I Love Secondhand Shopping…and Arc Thrift Stores!
Guest Blog by Nicole Brady
Hi there! Some of you may know me from anchoring and reporting for the morning news at Denver7, where I’ve worked for the past six years. But if you’re a fellow thrifter, you’ve probably seen me around the Centennial Arc Thrift Store, which has been my go-to location since moving back to Colorado in 2016.
My love of thrift stores began in high school, back when I was a theatre nerd who was always looking to stand out and be a little weird. I remember buying 70’s polyester suits for school dances and spirit days. Over time I started to see thrift stores not only as a place to shop for novelties or costumes, but a place to find bargains on clothes, household items, and furniture. Once I had kids, I started buying almost all their clothes at thrift stores. I can no longer imagine paying full price for something they’re going to grow out of in six months!
The fact that Denver7 has had a long-term relationship with arc Thrift Stores was a happy coincidence, and it’s given me an opportunity to bring my love of thrift stores and my passion for arc’s mission into my work. I don’t think many people realize how much more there is to arc than thrift shopping. I’ve done so many stories on arc’s many other connections in the community, including the annual Feed Colorado food drive. Denver7 has been partnering with arc on this amazing event for years! It’s amazing to see how arc uses its expertise in logistics and leverages its relationships to do so much good work around Colorado. (By the way, Feed Colorado is the entire month of March! You can drop off your nonperishable food items…like canned soup and vegetables and dry goods like pasta and cereal...at any of the arc Thrift Store locations or at branches of BOK Financial. Those donations will help feed food insecure individuals and families in Colorado!)
A few years ago, I started regularly featuring arc Ambassadors on Denver7. Ambassadors are employees with disabilities who work in the stores and participate in programs that keep them active and engaged with their friends and the community. I love all the Ambassadors I’ve met; they’ve truly become friends. I even follow some on social media. A shoutout to Seth Weshnak, Naz Sobhi, and Kelly Jeffers, our most recent ambassador. I’m looking forward to September, when I’ll get to participate in arc’s annual gala and walk down the runway with Ambassadors for a fashion show. I’ve also had the honor of speaking at the Arc University graduation event. Arc University allows its employees with disabilities to continue their education and expand their opportunities for employment.
Shopping at arc Thrift makes me feel good because I know I’m supporting job opportunities, not only for Ambassadors, but for so many Coloradans in the stores and beyond. I love that I can do a small part for the environment by using recycled items rather than buying more disposable fashion or plastic products. I love saving money, but more importantly I love spending money with a good purpose. I’m especially thrilled that my kids are starting to see the advantages of shopping at arc stores, not only because they can afford toys with their own allowance, but I think they’re learning good values and seeing what it means to be socially and environmentally conscious. Our Saturday shopping days have more meaning to them, and it doesn’t hurt when it’s 50 percent off! So, I’ll probably see you next Saturday ... say hi and give me your best thrifting tips at Nicole.Brady@TheDenverChannel.com , or follow me on Instagram at Nicole_Denver7.