by Jerica Rice
Most college students don’t have the funds to go shopping at retail stores. Luckily, whether students wants to spruce up their dorm rooms with furniture and decorations or fill out their wardrobes before the Minnesota winter sets in, there are plenty of stores around campus that sell whatever students needs at just the right price.
Goodwill is always an option, especially since there are three Goodwill stores within two miles of campus. However, for students looking for adventure and more unique places to shop there are stores like Hidden Treasures Thrift Store.
Hidden Treasures is a Christian, not-for-profit, thrift store on Pentagon Dr. in St. Anthony. They have a wide selection of used items in good condition for unbeatable prices. The manager Jens Paulson, a graduate of University of Northwestern-St. Paul, says, “Most customers say that we are cheaper than any thrift store around here.” While their merchandise is priced low, it doesn’t look cheap. Everything is clean and well organized. They have nice lounging chairs, great for college dorms, priced between $15 and $30, and a quality couch for only $70. They also have clothes, sporting goods, and kitchen appliances. On Fridays they have a 30 percent discount on all store items, and students can get a 20 percent discount any day of the week with their Northwestern ID now through the end of October.
Also, shopping at Hidden Treasures helps people in need. The store provides jobs to people who have a hard time finding employment because of past drug addiction and incarceration. They also partner with other charities such as Care of Creation and Jubilee Urban Leadership Initiative. They are always looking for volunteers to keep the store running, and Paulson asks Northwestern RAs to “get your halls over here!”
If students are looking for a particularly eclectic selection of merchandise to choose from, they could find it at My Thrift Store on Rice St. in St. Paul. Upon walking in, a customer sees about a football field sized room that is half filled with gently used, mostly brand-name clothes and an overflowing abundance of shoes plus a wall of scarves and hats for winter. The other half of the store has aisles upon aisles of items that include dishes, home décor, kitchen appliances, printers, movies, CDs, books and more.
They get new shipments of merchandise in the store every day, and it is all purchased from a charity called The Lupus Foundation. They have discount day for everyone on Monday, or by downloading their app customers can become VIP members and shop special Thursday sales.
Another store close to campus, Turn Style Consignment on Fairview Ave. N., not only offers opportunities for students to save money, but students can also earn money. If students have clothes, furniture, or home décor that they want to sell, they can bring it to Turn Style. As soon as an item sells the seller can get a check for 45 percent of the profit or a higher percentage of the profit in store credit.
While students wait for Turn Style to sell their unwanted items, they can shop all of their like-new designer and brand-name clothes and shoes and their modern selection of home furnishings for up to 80 percent less than retail price. Their home furnishing section would be indistinguishable from that of a department or retail store were it not for the astonishingly low prices. The clothes section has an entire wall of winter coats, boots for fall and clothing styles ranging from casual to business formal.
Employee Gayle Selsback, who was married at Northwestern in 1980, says, “The people that are selling are happy to get the money. The people buying are happy to get items at about one-third of the retail price.”