Thrift prices to suit your pocket (STREET BEAT)ALL IN THE FAMILY. From left: Dwayne Bryan, his partner Sherlette Sealy and her daughter Christen Howard sorting clothes. (Lennox Devonish)
By Carlos Atwell | Fri, May 04, 2012 - 12:03 AM
THIS WEEK’S STREET BEAT is a special one highlighting two people – Sherlette Sealy and Dwayne Bryan – and their effort to bring affordable shopping to low income workers.
Located along Bush Hall Yard Gap, the Rack ’n’ Roll Thrift Stop currently stocks clothes, toys and books, but Sealy said they soon hoped to diversify their wares. She said her generosity stemmed from childhood as she always loved giving things away.
“I was born and raised in Station Hill and saw a lot of poverty. I saw people without, and I always had more than enough, so I went around giving away stuff but not everyone appreciates that so I started to give things to the Salvation Army,” said Sealy who is gainfully employed doing a variety of craft work.
At that time, she said, Bryan suggested they go into business instead. He said it was a way for people to feel more comfortable.
“At the end of day you find some people are not receptive to getting things for free. If you are able to purchase something, it feels more like yours, so we found that if we wanted to target those who couldn’t spend a lot on brand name gear, then we had to sell stuff at affordable prices,” he said, noting that some people thought their items were too cheap.
“But it’s all about getting things at affordable prices and having a sense of ownership,” said Bryan, who is a teacher.
The two said they were not dependent on the Thrift Stop to earn money, as they were both employed, but they still had to turn a profit to pay the rent for their container. Their focus was to get to the point where they were making enough to also give back to society.
“We are gearing towards helping fire victims and other people in need. That is the direction we want to go. We still have to pay rent, so the business still has to make a profit, but we still want to raise money for anyone who needs it and we are seeking help from any minister willing to help us,” said Sealy.
Bryan added: “At the end of the day, it has to be as economic as possible as well as doing what is best for the community. It’s not only about clothing; we want to encompass different things,” he said.
Sealy said it was important for the public to know that they only dealt with high-quality merchandise so they were very selective about any donations they received, and often went out and bought items for resale.
“We take donations and buy goods. Anybody should be able to walk off the road and buy quality items, so we are very particular about what we take,” she said.
The Rack ’n’ Roll Thrift Stop opens every Saturday.
- Editor's Choice