Bargain hunters who frequent the Second Chances Thrift Store in Valleyview will be happy learn a second permanent location is opening on the North Shore — in the old BC SPCA shelter on Eighth Street.
Bonnie McBride opened the first shop in downtown Kamloops, at 634 Victoria St., in June 2017.
Like other thrift stores around town that support local causes, part of the proceeds from Second Chances go to the BC SPCA.
Last Christmas, McBride and her staff were forced to relocate to 168 Oriole Rd. because the building they were in was slated for demolition.
When they moved to Valleyview, donations tripled.
"We have been overwhelmed with the volume of support and donations," McBride tells KamloopsMatters.
With plenty of product to fill shelves in a second store, McBride says the North Shore location made sense. She was also looking for a place to host their annual Christmas-themed pop-up shop.
"Even before the (Kamloops) shelter had actually moved (to Tranquille Road), we started talking to the SPCA about being able to use this location."
The 5,000-square-foot building is still owned by the BC SPCA, notes McBride.
"We rent it from them, in addition to paying our portion of the proceeds," she says.
A grand opening for 1211 Eighth St. is set for Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We won't open the whole store, just the front half, with our whole Christmas boutique," says McBride. "And then it'll be another month where we work behind the scenes to get the rest of the store finished. ... It’s a big deal to take a space that’s been a dog kennel since the '70s and turn it into a retail space."
(When KamloopsMatters visited the site, the renovation was well underway. New flooring was being installed.)
McBride plans to keep many things intact, including the communal cat kennels. Shelving units will be drilled into the walls, and each "kennel" will act like a different display case for product (like china).
What used to be a small animal room at the front of the shelter will be transformed into a workshop area.
"We’ll have the sewing machine set up, and the chalk paint, and all of that stuff, and if you want help to repurpose your purchases, then you can do that there. We'll hold upcycle classes as well," says McBride, adding DIY projects don't have to be done with items purchased at the store.
The storefront will have a zero-waste area, where staff can give donations a little TLC and put them back out on the floor.
"We probably put out between 60 and 70 per cent of the things we receive," says McBride.
Donations that can't be sold will be donated to other local charities.
In just over two years, Second Chances Thrift Store has grown "really fast." McBride attributes that to the SPCA being the charity of choice for many residents.
"We have a good crew. We do the best we can with the donations we receive and I think the people understand that, that when they donate their things to the SPCA thrift store, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that as much money goes to the SPCA as possible," she says.
She adds there are enough staff members to run things smoothly between the two stores; however, they're always looking for volunteers.
"We average 250 to 300 volunteer shifts a month, and we have 12 staff, not all full-time."
Opening the North Shore location has come full circle for McBride. Twenty-four years ago, she walked through the shelter's doors with an animal cruelty complaint involving her two dogs. Thirty days later she was on the board of directors.
"I've been engaged with the SPCA in one form or another ever since. ... I'm really happy to be in this building," she says. "We're going to use this building to the best of its ability for the SPCA, until the day it's gone."