SOLD! Richardson Hospice Resale Store Expands
(photo by Gary C. Klein, The Sheboygan Press) Andrew Viglietti, HospiceAdminstrator; Margaret Kirton, Store Manager; Angelia Neumann, Director of Development & Communications
by Ann Grote-Pirrung, The Sheboygan Press, Monday, March 16, 2015
SHEBOYGAN FALLS – A good bargain for a good cause is the special of today—and every day—at the Richardson Hospice Resale Store.
All profits from the store benefit the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, and store manager Margaret Kirton says the public has so embraced in just over a year and supported the unique resale shop that it was recently relocated to a larger space to accommodate both the shoppers and the donated merchandise.
The store opened in October 2013 two doors down from its current space in the Plankview Green Shopping Center in Sheboygan Falls.
"It was a much smaller retail space because no one knew what to expect and anticipate especially with the amount of competition in the area," said Kirton, who runs the shop along with a cadre of "hard-working volunteers."
Last Nov. 1 the resale shop moved to its new location, increasing their space from 2,988 square feet to 10,200 square feet.
The resale shop is the vision of Andrew Viglietti, administrator of the Hospice.
"I had been at a poker fundraiser for a hospice in Madison and at that fundraiser their resale store presented a check to the hospice for a large amount of money. I came back to our hospice saying, 'We've got to do this.'"
It took a while to get Viglietti's dream off the ground but after creating a business plan and embarking on a very successful fundraising campaign, the resale shop slowly became a reality.
It's a reality that Viglietti is justifiably proud of.
"The profits go directly back to the hospice. They provide patient care for those who can't afford it," he said. Last year, the store raised $60,000 for the hospice.
"It's a fundraiser obviously but it has also allowed us to touch the community in so many more ways…a way for people to donate goods, great shopping experience, we're touching so many more circles by being open. It's amazing what you'll find. There are beautiful things. It's a win in so many different ways."
Just a few steps into the new space and it's obvious that the Richardson Hospice Resale Store is a very different kind of "thrift shop." Large display cases filled with antiques and collectibles are sprinkled throughout the space.
Gorgeous furniture, artfully and invitingly displayed and accented with lamps, vases and framed art, draws shoppers into the store.
"We have a larger furniture section maybe than some stores," Kirton said. "We're always very excited when we get locally made things and we're especially fond of the well-made pieces by companies such as Richardson and other local companies."
There are also many handcrafted donated items available.
Quality clothing—including fur coats—and accessories for men, women and children take up the back portion of the store. Books, computer games and supplies, stereo equipment, kitchen supplies and much, much more provide an eclectic and affordably priced shopping experience. There is also a clearance center in the store where the merchandise is marked half price.
Initially, all of the merchandise was donated through word-of-mouth by the Sharon S. Richardson Hospice Board of Directors, according to Angelia Neumann, director of Development and Communications for the Hospice.
"There are many companies in Sheboygan County that are represented on our board and we have several committees as well. So we started internally using our network—companies, individuals donated and families in our care as well…and it's just branched out from there," she said.
Many items in the store are donated by people whose loved ones were served by the Richardson Hospice.
"It's such a great way for people to give back," Viglietti said. "People know the cause."
Viglietti also credited Ron Burrows who owns the Plankview Shopping Center for his assistance in working with the space.
Kirton was quick to give credit to the volunteers. "We couldn't run this without the volunteers, because basically other than me, everyone involved are volunteers," she said.
Pricing of the items is done by a variety of people, with experts in things like jewelry, antiques and collectibles providing their insight.
"We really get some treasures here," Kirton said, mentioning an Earnest Hemingway book that sold for $250 and two lamps that sold for $1,000 each. Other treasures that have gone through the door include Lenox and Blue Willow china, a mahogany desk and an Arctic blue fox fur coat.
Viglietti said that the store has far surpassed his original dream. "It has blown away my expectations. The community support has been amazing. The volume of donations…the number of shoppers…it's just wonderful," he said.