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'Wags to Riches' thrift store opens in Watkins

WATKINS GLEN—Taking a step towards creating a steady source of revenue and helping the community, the Humane Society of Schuyler County opened “Wags to Riches,” May 16.
“Wags to Riches,” a thrift store, is located at 213 Franklin St. Georgie Taylor, president of the HSSC, said the group was looking for steady flow of incoming funds because of the current economic situation and grants are harder to find. She added the humane society did not want to be dependent on just the group’s one-time events.
Funds raised by the store will go to into maintaining the programs the humane society offers. Taylor said in addition to the low-cost spay/neuter and adoption programs, the funds would help build a permanent shelter for dogs and cats.
“The idea (for a thrift store) is not entirely new for not-for-profits,” explained Taylor. She added, “Given the economy, the time was right.”
She said other humane societies across the country have opened thrift stores with success. The Humane Society of Schuyler County started looking for potential Montour Falls and Watkins Glen store locations early in the winter of last year. Taylor said the Franklin Street location was one of the few stores they were able to find for rent.
Taylor said for their May 16 opening, there was a bigger turnout than expected. “Wags to Riches” is currently open only Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. because it is staffed by volunteers. Taylor explained if the shop gets more volunteers it would be open longer and more days. She said the ultimate goal is to be open every day, but a short time goal is to also be open Thursday and Sundays, and more into the evenings during the summer.
The donations to stock the store for the opening came from the community. She explained the store is looking to sell gently used clothing, furniture, shoes, accessories and home decorative items. However, she said despite people’s interest in donating, not everything “Wags to Riches” has gotten is always sellable.
Taylor said the humane society plans on operating the shop for a while now. If it really takes off, she said the society would like to expand.
The store will hold a grand-opening June 13. People interested in donating items to the thrift store, or volunteering their time, can call 607-546-7710 and leave a message.

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