When Alesen Corella was thinking of starting up a new boutique thrift store in Atascadero, she wanted it to be different than the other second-hand stores where she has shopped.
So when Gatherings Thrift opens in early September at 5660 El Camino Real, shell offer coffee and tea, encourage people to sit down and grab a book off the shelf, and donate half of the shops quarterly profits to local charities.
The approximately 3,500-square-foot former Atascadero News building includes a retail space and a donation-processing warehouse in the back. Parking is in front.
Corella anticipates hiring four people and will decorate the interior in rotating themes based off the style, furniture and décor thats in stock.
The Santa Margarita resident declined to disclose how much shes invested in the business, or her rent costs, but confirmed that shes signed a three-year lease.
Corella said she chose the following six local charities to benefit because they have special meanings to her: ECHO, a homeless shelter; Lighthouse, a drug-addiction resource program; Tree of Life, a pregnancy crisis center; Family Theatre Project, a program that teaches leadership through theater; scholarships to any local 4-H clubs; and The Wellness Kitchen and Resource Center, a meal program for cancer patients and others with special health needs.
Corella, a first-time business owner, also has plans to feature each charity twice a year, set up job-skill mentoring for youth, provide volunteer opportunities and showcase ways to creatively re-purpose used items.
The shop is now accepting donations. For more information, call 464-GIVE (4483) or visit www.gatheringsthrift.com.