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News / Business / Clark County Business

New thrift store opens after setback with This-N-That

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith
Published: August 2, 2018, 5:58am
4 Photos
Annette North, co-owner of Rusty Gold in Orchards, polishes a pair of hand-carved, vintage ducks. The store is the revenue arm for the Clark County Christian Center, which had to close its previous thrift store This-N-That. “We’re getting back on our feet,” North said.
Annette North, co-owner of Rusty Gold in Orchards, polishes a pair of hand-carved, vintage ducks. The store is the revenue arm for the Clark County Christian Center, which had to close its previous thrift store This-N-That. “We’re getting back on our feet,” North said. Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian Photo Gallery

Months after their thrift store This-N-That had to close, the Clark County Christian Center has struck gold — Rusty Gold.

At the beginning of July, the faith-based nonprofit opened a small, boutique-style thrift store that specializes in antiques and refurbished furniture called Rusty Gold. Located at Orchards Center, it’s about 2 miles from where This-N-That was located at Vancouver Plaza.

The thrift store was doing great financially and had just hired its 19th employee when it was told to vacate earlier this year because The Arc of Southwest Washington, which had plans for its own thrift store, was going to lease the space. This-N-That had a closing sale in January. The Arc’s plans, however, were nixed after the nonprofit fired its executive director and had to focus on keeping afloat financially. So, the commercial space remains vacant.

While the whole situation was discouraging and a roller-coaster ride for the Clark County Christian Center, the couple behind it are moving on and have big plans for the future.

Rusty Gold

 What: An antique, small furniture and home goods store that benefits the Clark County Christian Center.

 Where: 10411 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., unit 108.

 When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday, or by appointment.

 Contact: 360-601-5639

“The main goal and the main focus was always to get back to helping the community,” said Annette North, who runs the center with her husband, Erik Holcomb.

Making a difference

This-N-That was the revenue arm for the Christian Center’s mission. One of their main goals was to help people get back on their feet with household goods and clothes; they’d pull items off the store shelves and get them to people in need. They developed relationships with places such as the jail, the Council for the Homeless, food and clothing banks and family community resource centers at schools to fill those needs.

“When you have nothing, being able to have a table and a bed, it speaks volumes,” Holcomb said.

North said that last year they helped out a single mom and her family. A man being pursued by police had barged into their apartment and wielded a knife before he was shot and killed by an officer. When the family moved to a new apartment, North and Holcomb loaded up their truck with furniture for the family.

“It was just very impactful to know that we were getting to be a part of helping somebody who just went through such a major tragedy,” North said. “Those are the things that I just get excited about — helping people who need help, who truly need help.”

They were mum about what exactly the future looks like for their organization, but they said they’re working on providing a significant resource for the community.

“We’re still taking donations kind of on a limited basis,” Holcomb said. “We have to be a little more selective, just because we don’t have the space currently.”

The couple have been pleased to see many former employees land on their feet. For many, This-N-That was their first job and some employees had disabilities, but they were able to leverage the thrift store experience to land new jobs.

“This wasn’t all in vain,” North said. “We’re moving forward. We’re very excited.”

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Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith