LiftUp adds chic boutique to Steamboat thrift shop

Frances Hohl For Steamboat Today
LiftUp Thrift Store in Steamboat turned a corner of the store into "Elevated Emporium" where buyers spend a little more for upscale donated goods to help fund community needs.
Frances Hohl

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The LiftUp Community Thrift Store has added a little “chic boutique” to the corner of its popular store as a means to help fund the nonprofit’s community assistance programs.

Apparently, the community has been so generous with donations that the number of up-scale and designer goods is at an all-time high.

“We had a conundrum. We are getting 300 to 400 bags of goods. Some of them are high-end gifts, and we needed to maximize those gifts,” said Jeff Modesitt, community support manager for LiftUp of Routt County, which provides a lot of emergency services to people in the community who may need extra support.

Often times, LiftUp might sell off its donations by the poundage to other stores or be forced to sell the upscale items through a consignment shop.

“Now we’ve got a little corner with deals on items like $400 boots — things of that nature,” Modesitt said.

LiftUp has dubbed the corner “Elevation Emporium” and currently discerning shoppers can find everything from furs to designer clothes to a Swarovski-decorated clock. There’s even a cute chandelier hanging above the corner. But don’t worry, the rest of the store hasn’t changed a bit except for the appealing way its employees are now organizing and showing off the merchandise.

“Not everything that’s high-end will go into the Emporium,” LiftUP Executive Director Sue Fegelein said. “We’re serving a part of the community that needs to shop here. We’re just trying to find other ways to increase income for our shop.”

So far, Fegelein says the Emporium has been a success without any advertising or publicity.

As reported last week, LiftUp can use all the cash they can generate as the need for housing assistance and other emergencies has grown this past year.

LiftUp of Routt County serves about 10 percent of the county population by helping with emergency assistance for food, utility bills, healthcare, housing and transportation. It also provides an affordable thrift store and food pantries in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Oak Creek.

There’s even a walk-in program that allows anyone to come in for fresh food like produce, bread and meals, which are donated by restaurants, companies and individuals.

Thanks to 191 volunteers across the county, Modesitt said LiftUp is able to make a huge difference.

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