Racks of garments fill the warmly lit, retro-inspired division. Nonetheless, Tower Thrift doesn’t stand alone like many different thrift spots. As a substitute, the brand new part operates on one half of the College Co-op’s third ground.
When Tower Thrift opened in early March, Kelli Hanks, the Co-op’s director of company tasks, stated the shop flooded with college students.
“There was a ton of visitors,” Hanks stated. “It felt like a recreation day.”
Not solely has the thrift division created a brand new vitality within the retailer, in keeping with Hanks, but it surely additionally offers one other means for the Co-op to fund its course materials scholarships. This previous fall, the UT CASH web page introduced this scholarship to Rebecca Molina.
“I used to be lucky sufficient to obtain a kind of scholarships,” stated Molina, a biology freshman. “It’s actually helped me out as a result of textbooks might be so costly (in addition to) new supplies for the varsity 12 months. (It’s) a terrific factor they’re doing (this) to assist us college students with the bills of school.”
Initially created by way of a dedication by the Co-op and a match from the college of $10 million in 2022, course materials scholarships purpose to assist college students pay for textbooks and different college provides, stated Cassie Kopecky, the Co-op’s advertising supervisor. Whereas different departments of the Co-op present funding to numerous different packages, Tower Thrift donates all of its earnings to the Co-op’s course materials scholarships.
In addition to its mission to assist cowl college students’ prices for sophistication supplies, Tower Thrift additionally offers a collection of inexpensive clothes, starting from profession to informal put on.
“(Including a thrift enterprise is) one thing we had talked about pre-COVID. What can we do to assist college students have the issues they want?” Hanks stated. “(College students) don’t have a automotive, they don’t have some huge cash. Once they want one thing, it’s simply tough. (We thought,) ‘ How can we offer one thing – what can we pull collectively to create that?”
Tower Thrift’s proximity to campus makes it a preferred vacation spot for college students. Jennifer Messimer, an artwork training sophomore, stated she found Tower Thrift after she went to the Co-op to purchase artwork provides.
“It’s a extremely cool factor to have a thrift retailer this shut as a result of (for) lots of thrift shops, you do want a automotive to get to them, or those extra in the direction of North Campus (are) a stroll,” Messimer stated.
Along with working because the director of company tasks, Hanks additionally constructed the stock and look of the brand new division because the Tower Thrift curator. Whereas Tower Thrift initially purchased merchandise to fill the shop’s choice, Hanks stated she hopes the vast majority of the division’s objects come from donations sooner or later.
“There’s another tasks developing. One among them may be some type of private procuring throughout seasons and various things by way of the online,” Hanks stated. “However my objective is to proceed to make it possible for we’ve got the easiest issues within the retailer.”
Although tasks will come and go, the primary mission of Tower Thrift nonetheless stands. Over 1700 college students have acquired course materials scholarships because the funding’s inception in 2022, Kopecky stated, and Tower Thrift will proceed to offer extra assets to college students.
“(It’s) only a very enjoyable idea and inventive thought,” Kopecky stated. “I like the truth that it’s housed within the College Co-op, and so it’s accessible to college students.”