Lifestyle | February 13th, 2020
A Local Thrift Store Gives Back to the Community
By: Ly'kimbria Jackson
At first glance, Sherry Bradshaw and Donna Dodge appear to be ordinary business owners, but they sell more than just clothes and furniture. They are pillars in the Frenchtown community.
Together they opened Whatdoyagot? LLC thrift store initially because of their love for storage auctions. Like any other thrift store, you are likely to find mom jeans, Al B. Sure cassette tapes, and antique chifforobes. If you look further than the first few aisles, you’ll see customers walking in and out of a storage room filled with countless racks and piles of clothes-free clothes.
“It’s wherever the need is. I’m not saying we give to everyone because we can’t afford to, but for certain people, you see their struggle and you have to help them out,” said Bradshaw.
Being located in the center of Frenchtown they noticed, early on, the large homeless population, and although they are not able to give away clothes year-round, they give away their excess.
People from all walks of life, from ex-convicts to struggling single mothers, enter Whatdoyagot? LLC with almost nothing in their possession and leave with an array of furniture or an updated wardrobe at the expense of Dodge and Bradshaw.
“There was one lady who had five kids, and we furnished her entire house. Her little son came down here and just hung out for like a month, so I said, ‘Well why don’t you sweep the floor and we’ll give you $5.’ We eventually found out that his mother was struggling and they didn’t have hardly anything,” said Bradshaw.
Considering what could have taken the place of the shop, for some locals, the people inside of Whatdoyagot? LLC are equally as important as the business. Customers seeking collectibles at discounted prices have also become regulars due to its large inventory and welcoming environment.
“Not only is this a very interesting store where you might pick up anything or everything, but it’s run by two of the loveliest people I know: Sharon and Donna. If you tell them what you want, they’ll find it somewhere somehow,” said Gene Simmons, a frequent customer.
The family-like dynamic of Whatdoyagot? LLC runs deeper than business to consumer relationships. The store is a family establishment. Dodge’s son, Zachary Jones, is one of the employees helping sustain the shop.
Jones traveled across the country from California to support his mother’s latest project, leaving almost all of his belongings behind.
“It was very interesting to come down here and see what my mom was doing for a little while. This is right up my alley since I spend most of my time in thrift stores. So, it was cool,” said Jones.
Dodge and Bradshaw consider their business venture to be more than just a store. Whatdoyagot? LLC not only adds to the shopping selection in town, but it reaches back into the community and helps those in need.
“We don’t make money hand over foot, but I wouldn’t give this up for nothing. I love what I do. I love meeting the people I love,” said Bradshaw.