Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pottsville’s New Life Thrift Store has opened a successful second location in the Hamburg business district.
Owners Jennie Boyer Porter, Kimberly Pace and Kathy Navholz decided to expand due to the success their unique shop has had in Pottsville.
All clothing sold at New Life is donated, and profits are given to local charities. The Pottsville store has helped three Schuylkill County charities to date, and the Hamburg store’s profits will go to the Northern Berks Food Pantry.
“Our goal is to help people, and people love that,” Pace said.
The store, which opened at 14 S. Fourth St. in November, has been a hit in Hamburg. The owners said business has been steady since the opening.
“We opened on Black Friday and the next day was Hamburg’s Small Business Day,” Pace said. “We had such a great reception from the community and the other businesses nearby.”
Pace credits Hamburg's Our Town Foundation for the success of the business district.
“Those people are amazing,” Pace said. “We had a grand opening and they all turned out. “Hamburg has been so welcoming.”
Clothing is carefully selected and only clean, gently used fashionable clothes are put on the racks.
“If we wouldn’t wear it, we won’t sell it,” Pace said.
Whatever doesn’t make the racks is donated to other outlets or charities. New Life works with Green Drop’s Purple Heart Donation Center, a congressionally chartered charity supporting veterans in need.
Furthering its operators' desire to help those in need, the store offers community service hours and works with Re-Employability, Transition2Work, and other employment programs.
Pace said the trio chose Hamburg as a southern outpost since their Pottsville location is in the northern part of Schuylkill County.
“We are trying to be accessible to those living in the Orwigsburg, Auburn, Schuylkill Haven area, and of course to northern Berks County,” Pace said. “We can catch a lot of people coming through the area on their way to Reading.”
The Hamburg store differs slightly from the store in Pottsville. At about one-third the size, it features only women’s clothing. The Pottsville store has clothing for men, women and teens. Prices range from $1 for clearance items up to $45 for new winter coats.
New Life is taking part in the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese event in downtown Hamburg scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20. Tasting passport tickets can be purchased for $20 at Lazy Dog Vintage, the event sponsor. Ticket holders may choose which pairing they would like to try while shopping in downtown Hamburg.
Daily hours are as follows: Wednesday 10-5, Thursday 10-5, Friday 10-5, and Saturday 10-4.