NorthBay Guild’s Secondhand Rose to Close

Secondhand Rose Thriftique in downtown Vacaville, operated by the NorthBay Guild, will close its doors this fall, reported Jane Hilliard, director of Volunteer Services for NorthBay Healthcare.

“The decision was not easy, and we tried everything we could to keep it open, but in the end, closing is the right decision,” said Hilliard.

The physical demands on volunteers, the cost of leasing the building and paying for utilities, repeated damage from leaks during the rainy season, pest problems and competition from for-profit second-hand businesses were key factors in the decision.

Secondhand Rose opened to much fanfare on Valentine’s Day 2013 at the 322 Parker St. location and at the time had about 25 volunteers who worked shifts Tuesday through Sunday. Today only about a dozen volunteers fill the essential roles, ringing up deals for customers, receiving and sorting donations, and keeping the store clean.

The store moved from a much smaller location on Main Street, where it was known as the NorthBay Guild Thrift Shop for many years. The first incarnation of Secondhand Rose was a little shop in downtown Fairfield, where Hilliard’s mother, Amanda Heariet, used to work as a Guild volunteer. Shortly after that, a second Secondhand Rose opened on Butcher Road in Vacaville, recalled Jane.

The current Parker Street venue proved an excellent spot for NorthBay Healthcare to host Merriment on Main activities during Vacaville’s annual tree-lighting event every holiday season. In addition, the shop participated in Downtown Vacaville events, such as Ladies Nights and wine strolls.

“We loved being there, and we loved helping the community,” said Hilliard, who explained that many donations were made to support at-risk and homeless individuals through the years.

“We gave a lot away, because it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The thriftique partnered with Soroptimist International of Vacaville for its Dream Maker program, hosting a monthly $100 shopping spree for a woman trying to rebuild her life.

It also partnered with the local service club on Operation PROMises, an annual event that collects donations and provides a prom closet for local teens who can’t otherwise afford to attend their proms.

“We’re going to continue to support Operation PROMises, and Dream Makers,” said Hilliard, who explained that NorthBay Healthcare Foundation has some storage space that can be used to store the gowns and career-style clothing the two programs need. “When it’s time for donations, it will be a place where donations can be dropped off,” she said.

Efforts to liquidate much of the store’s inventory will begin soon, said Hilliard. The plan is to close Secondhand Rose in late September or early October. Officially, they must be out by Oct. 31, when the lease expires.

“Once we’re out of the thrift shop business, we can bring our volunteers back into our hospitals to put more focus on patient outreach,” said Hilliard. “That’s at the center of our mission, providing compassionate care, close to home.”