Thrift store treasures

Apple Valley thrift stores offer inexpensive shopping, help community

BY DAVIDA SIWISA JAMES
APPLE VALLEY REVIEW

Once upon a time, thrift shops were considered the place where people of limited means or college students frequented to furnish their homes or dorm rooms. But with the resurgence of antiquing and stories of hidden treasures found on its shelves, thrift shops attract an eclectic customer base.

Some shoppers say they’re simply fun.

In one stretch of Highway 18, there are nearly half dozen thrift shops that would easily attract the casual browser as well as anyone who loves searching for antiques and novelty items.

At Pet Partners of Victor Valley Bargain Boutique, located at 21905 Highway 18, a team of volunteers staff the shop. The small store has the usual array of collectibles and figurines.

“We help with pet rescue,” said June McGowen, a 20-year volunteer of the shop.

Reyna and Samuel Beckner sang the shop’s praises, describing how Pet Partners, in conjunction with other community organizations, assisted them with rescuing their dogs. Reyna Beckner volunteers at the shop, which she says has a loyal following.

High End Thrift Shop at 22054 Highway 18 is family-owned and operated.

Martha Mangu and her son, Edson Montiel were very happy about the steady clientele at their new location on Highway 18. They just moved in four months ago.

“It is a family business,” said Montiel from behind the counter. “We used to own Good Things Thrift Store at the corner of Navajo and Bear Valley. We were there for a couple of years.”

Glass display cases line one section of the spacious shop with an assortment of china, knickknacks and figurines. Looking for a golden statue, a new dining room hutch or tall lamp post for your front lawn? High End Thrift Shop has them all.

The owners said they get some of their inventory through donations, but the bulk of the stock comes from bidding at storage and furniture auctions.

Assistance League of Victor Valley, located at 22021 Highway 18, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“We are totally non-profit,” said Anne Johnson Curtis. “We run sales every week. The first day of the sale, Tuesday, is usually busy.”

Curtis is one of several volunteers who staff the thrift shop. The proceeds from the shop help finance several philanthropic programs the league sponsors throughout the Victor Valley.

The shop is filled with adult and children’s clothing, housewares, books and a craft area. Curtis boasted about the boutique section that has quality clothing items at reasonable prices.

The thrift store at 21660 Bear Valley Road, which the Mangu family formerly owned, is still open. Shoppers browsing the aisles had their pick of an opulent four-poster bed with intricately carved thick wooden posts and an assortment of dolls that might tempt collectors.

As Montiel of High End Thrift Shop said, “People come to thrift shops looking for unique things.”

The many thrift shops of Apple Valley offer everything from jewelry to furniture and countless small treasures. In addition to the items that range from the commonplace to the distinctive, shoppers get to choose between privately owned shops or those whose profits help support worthy causes in the community.