The rummage shop at St. Christopher Church, 2nd Hand Rose Thriftique, is gearing up for more than one celebration. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the nonprofit store with the bright pink doors. And in late November comes Black Friday and the start of the official holiday shopping season.
That means lots to do and to decorate for coordinator Patricia Taylor.
"It's a busy time," she said.
Taylor said she opened the shop out of pure love—for the church and for her longtime passions: decorating and design.
"For years I wanted to open a thrift shop at the church, but there wasn't space for it," she told Patch. "After [St. Christopher] school closed four years ago, this space became available, and eventually, we opened."
Family members including her husband, sister and daughter pitched in to renovate the tiny building right off of Littleton Road to get it ready for customers. Merchandise came from donations from church members.
"I'm very selective," said Taylor, a 35-year resident of Parsippany. "If there are chips or tears, those items go into the bin in the back of the church. We only sell high-quality things, and at really good prices."
And there are a lot of things available. Taylor showed off a huge array of wares, including household items, unique collectibles, toys, teddy bears, games, books, clothing and more.
"There's a man who comes in to go through the neckties," she said, as a donor dropped off a large collection of ties. "He's going to have a good time going through these."
There are a lot of ties on display. In fact, there is a whole lot of everything at 2nd Hand Rose.
"We're having a half-price sale starting next Wednesday," she said, explaining that the store is so jam-packed with merchandise, including items covering Halloween and Thanksgiving, that there is precious little space for Christmas-themed offerings.
"We have to make space," she said. "I wish I could expand the walls so we could have more room."
And what one sees is only half the story: Taylor said she has even more merchandise sitting at her home.
One challenge for 2nd Hand Rose is letting people know about its merchandise and bargain prices.
"Right now, we get a mention in the church bulletin, but not everyone reads that," she said. "I hope people spread the word because there are really good buys here."
The shop is staffed primarily by Taylor, who volunteers her time. She said it is the perfect gig for her, given her near lifelong love for design and her background doing department store window displays and as a retail buyer.
"I loved being a buyer, going around to stores in the city, but having the chance to design the space was a real dream come true for me," she said. "I do this for love."
Christmas merchandise will go on display on Dec. 1, she said, adding that the half-price sale is serving as a pre-holiday savings event.
"This is a great place to take care of holiday shopping, save a lot of money and benefit the church," Taylor said, adding that donations are accepted gratefully.
The 2nd Hand Rose Thriftique is located at 1050 Littleton Road, on the grounds of St. Christopher's Church. The shop is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information or to arrange a drop-off of donated items, call Taylor at 973-713-4939.