Monday, January 18, 2021


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Senior Entrepreneurs Open Thrift Shop to the Public

            Step inside Arbour Square of Harleysville and stroll down the brick walkway coined "Main Street," pass by the 50s Café, bank, and salon, where you'll find a 

quaint, tucked away gem– the Nifty Thrifty Shoppe.

            The Arbour Square Residents Association invites local community members to this unique thrift store formerly only open to residents and their guests. The Nifty Thrifty Shoppe began Fourth of July weekend in 2014, while residents were collecting donations to sell at the annual Holiday Bazaar held in November. Some residents started asking if they could purchase items, and it sparked an idea. Arbour Square resident and thrift shop originator Dot Hendershot, 83, took the idea to Executive Director Mimi Kehan and the concept of the Nifty Thrifty Shoppe was born. Since then, the thrift shop has grown in popularity as a hot spot for purchasing gently used clothing, household items and furniture.

            "Our residents are really unique. Many have a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit, and when they came to us with this idea, we couldn't say no. The store is completely run and managed by residents, who take enormous pride in it," says Kehan.

            Hendershot and fellow resident, Lyn Serianni, 82, oversee the operations of the Nifty Thrifty Shoppe in collaboration with The Arbour Square Resident Association. When residents aren't stopping by to browse or purchase various goods, many frequently volunteer their time to help sort, price and tend to the shop. "We have little knick-knacks, kitchenware items, furniture pieces, clothes, and personal care items," said Hendershot. Both women agree that the hottest item for donation and purchase is furniture.

            To uphold Hendershot's and Serianni's strict standards, only items donated by Arbour Square residents are accepted because each item goes through an inspection and approval process before being sold. All of the donation proceeds benefit local charitable organizations. Funds are regularly donated to the local EMS, police and fire departments, as well as other community-based charitable organizations. In the past, donations were made to Keystone Opportunity Center in Souderton and Manna on Main Street in Lansdale.

            Arbour Square of Harleysville's mission is to promote the independence of residents and provide an enhanced living experience. Diverse activities, services and expanded amenities, such as the Nifty Thrifty Shoppe, support that pursuit. The thrift shop has become a social hub within the senior living community. Hendershot enjoys her time spent here. "I'm more active and more social because there are always people in and out of the store. I get to meet all the new people when they're moving in," said Hendershot with a smile. "It has created a camaraderie among all the residents."

            Local community members are invited to stop by the Nifty Thrifty Shoppe at Arbour Square and take a look at all the fantastic items for sale. "We offer everything, other than food items at affordable prices," said Serianni. The Nifty Thrifty Shoppe is open to residents and the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.





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