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Common Threads is BHITC’s first social enterprise to launch under HopeWorks, LLC.

Common Threads opened June 24, 2016 and is located at 22049 Lorain Road in Fairview Park, Ohio 44126.  The store is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm and Sundays from 12:00 – 6:00 pm.  Find out more on the Common Threads website here.

A thrift retail business was selected as a first venture for several reasons, says Jeff Stredney, Director of HopeWorks, LLC, who notes that Common Threads now provides 18 people with permanent employment and training in customer service, inventory management and more.  “Thrifting is exploding as a preferred means of shopping for personal, clothing and household items across all cultures and demographics,” he says.  “It’s a smart, creative re-use of resources. We also believe we bring a better overall experience to the thrift marketplace.”

Read on below for Common Threads Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Common Threads employment opportunities:

Common Threads is also looking to add to the resumes it keeps on hand.  Positions at the store include a competitive starting wage; but health insurance benefits are not available at this time. For more information or to send your resume, please email Jeff Stredney at: jstredney@buildinghopeinthecity.org.

Common Threads volunteers needed now!

Click here for Volunteer Opportunities with Common Threads.

 

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Common Threads FAQs

Q: Why thrift?

A: Resale is one of the fastest growing segments of retail in North America, projected to be a $16B industry, and touted by many to be recession-proof. Many from BHITC have prayed around this initiative for years with ample due diligence from business professionals to vet the model and possible financials. Like all things, we submit this venture to the Lord and look forward to what He’ll do!

Q: How many items do we need to sustain the store?

A: Common Threads will need to sell between 100,000 – 150,000 items a year to meet our goals for employing people and helping to sustain BHITC!*

Accounting for items that do not sell, that means we will want to receive 500,000+* articles of clothing and items per year. That’s an average intake of 160 items per hour during a 60-hour operating week! Jesus help!

*Estimates are based on accounting for the size of locations we are looking at, the average footprint of a piece of clothing, an assumed average price of an item sold, and our income goals for sustainability.

Q: How do you get your merchandise?

A: We receive the overwhelming majority of our merchandise through donations. We are also looking into the possibility of doing discounted buyouts from large clothing retailers, but this needs more investigation. For now, Common Threads needs your donation of great used stuff!

Q: Do you consign? Offer tax receipts?

A: Consignment – No. Tax receipts – Yes! As a 501(c)(3) we can offer a receipt for tax purposes for any donation.

Q: Why donate to your store versus another good cause?

A: Great question! See our postcard! 1. It’s about Jesus – first and foremost. 2. It’s about people – the store will be an employment center 3. It’s a REAL non-profit – not all thrift stores are! – many are for-profit corporations masquerading as non-profit stores with the majority of earnings going to distant shareholders 4. It keeps it CLE – all revenue stays local and supports our workers through wages, the economy through taxes, and the Kingdom here in Cleveland through the message, opportunities, and volunteers God provides.

Q: What makes Common Threads different?

A: We strive to combine the best elements of for-profit resale store and non-profit thrift.

Q: I thought thrift stores were only for poor people?

A: Thrift has changed. A lot. Originally, the primary goal of thrift stores was to provide used clothes cheaply to people fallen on hard times. Over the years God has raised up many free clothing banks and clothing pantries throughout the city for the homeless and other extreme poverty situations. Simultaneously, over the last 20 years, thrift has grown to become a fun shopping and bargain-hunting experience that cuts across socioeconomic status and cultures. People from every walk of life love to thrift!

Q: Won’t I be robbing from less fortunate people if I shop at Common Threads?

A: No! One of the best ways you can directly help is to SHOP! The main operational purpose of our resale store is to employ people and provide income to BHITC for its ministries and programs; it is not to be a clothing bank. The more people buy the more people we can afford to employ and the more income we can contribute to BHITC. So come often, buy often!

Q: How will you select employees?

A: The same process as any business but with an intentional focus on striving to employ as many people served by BHITC as possible. Just as with any business, we are an equal opportunity employer. Candidates can expect an application process that includes submitting personal information, resume, work history, and references. We also do a background check on each employee. Strong references from BHITC staff and volunteers on behalf of a refugee already engaged with the Hope Center or an underprivileged person committed to OpenTable (as examples) can go a long way in strengthening a candidate’s prospects for hire. It is unlikely that every employee of the store will be directly served by BHITC and a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 persons served by BHITC to those not directly served BHITC is a realistic place to start.

Q: What will you do with items you can’t put in the store?

A: Re-purpose, re-donate, or re-cycle. If the item is in poor quality we have lots of recycling options, some that even will pay Common Threads for our bulk quantities of cloth, material, metal, etc. We will keep as much as possible out of the landfills!