A family business in Marietta has success selling donated items for cheap< < Back to
MARIETTA, Ohio (WOUB) – A mother daughter duo in Marietta is finding success in a small business selling donated items for only a dollar.
The Dollar Spree sprawls across two booths at the front of Rinky Dink’s Flea Market. They opened their business only two and a half months ago.
“It originated with my mom hauling in mystery boxes one by one until our garage was packed full,” Lillian Fretwell, co-owner of the Dollar Spree, said. “I thought it was a joke at first. Now we have this business up and running and we’re constantly getting new stuff in.”
The idea also came from a goal to reduce waste and buy second hand. The two used to work together in retail where they often saw items being thrown away.
“It’s hard to see,” Stacy Shipwash, Fretwell’s mother and co-owner of the Dollar Spree, said. “So many things out there are so super expensive and then, at the same time, it’s going in the garbage.”
The business sells everything from clothing to kitchenware to children’s toys. Most of the items are donated. Churches and garage sale leftovers provide them with items to sell that would otherwise be thrown away. In addition, the pair often goes searching on online auctions to find and buy cheap boxes of stuff to sell.
Shipwash and Fretwell are open for business Friday through Sunday and spend their days off driving around to pick up their donations and purchases. Everything is then organized and washed to be sold.
“We do this full time right now,” Shipwash said. “Monetary-wise, we make our rent, we cover our gas. We’re not getting rich on a dollar an item, but the reward is elsewhere.”
After three weeks, the Dollar Spree expanded from one to two booths at the flea market. The duo has plans to expand to three or four booths in the future.
This fall, the business is looking forward to putting together dollar backpacks for students. They hope to get donated items from churches or other supporters. The backpacks may include notebook paper, folders and pencils among other necessary school supplies.
“Right now with the economy, everybody’s having a hard time affording anything and (this is) just something small we can do to help the kids and parents,” Shipwash said.