New thrift store owner takes on challenge of providing good deals and clothing selection
Memorial Day weekend, new business owner Emily Semmelrock opened her first ever store, Serendipthrifty in Niantic. From dresses, to swimwear, to fall apparel, the store offers an in-person shopping experience with a wide variety of clothes to uniquely fit each and every customer.
Connecticut born-and-raised, Ms. Semmelrock grew up thrifting clothes and found a love for selling clothes online. With the help of her mom, Ms. Semmelrock discovered the nuances of online thrifting. She used eBay as her platform.
“I started with what I had in my closet then went thrift shopping. I wanted to give other people good deals,” Ms. Semmelrock said.
Ms. Semmelrock didn’t always see herself in the clothing industry. In fact, she recently graduated college with her Masters degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology.
“When the pandemic hit, it was extremely difficult to find a job. So, I just thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I just do something I love to do?’ I don’t need to keep up the expectation that just because I went to school for one thing I have to pursue it,” she said.
Ms. Semmelrock finds she is happiest doing what she loves, and it’s taking the form of providing a thrift store to the community. From offering cheaper prices than retail clothing to helping minimize fast fashion, she is passionate about giving the community a better way to shop.
Ms. Semmelrock is conscious of the dangers of fast fashion, and encourages everyone to thrift to reduce harming the environment, and to find more unique items.
“The amount of energy it takes to make even a single T-shirt is insane. With fast fashion, people are just buying, buying, buying, not really being conscious of the effects. Also, I think it’s way more fun shopping at thrift stores- you never know what you’ll find,” Ms. Semmelrock said.
Since the opening in May, running her own business has been a series of trial and error. In her process of opening, she finds receiving customer feedback helps the most.
“The future of the store depends on what people give me feedback on. If they want something else that I’m not selling, I’m going to try to accommodate them. I’m just impressed with how kind people have been, saying, ‘We really needed this in our town,’ and they love to be able to sell clothes and buy new ones. I’m just thankful that I am able to provide that,” Ms. Semmelrock said.