New Business Spotlight: Chris’s Thrift Store
Business Name: Chris’s Thrift Store
Address: 316 S. Park Ave., Mercersburg
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Owner: Chris Pollard
Chris Pollard, the owner of Chris’s Thrift Store in Mercersburg, loves a bargain. When she opened her new store last week, she discovered many in this small community share that love.
“I’m very happy with the local response (to the new business),” she said after the hectic three-day opening. Thursday was busy. Friday was busier, but local bargain hunters really took notice on Saturday, seeking out the bargains always available at thrift stores.
The store is open three days a week right now because Chris has kept her restaurant job in Chambersburg as a backup, at least until the thrift store is well established.
“In six months, I’ll reevaluate,” she said.
Located in the Park Avenue storefront of a warehouse owned by her father, John Pollard, the new thrift shop features men’s, women’s, children’s and infants’ clothing, shoes, home decor, kitchenware and glassware, books, records and toys of all kinds.
Everything is clean and in good condition. Just the kind of merchandise at bargain prices that Chris herself has always sought out instead of buying new.
Chris is already looking ahead to expansion. She will soon add another section for larger ticket items such as appliances and furniture.
Eventually, she would like to design a website and add an online presence to the business, where she could sell higher priced, unique merchandise and antiques.
The Chris Pollard Story
Chris Pollard was born in Allentown, the oldest of four children of John and Janet Pollard. She grew up in Fayetteville, attending local schools, graduating from Chambersburg Area Senior High School and attending Penn State Mont Alto.
She loves Franklin County with its mountains and woods, and has fond memories of growing up in Fayetteville.
“I loved it,” she remembers today. “I grew up riding bikes, playing in the woods and being outside. It was great.”
She currently lives in Chambersburg with her dog Wendell and two rescued cats. One of her favorite downtime activities is walking in the woods with Wendell.
As an adult, Chris has had a variety of jobs over the last two decades, including quite a bit of time the restaurant business, frequently working as a server. Of all the different jobs she’s held, serving in a restaurant is by far her favorite.
“I love the busyness, the rush that comes with peak mealtimes,” she said. ”It’s a little bit chaotic, but you get to meet lots of interesting people, plus you are working very independently.”
While part of a team, she likes the independence of managing tables and customers the way she sees fit. It’s also an active job, something that fits right in with her active lifestyle.
She describes it as a “fun, high-energy position,” overall a job that is a good fit for her spunky and rather non-conventional personality.
A Birthday, a Life Change, and a New Business
But this year, approaching her 40th birthday, she knew she was ready for something bigger in her life. She even joked about a needing something spectacular to celebrate… something on the scale of the 1864 burning of Chambersburg now celebrated annually with a reenactment ceremony.
Her mother, Janet Pollard, head of Chambersburg’s Tourism Bureau, nixed that tongue-in-cheek idea.
Looking at her lifetime collections of treasures picked up at flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales, she knew what she wanted to do — share that love for bargains with others.
She traces that back to her childhood and her grandmother Christine Pollard, who fostered her love of flea markets and bargain hunting.
“If she were living today, she would think it is fabulous,” Chris said.
So was born Chris’s Thrift Store. Her father had the perfect location and suggested Chris put his vacant storefront to use. She has spent the last five months remodeling and stocking the shelves, readying for her October opening.
It took three months to remodel, putting in new flooring, new ceilings and new doors, then another month to get and install store fixtures. She had been buying and storing inventory from the beginning, but it took another month to get everything priced and put on display.
It took time but was worth the effort and attention to detail, Chris said.
“Mercersburg is the perfect place for a thrift store,” she said.