Jennifer Pernigotti remembers what it’s like to be a kid not cutting the “cool” clothes and shoes.
“As a adolescent not accepting the ‘in’ things, I was best on,” she said. “And I couldn’t allow being for my own kids. I don’t appetite addition kid to feel what I felt.”
Now, Pernigotti runs Brand Spankin Used Thrift Shop, in Jewett City’s Slater Mill Mall, a abundance that carries a advanced arrangement of accouterment for infants, kids, women, and men, “size aught to additional size.”
Instead of active on a assignment model, Pernigotti sells clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses, and added accessories that accept been donated. She anxiously launders or cleans aggregate afore it’s offered for sale, so it’s “brought aback to as new action as possible,” she said.
The boutique started as a dream, “with no beat or reason,” added than a admiration to advice people, Pernigotti said. After a 14-year career as a certified abettor assistant, she developed affection during a abundance that were ultimately diagnosed as lupus. The affliction makes it absurd for her to absorb time in the sun, which disqualified out her hopes to run an amoebic garden.
Harking aback to her adolescence in the advance affliction system, she absitively that creating an affordable antecedent for accouterment was an alternating way to advice others.
“I took my adolescence acquaintance with physical, emotional, verbal, and animal corruption [and adapted it into outreach]. Everyone calls me a survivor,” she said.
Pernigotti strives to accomplish her boutique as ancestors affable as possible, partly because her 2-year-old daughter, Lily, generally accompanies her as she tends shop. So there’s a comedy area, area youngsters can be abundantly active while their parents shop.
“Lily plays there and greets bodies at the door. It creates a nice atmosphere, and the parents assume to like it,” she said.
The boutique stocks aggregate from sneakers to Halloween apparel for kids, as able-bodied as accidental and career abrasion for adults, and alike academic apparel and dresses. Prices on pants alpha at $2.75 and best items amount beneath $20, with actual few exceptions, like a high-end winter coat.
“I accumulate prices low, beneath Goodwill,” said Pernigotti.
Donors who accompany in a bag of clothes accept a abatement advertisement for approaching purchases.
While the enactment opened its doors for the aboriginal time in May, it apparent a academic admirable aperture Sept. 22 and 23. The accident featured refreshments for sale, with gain activity to Griswold Parks and Recreation.
The bounded rec affairs is additionally the almsman of a donation jar at the shop, appropriate to advice families with acceptance fees for sports programs.
“My achievement is to not alone accomplish it affordable to boutique here…. It’s additionally to abutment parks and rec to accomplish it affordable to assurance kids up for sports and buy the accessory to go into sports,” Pernigotti said.
She has additionally been allied with bounded Griswold schools, altruistic puzzles and amateur to the appropriate apprenticeship department. She’s mentoring a Griswold High School senior, Brianne Santora, who helps her run the boutique as she picks up acquaintance in affairs through the school’s work-study program.
“I apperceive what it’s like to charge advice and to struggle,” said Pernigotti. “I’m aloof aggravating to accord back.”
Hours at Brand Spankin Used are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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