Saturday, April 10, 2010

My rock star visit to thrifting behind the scenes. It's all about the mission.

I recently had the opportunity to take an extensive behind-the-scenes tour of the Denver ARC headquarters, as well as a glimpse into how the Pecos ARC store works. In all its detail.

I haven't blogged for a couple of days, simply because my head was too busy spinning with all the cool stuff I saw and learned a few days ago.

I really had no idea what ARC was all about before my tour, aside from my simple knowledge as a very frequent ARC shopper.

And in thinking about all I absorbed during my generous 2-hour tour of both warehouse and retail store, it's hard to know where to start.

Let me start with an analogy, and a visual.

This is what I saw when I walked into the ARC warehouse. This is just one of many rows and rows of merch, and there's another storage facility that retains even more donated items.

For folks like me, this warehouse was like a stick of gum was to Violet Beauregarde....

These are the items stored at the warehouse. It's very controlled. The ARC folks know exactly what they're doing.

It's overwhelming.

And that's why I intend to blog about the ARC in several segments. It's just too much to blog about in one entry.

Let me simply preface by saying that everyone I talked to within the ARC organization was so very nice.

They had no idea who I was. I write a blog about thrifting. And they treated me as if I were a reporter from the New York Times. So generous.

And they're very committed to the mission.

Kathy, the director of corporate communications, is so very much more than her title.

She cares.

And everyone seems to care within the organization.

After almost 50 years on this crazy planet, I think I have a pretty good Bullshit Detector. And I had no sense that I was being bullshitted by Kathy. She loves what she does, much more than standard retailing, because the outcome of her labor benefits people who need a benefactor.

She, like me, was born and bred in retail. Kathy was a manager of a Montgomery Wards store back in the day. And I was the copy chief at virtually every high-end retail chain in Denver, when retail chains had advertising departments.

So we have a lot in common.

The most conspicuous common thread is our love of thrifting. And Kathy knows a whole lot about her stores, her market.

As I've shown in the first photo, there's a huge warehouse.

But there's so much more.

This will take a while, the ARC experience.

I'm thinking it will take a few blogs.

That means you'll have to come back.

As will I.

1 comment:

  1. My heart is all a flutter just thinking of ARC treasures!