Mary Ellen Thrift held a ribbon cutting ceremony for her relatively new store, Thrifts and Treasures, at the southwest intersection of Georgia Hwy 57 and 152 in Cobbtown with family members, friends, potential customers, and several members of the Greater Tattnall County Chamber of Commerce in attendance on Friday, April 15 at 12 p.m.
More than 50 people came out to browse through and purchase items while visiting with Mary Ellen and members of her family. Her “treasures” include all sorts of decorative items such as framed prints and occasional paintings, Blue Willow style dishes including tea pots and cups, plates, furniture, books, lamps, and virtually anything that can be used to decorate a home or help with a special project. Terry Waters of Glennville left with two heavy duty ratchet style tie-down straps that were big and strong enough to use for snatch straps to pull a four-wheel drive truck out of a big hole.
In the back of the store there was a basket with four really nice baseball gloves inside. Shopping includes a “lift and look” approach that people, and especially ladies, enjoy when they have a little extra time on their hands, but when a specific item is needed a “real deal” may be found just by spending a little time looking.
Thrifts and Treasures has 12 to 14 vendors that supply stock for the store on consignment or rental space. Prices on items can be negotiated which make shopping even more fun. Mary Ellen emphasizes that availability of items changes every day and things are moved around to keep the store interesting. Belinda Skinner and Jesi Lanier are part time employees and everyone enjoys plowing through a box or two of “new to us treasures.”
The building has a family history. Years ago her grandfather had a barber shop on the left side of the store and her granny’s store and restaurant was on the right side. She spent hours in and around the building and even remembers getting haircuts in the Tom Thumb chair. When she came up with the idea of opening a store, the location seemed like the perfect spot. It’s hard to beat being on the southwest side of the street corner at the caution light in downtown Cobbtown.
The store actually opened in December with the Cobbtown Christmas parade. Business has been great since then. People seem to enjoy the home style laid back atmosphere while looking for a personal treasure or something for a family member or friend.
The staff helps with estate sales by placing items for sale in the store or on site. She loves to visit thrift stores everywhere and bring new items back to the Cobbtown store. It’s a lot of fun to find and resell (or keep) all kinds of treasures from small items to furniture. Mary Ellen feels like she’s learned a lot since opening the business. It’s the hardest job she’s ever had at 60 years old. Friday a friend asked how things were going and she laughed and said she still couldn’t believe she quit a paying job to open a thrift store.
She wants to thank her Evergreen Baptist Church friends in attendance and Pastor Alan McCoy and her family members including husband Duke Thrift, her son Will and family, April, Lauren, Will, Duke, Baylee; brother Eddie Fluet; sister Martha Dekle; Aunt Nell Collins, and treasured friends Martha and Harry Martin and members of the Cobbtown City Council.
It was a good day in downtown Cobbtown on Friday, and Mary Ellen invites everyone to come by and see what treasures they can find. The price is negotiable.