Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Thomas.
Kim, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I earned a BS degree in Business from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX, and worked at Best Buy for two and a half years. But I knew selling items and looking to hit sales goals wasn’t my true purpose. So I decided to look for a position that connected my head and my heart. My cousin, a licensed counselor, saw the notice for the position for the Reimagine Resale store manager with Love146 and sent it to me. I applied and the rest is history.
Growing up in Houston I knew that trafficking was a major problem in our city, which isn’t exactly something you’d be proud of for your city. But I honestly didn’t know too much about the issue at all. Before applying for this position I went to the Love146 website and read through everything I could bear to read, and cried all the way through. I knew that if I could do anything to be a part of this, this is what I wanted to do.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This has not been a smooth road in the least. It took us six months to even find a location for the store, and another year to complete the build out. There’s been so much put into this that has stretched me professionally and emotionally. But we just had our grand opening, and all that effort has been rewarding. We’re in a new phase in this journey. I’ve been speaking theoretically about the store for so long — talking about what will happen when the store opens…
Now we’re here and physically in the space and actually touching the items we’re selling every day. We have a new set of challenges now! it’s exciting to move from the theoretical to the real with the store open, integrating with the community, and getting to know the customers. Though it’s been hard work to get here, it has been worth it.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Reimagine Resale Thrift Store story. Tell us more about the business.
The Reimagine Resale store is part of Love146, an international human rights organization that works with children who are survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation. All proceeds from the store go directly to fund Love146’s programs. We do work in the Philippines, the UK, and in the United States, with an office here in Houston, where our Prevention Education program, “Not a Number,” is based. “Not a Number” teaches kids about their own vulnerabilities and equips them to recognize warning signs and know what to do if they find themselves in dangerous situations. We reach kids directly in schools and juvenile correctional facilities in Houston and surrounding areas, and we train professional facilitators here and across the country so that they can bring the program to even more children.
My role has been to launch and manage the Reimagine Resale store and connect it to our mission. We sell clothing for men, women, and children. We also sell all sorts of home goods, which means basically anything that can be used in and around your home, including furniture, decorative items, kitchenware, and bedding.
The idea behind Reimagine Resale is to restore value to things that have been discarded. Love146 works with children who have been treated like objects like they have no value. So we see value in what others have rejected. We see the things we sell as having a new value, just like we see the children we work with as being treasures every day.
Our Reimagine Resale store isn’t just driven by profits — everything we make is going to help children have the best life they can have. That’s what matters to me. I am most proud of that.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe that things happened for a reason, not by happenstance. I don’t think I’m just lucky. I come to that belief because of my faith, and because of how things are orchestrated in the grand scheme of life, in the universe. I don’t think things happen by chance or luck.
- Price range for clothing is between $1.99 to $7.99, though some items, such as men’s and women’s suits, can be higher.
- We also sell large furniture pieces, and prices for these can be negotiated.
- Treasure-hunters will make some good finds. We have some name brand clothes and housewares — like a Sony Home Theater in a Box, with Blu-Ray player and speakers, for $79.99. Clothing right now includes pieces by Kate Spade, St. John’s Bay, and a full-length men’s London Fog trench coat. Items like these can sell quickly so it’s a good idea to check back often.
- Address: 6760 Antoine Rd., Houston
- Website: https://www.reimagineresale.org
- Phone: 713-714-8482
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reimagineresale/
- Facebook: @love146reimagineresale
- Twitter: @love146