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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Planet Thrift : Reuse. Repurpose. Restyle.

Mar 31, 2016 12:01PM ● By Kate Hillenbrand

Reuse. Repurpose. Restyle. That is the mission Phil and Teresa Tateosian had in mind when they opened Planet Thrift in 2012. A retail store, people donate their outworn but not worn out items to be repurposed to good use, including clothing for children, women and men; jewelry; kitchen utensils; knickknacks; tools; electronics; books; music; movies; and furniture. There are displays with new furniture and area rugs along with repurposed items allowing shoppers to visualize restyling in their own home.

The idea for this store began when Tateosian, a real estate broker owning and managing rental properties, had an inventory of discarded items left by retreating tenants. Rather than contributing to overloaded landfills or tediously posting every item on Craigslist, he and his wife decided to open a store.

And what a store. Everything is logically and artfully arranged to make it easy to find that special item. Turn a corner and be pleasantly surprised to see a seasonal display of decorative ceramics or a gnome and fairy garden, similar to displays in trendy boutiques.

Antique treasures are housed in a glass display case eliciting happy memories of years gone by.

Many items inspire creativity as one conjures up decorative potential. The friendly staff enjoys conversing with customers as they hear of future uses for objects. The vast clothing selection is fodder for inspiring party costumes. Tateosian recalled a woman struggling to push a heavy iron cart with board slats to the checkout. After offering his help, when he inquired what she was going to do with it, she told him she planned to remove the handle, varnish it and turn it into a coffee table since industrial furniture was so popular. “But what about the flaking orange paint?” he asked. “Oh no, I’m going to leave that on there,” she said. Another person bought several sets of window curtains and wasn’t concerned they didn’t match. She wanted them for the fabric. Tateosian explains, “Everybody sees things differently. That’s what’s so interesting. What we think won’t sell goes the first day.”

Inventory changes frequently and regularly as seasons change. Tateosian advises people to come back often to check out the new arrivals. Out-of-season clothing is donated to local charities to keep stock current. Planet Thrift requests donated items be clean and laundered to save time so new merchandise can be displayed right away. That contributes to the pleasant shopping experience, sans musty odor, unlike some antique stores.

Many times, people looking to downsize, moving out of state or wanting to get rid of their aging parents’ prized possessions, donate things for which they just don’t have room. This works out well for those looking to furnish their first apartment or dorm room or moving into a larger home wanting to outfit it with affordable furnishings constructed in an era when things were made to last.

Exploring the store could take hours; thrifting can be serious business. Soda and snacks are available. Though prices are already reasonable, shop Tuesday for a 25 percent discount on total purchases. Donate three bags of goods or more and receive a 25 percent off voucher usable anytime.

April is when we especially honor the Earth. Reusing, repurposing and restyling are eco-friendly, sustainable and satisfying ways to achieve that.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Location: 3225 Country Dr., Ste. 150, Little Canada. Check out the deals posted on Facebook or join their email list. For more information or to schedule a donation pick-up, call 651-739-3000 or visit

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