Photos, Graphics, and Story by Shannon Finn
Owners: Kim DeCarlo and Ethan Dodgson
What’s the best part of your job?: “Talking to people. I really love my customers.”
What do you think makes this store unique to Bellingham?: “I think that what makes us unique is that we are not a nonprofit – we’re a for profit organization that donates. So we contribute back to our community. I think what makes this store, itself, unique is that it’s a wacky space – you know, it’s got all these little rooms with all this different stuff in it. It was originally built for a real estate office. It’s a really weird, kooky little setup.”
Two years ago, in May of 2014, Kim DeCarlo and Ethan Dodgson bought the space that would host State Street Thrift and Vintage.
DeCarlo and Dodgson never really planned on owning a business. DeCarlo worked as a volunteer at the previous store in the space, when the owners decided to close the business. After a quick and short discussion, and over the course of a week, DeCarlo and Dodgson owned a business. The two had always been collecting vintage items and selling the products online on Etsy and Ebay. Once they owned State Street Thrift and Vintage, the transition was easy. They combined their online vintage business with a thrift store for the community, as well as donating part of their profit to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation.
DeCarlo and Dodgson enjoy upcycling items, not throwing those items away. They find the beauty in old things and make sure that is what comes through in their store.
Their products are either donated from the community or are bought by DeCarlo and Dodgson from yard and estate sales. They accept everything that is donated to them. However, if they can’t fit that product in, or the product is damaged in some way, they will donate it forward to somebody else that will have better use for it. Even the shelves and pipe racks within their store are reused – from the RE Store, a building supply thrift store.
1051 N State St, Bellingham, WA 98225
To find State Street Thrift and Vintage, drive down State Street, a one-way street, and it’s in the block past Maple Street. next to Pepper Sisters, on your right. A good signifier that you’re at the thrift and vintage store is the one with lamps in its front window.