Renovation & Design

Forget Me Not is running hot

Thrift store a popular and practical treasure trove

Laurie Mustard / Winnipeg Free Press

Although Dr. Mustard has a nice ring to it, Laurie passed on the vintage stethoscope.

If you’re anything like me, I feel really sorry for you.

Hey! What I meant to say is, “If you’re anything like me, you like to peruse the ‘for sale’ ads once in a while, like every day, to see what bargains are floating around out there. Just for interest’s sake of course, no intention to buy.

So a few days ago I spotted a bargain, sent a question about the item, and found I’d just stumbled upon one of the newest most interesting thrift stores in the Peg!

The name and location aren’t new, the proprietors are. Some of you may recognize the name: Forget Me Not Thrift Store, located at 202 Henderson Hwy.

I also discovered there’s a fairly entertaining story behind the transfer of ownership, so I popped down for a look and a chat. And yes, to have a look at that item, which of course I bought.

The business is now owned by the husband and wife team of Ewald and Irene Harder, yes Harder, not Hoarder, and they both kind of have a look on their faces that says, “We did what?”

Y’see Ewald’s been in the construction business for a few decades prior to this, and Irene is a Health Care Aid/Home Care. However, Ewald had reached the point where he thought maybe it was time for a career change, and he’d always kind of wanted to have his own store. A bit of a bucket list fantasy.

So a couple of years ago while still building things, he also started buying things, on-line. He’d become a tad addicted to the Storage Wars tv show, Irene enjoyed it too, found a storage locker website on-line, and the bidding began.

He doesn’t want to say which site it is because he doesn’t want to increase his competition. Big grin. He’s kind of kidding, and kind of not. I hear you bargain buddy. Whisper it to me, later.

Long story short, they started shopping around for a store to rent, connected with the Forget Me Not owner, and now it’s theirs. “So I buy and sell now,” says Ewald. “It’s fun.”

“Oh he’s having fun,” says Irene with a chuckle.”Guess what he did on his last birthday (January)! He bought seven storage lockers!”

Wow! OK, so maybe it is Hoarder. I ask, “So where do you keep it all? There’s no room for that here at the store. Is your house overflowing?”

“No,” says Ewald a bit sheepishly. “I have four storage lockers, and a couple of other places.”

Oh oh.

Irene adds, “Sometimes the lockers have a lot of clothing in them. That all comes home to be washed. Sometimes there’s a mountain of it in the laundry room.”

“And it’s never a surprise, when I’m at work, to get a call from Ewald asking, ‘Are you busy after work? If not, we have a locker to unload’.”

Important to note here that the couple and their family are very devoted members of Springs Church, and will be donating a percentage of store sales to the church and the Springs Church Inner City Food Bank. The more they sell, the more they give. Good people.

Yes, they do take donations of thrift type items, but mostly will be selling what Ewald buys oh-so-passionately on-line. A while ago he bought a 20 foot by 20 foot locker full of cardboard boxes. Couldn’t see what was in them. Turned out to be a private person’s books and records/lp’s…like 200,000 books, and tons of records. The records sold quickly, the books, an excellent selection, currently going for just a buck each at the store, with many many more to come.

They do have some fascinating stuff. Very reasonably priced! By the way, a certain lamp might already be gone. I really like it. Happy weekend!

Comments and column suggestions welcome.


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