HEATH – She opened a store – and named it after her family property and her late grandfather.
“I feel like I’m like every other kid,” Casey Clay said. “I had so many dreams. I think my most outrageous one was that I was going to play professional basketball.
“I dreamed of being independent,” she continued. “I dreamed of owning my own store when I was a little girl. I discovered that I loved retail when I was a child. Of course, I had no idea. My sister and I were always trying to have garage sales. Even if the only people who traveled on our route were our family. But we still had a lot of fun!”
Today Clay owns Cricket’s Closet in Indian Mound Mall.
“I didn’t know it would be a thrift store,” Clay added, “but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
Clay grew up on a small farm in the area his family calls “Cricket Valley”. She graduated from Licking Valley in 2008.
“The place where I grew up holds a special place in my heart,” she said. “Not only did I have the pleasure of growing up there, but so did my mother. And before her, my grandfather.
Maybe that’s where she inherited an entrepreneurial spirit.
“I’ve worked for myself all my adult life,” she says. “I had a few jobs here and there, but they never matched my needs. I did photography for several years. I absolutely loved it! I focused on wedding and elderly photos. But once I had my third child, I realized that really wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore.
Then came the idea of Cricket’s Closet – in an unusual way.
“My sister, who has 8 kids of her own,” Clay began, “called me one day and said, ‘Are you crazy?’ Naturally, I replied, ‘Yes.’ Anyway, she told me there was an unborn baby that needed foster care, and she was going to do it. She was scared. She had already got rid of everything she needed for a newborn. I said, “You’re worried about having this little girl and I’ll take care of making sure you have everything you need for her.”
“I posted the situation on Facebook,” Clay continued. “So many people have reached out. We got everything we needed for this baby and more in less than a day! I was dazzled. I realized that day that I wanted to be able to do something like this for other families. That’s when the idea of a thrift store came to mind. I knew I couldn’t afford to do it myself. I had a moment where I almost gave up. I lost my grandfather in a very tragic accident. I wasn’t sure I could continue. But the very day he left, I made the decision to pursue my dream. He wouldn’t have wanted me to give up because I was in pain.
“I named the store Cricket’s Closet to honor it,” she added. “Cricket is not a person like most people think. It’s a place – Cricket Valley, where my grandfather grew up.
The store opened on June 1, 2022.
“Casey Clay is a fantastic person, mother, wife and friend,” said colleague Anika McCanna. “She is so sincere and wears her heart on her sleeve. She goes above and beyond to reach out to the community, which is what’s great about Casey. I think what she has here is phenomenal! She is truly a blessing to those around her.
“At Cricket’s Closet, we are passionate about what we do,” Clay replied. “With this store, I’ve met amazing people and made some great friends! I wouldn’t change a part of it!
Cricket’s Closet is located in the Indian Mound Mall. For more information, look on Facebook.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series about people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-328-8821.