Thrift store

Thrifty Goals: Second Act opens for Matchbox Children’s Theater – Austin Daily Herald

The past two years have been very busy for Matchbox Children’s Theatre.

An organization that relies heavily on grants and public support has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, a threat that has weighed heavily on many such organizations.

The troupe of children, however, experienced a second wind with the opening of Second Act Thrift Store, a company whose avowed purpose is to raise funds for the company.

“We needed a way to make money for Matchbox Children’s Theater,” said Jennifer Wiebrand, Matchbox board chair and store manager, just days after Second Act’s unveiling on Friday. “Doing plays, having camps and classes is good, but it’s not profitable.”

Wiebrand said she’s had the idea of ​​opening a thrift store in her mind for several years, but it’s been two years since the idea really came to the fore.

After presenting it to council several times, it was finally approved and the search for a building began. After a few starts and stops along the way, they finally landed on this building, which used to be a sports bar and grill and is owned by Carter Wagner. It is located on the west side of Interstate 90 at 3301 Oakland Avenue West.

“He did a lot for us,” Wiebrand said. “We have a five-year lease here. We can set up and try and earn money for Matchbox.

Second Act is loaded with a plethora of articles from wall to wall with more sitting at the back. From furniture to dinnerware and everything in between, the thrift store hopes to be a destination for just about everyone.

This concept is embedded in the store’s mission to be a multi-purpose hub that not only raises funds for Matchbox, but can also provide props to anyone who needs them.

“Theater people are hoarders by nature because we can always use it for a show,” Wiebrand said. “It becomes a problem because space can be an issue.”

Second Act’s vision includes other theater groups or musical groups being able to borrow the items from the thrift store for productions and then bring them back once they are used to be sold.

This is a question of sustainability that is answered in several ways.

“I can spend up to $1,000 per show just on modern clothes,” Wiebrand said. “The goal is to keep things out of the trash, to stop us storing things in basements, and to keep our garages clean. And then redo, reuse, recycle — all the jam.

From there, the goal is simply to provide community members with the basic necessities they need.

“We want the community to have the clothes. We want to be able to take what we need to reuse for consumers, then keep it out of landfills and into the hands of people who need it,” Wiebrand said.

This goal includes working with community organizations in Austin, including United Way of Mower County and the Backpack Program among several other groups.

But Second Act also brings a sense of relief to those involved with Matchbox. Real questions have been raised during the pandemic about how the theater group can move forward as revenues have plummeted.

Still reliant on grant funding, Second Act needed to fill this revenue gap and provide much-needed funds.

“It was just a huge relief,” said Angela Donovan, office and education facilitator for Matchbox. “All we’ve been trying to do for two and a half years is keep the doors open for the kids. We just struggled for those two years to keep it going. To see those numbers coming in is amazing.

Throughout the process, Wiebrand saw the strength of community in every step forward. Now that Second Act is open and a collective breath has been taken, she and everyone involved can now look back and appreciate the progress.

“Grateful doesn’t cover it,” she said. “It took a lot of people to make sacrifices; ready to jump into my strange world. It’s overwhelming to be honest.

“It’s been heartwarming,” she continued. “People see the mission, the desired outcome and they are ready to invest.”

Second Act is open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Items can be dropped off during these times with staff assistance, or items can also be picked up by calling the store at 1-507-438-6376.

Second Act is also looking for volunteers to work in specific tasks dictated by management. Contact the store if you are interested in helping.

“We specialize in the weird,” Wiebrand said. “That’s just what we do as theater nerds. I’m excited to serve our community and make sure people have what they need.