FAIRBORN — Downtown’s Honey Hole Thrift Store will continue celebrating its first anniversary through Saturday, March 6.
As part of the festivities, Honey Hole has all week been making one different department of its store 50 percent off each day. Departments include: Men’s clothing, women’s clothing, children’s clothing, home décor, fine art, tools, toys, and electronics.
Additionally, Honey Hole offers customers the opportunity to take part in a Balloon Pop Discount. The potential patron can pop a colorful balloon provided for them, and inside is revealed a certain percentage discount. This Balloon Pop Discount could be anywhere from 10 to 60 percent off.
Sisters and co-owners Mechelle Becraft and Crystal Watkins grew up in Fairborn and are passionate about not only their shared thrift store but about thrifting itself. They are adamant about the distinction between a vintage store (which exclusively sells older goods) and their thrift shop (which sells goods from all time periods).
“We have things here from last year and things here from 1940,” Becraft said.
While customers can find an impressive array of donated, secondhand, and repurposed items throughout the nearly 2000 square-foot store, they may also purchase a more unlikely item: Locally sourced honey.
Despite the fact that a store called Honey Hole may appear to be a perfect fit for a seller of honey, Becraft revealed the store name was purely coincidental. The sisters simply enjoy honey and supporting a community provider in their store.
“For the name of the store, we kind of crowdsourced it over text with our friends and family,” Becraft said. “And ‘Honey Hole’ won.”
“The Thrift Store” was runner-up for the name of the sisters’ establishment: An appropriate name for a place run by owners who pride themselves on their love for thrifting.
“The southern term for a thrift store that has a lot of good stuff is a ‘honey hole,’ ” Becraft said. “And my sister and I grew up thrifting. Roots on my mother’s side are southern, and our whole family thrifts, so it just made sense to use that name. It was kind of a cute idea and we can work a lot with it as far as logo and color scheme of the store is concerned.”
“Our grandma started us thrifting,” Watkins said. “We would go spend the day with her, and thrifting was one of the things we would all do together.”
Though the Honey Hole duo have no other sister, they do have a brother who would also join with them in their thrifting over the years.
“That was just something we always did,” Watkins continued. “We’d all go to thrift store together. My mother had always thrifted, her sisters always thrifted, and it just became something we did from a young age until today.”
In a time when it might seem consumers are more likely to choose to purchase needed or wanted items online or at a megastore such as Walmart or Target, Watkins and Becraft see what they do as thrifters and operators of a thrift store as part of a special lifestyle.
“I think a big part of it is finding one-of-a-kind things,” Becraft said. “Plus, since we do care a lot of vintage stuff, I have to say I think it also has to do with the fact that things made years and years ago were made much, much better than they are today. There was such a cool style back then, and we have so much of that in the store.”
“It’s also starting to come back,” Watkins added. “That vintage look and styles and clothes from decades ago are really making a comeback. We have a lot more younger people coming to the store than you’d think. College kids, kids in their twenties, even high school and junior high school kids. They all love thrifting. Some of them might stay an hour or even a full afternoon.”
Becraft said that shoppers come to the store who are just looking around as a kind of curious exploration, whereas others may come locked-in on one particular item they’ve been trying to find. The co-owner also said she’s seen whole groups of women coming in who might be engaged in a girls’ day out, with thrifting being part of their colloquial activities.
Now that they’ve been in operation for a year, the sisters are also looking to expand their offerings. They already are able to make pick-ups for those interested in donating or selling their used goods to the store. Their next step is now providing the services needed to handle estate sales, something Becraft herself has already been facilitating on the side for years.
“I like searching around in stores and finding cool stuff and good deals,” Becraft said. “That’s kind of the rush for me. And we’ve created a place where everyone else can experience that rush, too. It’s easy to get ‘lost’ for hours in our store. We have an eclectic mix of everything here.”
“It’s for people looking for something different,” Watkins added. “And that’s what makes it fun. Just coming into a store like this and getting ready to dig. And you never know what you’re going to find.”