Well, I never thought I’d be running a nonprofit thrift shop in Minnesota, but here I am, doing exactly that. And how did that happen?
It goes back to a small town in Ohio, where my sister and I grew up together with our family in a renovated barn. We were six years apart, but that never stood in our way. We had a strong connection from the very beginning, even though I was extremely jealous of her beautiful auburn hair. When Heather was very young, our grandmother told her she would grow up to be a librarian, and that’s indeed what happened.
Heather lived all her adult life in Texas, mostly in or near Austin, and she took her love of thrifting with her. She could hunt down a treasure faster than I could say, “howdy!”, amazing me with her finds. When I visited her, she had our shopping outings planned according to specific thrift stores and their specialties. An introvert by nature, she left her shell behind when she did story time at the library, and was known for her flashy dressing and costume jewelry. I must say that Heather was in bling before bling was a thing. She also loved to decorate with eclectic abandon, combining sacred statues with pearls and plastic dolls. And it all worked.
We never tired of thrifting, even when she was coming home from her chemo treatments. Luckily, there was a Goodwill close to the hospital! She loved finding treasures for folks she loved; one time, she stumbled on a djembe drum for my husband Charlie, a drummer. She had a special place for storing future gifts, and so did I.
Even though she was the younger one, she refused to follow my direction to stay put, and succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. I was devastated; how could I live a life without Heather? And slowly, it came to me: open a thrift shop in her honor, and give the profits away in tribute to her generous spirit.
I remember when she gave me a precious little flying pig figure, and so that’s how I named the shop. Her spirit has lent a helping hand all along the way, and I have tried to echo her wild decorative flair throughout the store. I lost a sister, but her memory lives on.
Search for Treasuresat the Flying Pig!
From furniture and décor to handmade art, men’s and women’s clothing and everything in between, we have them all at Flying Pig Thrift.