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New year, new treasures to unearth

Eagle's Trace resale shop a gold mine for bargain hungters

Created date

December 20th, 2011

If you watch enough television these days, you know that breathing new life into used furniture and accessories is a hot trend. That s the premise behind the Treasure Chest, an on-site resale shop at Eagle s Trace, an Erickson Living community in West Houston.

A little bit of everything

The shop, housed in a converted apartment in the Piney Woods residence building, features an assortment of furniture, jewelry, kitchen items, and home d cor. Staffed by volunteers who live at the community, the store is open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We have a little bit of everything, says Judy Meyer, president of the Treasure Chest board. All items come from residents donations, so we never know what we will have in the store at any given time. Judy, a former buyer for Foleys and weekend antiques dealer, puts her retail experience to use in the shop. Kitchen items are grouped together in the kitchen; jewelry is housed in attractive display cases, and all items are reasonably priced.

Unique finds

For those looking for one-of-a-kind items, the Treasure Chest is a great place to start. We ve sold some pretty unusual pieces, including a lighted dollhouse and a player piano, says Judy. Sometimes we ll get an item that is too big to keep in the store. We take a picture of it and advertise it on the in-house TV station. We ve sold several large items that way. The two display windows on the second floor of the Audubon Clubhouse also house jewelry and some of the smaller trinkets from the store. People walk by the display windows on their way to dinner, says Judy. Window shopping has generated a lot of business for us. At a pre-holiday shopping sale, the Treasure Chest set out an assortment of gifts and home d cor items in the lobby of the Audubon Clubhouse. Residents and their family members flocked to the sale, snatching up great deals on everything from fine china to an assortment of Precious Moments figurines. I don t need anything, but I might find something I can t live without, says community member Rex Stodghill, echoing the sentiment of many shoppers.

Benefits the community

Since the shop opened in 2006, the number of volunteers working at the Treasure Chest has climbed from 5 to 42, with 7 of those serving on the Treasure Chest board. The board handles volunteer scheduling, oversees merchandise display, distributes unsold items to Houston charities, and determines revenue distribution. All profits benefit the community and are distributed to the student scholarship fund, staff appreciation fund, and the community s care fund. To date, the Treasure Chest has raised more than $180,000. Everything we make is poured back into the community, says Judy. When we first opened, we couldn t have imagined how the store would take off.