Ginnie Graham: A nonprofit hospice finds upscale retail shop provides steady income | Homepagelatest

It took everything in my power to walk past that Kate Spade handbag. I deeply regret my action.

When I got home, a quick internet search found the purse sells retail for between $150 and $200. It was being sold for $40.

That means I’ll be adding Sophisticated Seconds at 4016 S. Yale Ave. to my list of favorite shopping locations. The resale shop opened in September as a project of Hospice of Green Country, which is a nonprofit providing services to patients and their loved ones when facing end-of-life experiences.

All money raised in the store goes to the nonprofit.

Volunteer and board member Jane Jones said nonprofits need to diversify their incomes. So many nonprofits rely solely on grants and private donations, which can be inconsistent from year-to-year.

“We have to look for alternatives for steady sources of revenue to make payroll,” Jones said.

Hospice of Green Country underwent a three-year strategic plan that involved starting an upscale resale shop to become more self-sustainable. It took about eight months to determine a location, market pricing and a plan for donations. Also, it had to raise startup funding.

The Oxley Foundation agreed to provide $5,000 as seed money for the store if the nonprofit could match it. It did.

“This is a lot of work,” Jones said. “To do something like this, you have to want to work hard.”

Executive Director Patty Wilson said she had experience with this type of financial model with a nonprofit while working in Chicago.

“In good economic times and down times, the resale market is pretty stable,” Wilson said. “The challenge is always getting enough quality donations and having enough volunteers. But business has been great.”

Planning for the future: Sophisticated Seconds joins other business ventures that support nonprofit missions. That includes The Market at Pearl, which is at 1020 S. Rockford Ave. and benefits Children’s Medical Charities for grants to area children’s nonprofits.

There is plenty of room in Tulsa for this niche area of upscale resale shops for benefit.

Wilson said she found that Tulsa has a lot of consignment stores but not many shops fitting in this design. Nonprofit volunteers say the tax benefits gained in donating items to their stores often outweigh what can be gained through consigning.

“This is all part of a bigger picture to diversify funding,” Wilson said. “We don’t want to be one of those organizations that will lose a grant then say, ‘Oh my gosh, what do we do now?’ We want to be ahead of that and plan for the future.”

At Sophisticated Seconds, everything is donated and volunteers staff the store. The clothing, shoes and household items may be second-hand, but they don’t look it.

Housewares featured some Pampered Chef items. The men’s section had some J. Crew shirts. The women’s and children’s…

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