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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson Thrift Shop has a unique spin on thrifting

    Nick Smallwood
    UA Junior, Raven Raines, peruses through the “Groovy 70s Shirts” rack at the Tucson Thrift Store on Friday, Sept. 9. The store provides a variety of discounted goods to students and Tucsonans.

    Tucson has is full of hidden gems when it comes to all things thrifting. But the eye-catching store front of the Tucson Thrift Shop stands apart — proudly situated on the infamous Fourth Avenue, adding its own colorful footprint to the already colorful street.

    Built in 1979, the Tucson Thrift Shop has been a clothing staple for the Tucson community for over 37 years.

    “It has evolved [and] its been a store that has totally responded to the community and followed the needs of our customers,” said owner Arlene Leaf. “That’s why we’ve been here for 37 years.”

    Originally the Tucson Thrift Shop was started by Leaf’s father who had cancer and was looking to give back to the City of Hope treatment center for aiding in his battle against the disease.

    At first the store was located across the street from its current location, but an accidental fire forced the thrift shop to move to the other side of Fourth Avenue where it currently resides. This fire proved that the Tucson Thrift Shop was here to stay, and over the years it has evolved into a thriving business.

    With one of a kind clothing filling every possible nook and cranny, the thrift shop feels very reminiscent of a different time era. According to Leaf, the store specializes in ’70s clothing, but there truly is something for everyone to find here.

    “I do specialize in the ’70s, but I think it’s the variety of clothes here that makes us different from other thrift stores,” Leaf said. “All we do is keep adding to the collection we never really get rid of anything.”

    This fact is apparent when you walk inside. The store itself is jam-packed with wigs, shoes, jewelry and different clothing sections boasting pieces from different eras. This eclectic variety makes the Tucson Thrift Shop the perfect place to come shopping for Halloween or just about any occasion. With a wonderful mix of old and new, this hybrid thrift store has it all.

    The motto of the Tucson Thrift Shop is “dressing for the fun side of life,” and that couldn’t be more obvious from the store’s environment. The colorful hospitality that awaits the customers is infectious. You can’t help but smile when looking at all of the unique articles of clothing, with funky patterns and bright colors.

    But don’t worry if you feel a little lost when you visit the massive store. The Tucson Thrift Shop makes sure to go above and beyond for its customers to find the perfect outfit or costume.

    “I was raised in a store where it was all about customer service and helping people to find out what they wanted,” Leaf said. “So I see us as tour guides because when you come in, it is overwhelming, and I want to make sure that the people who come here leave with what they envisioned.”

    The amount of clothing to choose from here is truly astonishing, but the best part is that it is all for an affordable price that is just right for a college student budget. The Tucson Thrift Shop makes an ideal store for creating individual Halloween costumes, fulfilling themed party needs or simply just a cool new place to shop.

    After successfully creating its own niche in the thrifting world, the Tucson Thrift Shop is definitely a place worth looking into.

    Follow Natasha Castanedo on Twitter.

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