Resale shop in Meeker providing valuable service to community; needs volunteers

MEEKER | If you’re looking for something—shoes for a rapidly growing child, the right color blouse to go with a new outfit or just some different home décor to refresh a room—but you’re on a budget check out Meeker’s latest resale shop: Deja Vu.
“I got tired of driving around town seeing perfectly good stuff sitting on the curb to go to the landfill,” said store owner Cheritha Cale. Cale, who has been offering scrapbooking and paper crafting classes out of her home for the last five years, decided she had to do something.
The first of July, Cale and her husband David rented a storefront in the Parker Mall on Sixth Street and set aside half the space for scrapbooking classes and half the space for a resale shop.
“Resale is different than a traditional thrift store,” Cale explained. “Things are organized, and effort is put into making things look new.”
Within two weeks of opening they’d received so many items they had to expand the store. The quality and quantity of the merchandise is surprising for the size of the town and prices are low.
“I’m not in this to get rich, I’m here to provide a community service, but I do need to be able to pay the rent.” She doesn’t want to raise prices, because then she isn’t helping the people who need what she has to offer the most.
Despite the fact money is tight—it’s hard to make a profit selling clothes by the bag for $3—Cale gives 10 percent of her profits to charity.
“Ten percent goes to Operation Smile,” she said. The international charity provides medical care for children in third world countries born with cleft palate or cleft lip. She plans to go through all the bras in the store and send some to Free the Girls, a nonprofit that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking.
When a local family’s clothing and linens were lost in a recent house fire, Cale donated $50 worth of merchandise to help them get started.
“We’re a mom and pop business here to serve Meeker,” Cale said. “But I’m not a 501c3 (non-profit). This is a retail business. I have to comply with the laws. I have to charge sales tax,” Cale said. “Business is going well, but I’m only one person, and I can’t do it all.” She recently had to cut back on the hours the store is open so she can take time to sort and organize the items that are coming in every day.
She’s been deluged by requests to come inspect the contents of storage units, garages and unsold yard sale items, and asked if she or Dave, who works a full time job of his own, can drive out and pick things up. Neither of them have the time to add that to their schedules.
“I never want to say no, but I’m putting in 80 to 100 hours a week already,” she said.
Cale would like to offer a “work for store credit” option for honest, responsible individuals willing to come in and volunteer. She needs help sorting and organizing and keeping things tidy. Just straightening the clothes and removing the empty hangers every morning takes an hour or more. “I will be here all the time, you’ll never have to run the store by yourself,” she said. Persons interested in trading labor for merchandise can stop by the store or send a message to the Deja Vu Facebook page (@dejavu07012016).