“Play IN it again, Sam!”
by Cate Murway
Selling used clothing actually offers a valuable service to the community.
Plucked from a stuffed closet, T-shirts and trousers and old jeans and college sweatshirts get a new life when times are tight!
The prospect of a second hand store on Mill Street in historic Bristol on the Delaware is brighter than ever before in troubled economic times, offering discounted apparel and providing a low-cost option to the fashion conscious niche.
Borough resident and entrepreneur Sharon Elizabeth Rio knows that shoppers love a bargain!
Secondhand designer, fashionably used and vintage clothing ensures that you won’t lose the shirt off your back when all you are looking for is a newer one. 95 percent of used clothing is reusable or recyclable.
“Play IN it again, Sam!”
Attire fit for resale, clothing racks, hangers, labels, price tags and storage bins for tots’ “onesies” have been thoroughly filling Sharon’s store and her days lately.
She is a resource of “bright” ideas.
“Every light bulb in my store is an energy saving one. I only use recycled bags for the customers when they buy something. All the bags I bought are made from recycled plastic and I also use actual recycled bags that other people and stores have given me. I try not to throw away anything until it is completely useless.”
Running her Never-Ending Styles on 328 Mill Street involves a lot of hard work and serious dedication as the quality inventory is neatly sorted by type and color and arranged on hangers.
But it can also be a lot of fun! Check out her “thought for the day” [Bill Blass’ “When in doubt wear red”] and her creative “blackboard” blogs, including local teens’ autographs.
Interacting with clients takes a person that is interested in the needs of others. Sharon helps to assure that the affordable clothing fits the wearer’s style and tastes. She exhibits a real passion in keeping an eye on fashion trends and vigilantly pays attention to what people are wearing, especially what the folks who come in to browse are wearing.
Gently used clothing does not mean low value. When one offers good quality, decent merchandise, “thrifting” customers will return. Those with limited funds for “new” clothing can dress well with her re-cycled apparel. So “going green” can be very colorful.
Consider it a sensible way to practice frugality and maintain a petite, yet stylish, carbon footprint with a fashion bang for sometimes a buck!
Collectively, Americans discard two quadrillion pounds [that's a two with fifteen zeroes] of used clothing and textiles into the already bulging landfills, adding to the solid waste stream annually. The typical American discards 67.9 pounds of used clothing and rags each year. Don't "dress up" the landfills!
“I am doing used clothing to encourage people not to destroy their clothes so that they may bring them to me for money or exchange, so someone else can use them and they don't have to go to the landfill.”
Sharon has been very creative and diverse in her occupation selections but the magna cum laude and dean’s list graduate of BCCC/East Carolina University B.S., Criminal Justice has always loved working with children. Sharon supervised students at the after school C.A.R.E.S. program at St. Ephrem and was involved in retail sales at Party City, the one-stop party planning and ideas store assisting folks to celebrate every day. When she worked in the Just Children pre-school program, she approached everyday with imagination, innovation and most of all, fun!
Sharon has proven that she is an excellent communicator and is comfortable interacting and working with people on land and sea when she worked for a time on a charter boat and was also given the opportunity to “babysit” the boat’s owner’s children. She previously interned at a law firm and traveled through Italy for a couple of months staying at hostels, a great way to lodge in any city on a budget.
Sharon’s parents, R.N. Lynn and computer scientist Christopher Rio were originally from NY. She has one brother, Thomas who is currently stationed in the Navy boot camp in Chicago. He and his wife, Jordan have a daughter, Rowan Savannah who will be a year old in July. Sharon’s goddaughter Camryn, her mother Kat is Sharon’s best friend, was born the same day as her niece. Perfect! More children in her life!
She is sharing her talents and working creatively in this newest venture, “Never-Ending Styles”, that opened May 4th . She is extremely grateful to her volunteer helper/ contractor James Edward “Jimmy” Smith , who assisted with the renovations. He built the dressing rooms [something many thrift stores lack] in the 328 Mill Street property previously occupied by the Magic Sojourn Trick Shoppe LLC. She is also “extremely grateful to Jenna Ward from Bensalem for all her help getting started”.
Small businesses, the ones that succeed, are borne out of passion for something. Sharon loves what she’s doing so much that she pours her heart and soul into it, planning to grow in new and unexpected and powerful ways to bring her vision to life.
The nucleus of a starter business comes from a shoestring and Sharon “carefully budgeted” to help eliminate costs and waste and stretch her dollars. Finding better, greener alternatives started with her rethinking how she will address, define and decorate her space with impact. As more useful garment display structures were needed, she built portable modern clothing racks out of PVC. Her “green” creativity dynamic is endless as she also responsibly follows four steps in the right direction for décor and signage: rethink. reduce. reuse. recycle.
Come stop by, bring clothes to donate, look around, or just say "hi"!
Business owners on Mill Street, especially “Game Zombie” owner Dave Savolcik and Carl Schultz, owner of “Flash Effects” have been “extremely helpful”.
Levittown resident, David Smith came into the store after reading an article in the Courier Times and was intensely checking out her supply of men’s t-shirts.
Mary Lou [Perkins] Field, BHS Class of ’56, proprietor of JR Sport Center at 312 Mill Street bought a Philadelphia Flyers sleeper for her grandson.
Snyder- Girotti students, Shyann Barnes, Ivy Sisco, Daron Derry and twins Isaiah and Faith Carroll really like the store. They were attracted to venture inside by the window displays.
The Grand Opening is this weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, June 11,12,13.
Focus on FUN- a party for the weekend with snacks and refreshments.
20% off all purchases and every child receives an infamous Silly Bandz bracelet.
Qualify for a chance in the drawing for the prizes with any purchase.
Enjoy, it’s Sharon’s way of saying thanks!
The prize assortment includes a new Men’s black XL Ralph Lauren polo, or a black “very chic” Ralph Lauren purse, or a size 2T Eagles jersey.
With a $15.00 purchase, receive a chance for the “green” $50.00 cash prize on Sunday.
Save on gas money also! Top-notch brand names aplenty are located in this resale shoppe on the street corner near your home. A decent selection of the timeless-appeal clothing collection starts at $1.00 and ranges to $10.00 with some new clothing that goes up to $50.00. You can find some fantastic deals. Sunglasses and accessories are on order.
Wardrobe selections include name brand items from the laidback and effortlessly cool, Hollister, trendy American Eagle “aerie” clothing, casual clothing designed for the modern collegiate lifestyle from Abercrombie and always perfect for summer, classic Ralph Lauren polos for a new definition of casual elegance.
Sharon is doing her part to save the planet by repurposing clothing.
Buying used clothing does not only save you money. It’s also a fun way to kill a Saturday afternoon. At just a few dollars an item, you can afford to be adventurous sometimes.
Looking for something special? Sharon will let you know when it comes in.
Visit “Never-Ending Styles” a time or two, a great place to find bargain clothing and diversify your wardrobe. Browse the racks. You’ll be hooked.
328 Mill Street
PO Box 2233
Mon: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tues - Sat: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sun: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm