Bringing a dream to life: Young White Rock entrepreneur opens new thrift store

There’s a colorful stuffed chest full of old records that’s just begging you to turn around in search of hidden treasures.

Clothes racks, neatly arranged in rows, await avid browsing, equipped with hats and other accessories, all neatly organized.

A collection of crystal and glassware catches the morning light streaming through the windows, casting its reflections on a collectible doll and painted side table.

Small pieces of furniture, shoes, toys, books, pictures, jewelry and pictures and other things you find in thrift stores are all displayed in a neat and bright space, while Layla Brassington is in a hurry, busy with his new business: The Wilder thrift store.

Born and raised in White Rock, the 22-year-old Earl Marriott grad has a history with thrift stores, as his aunt and uncle owned three thrift stores in Wilder (two of Vancouver, one in Toronto).

“It’s something I’ve known and loved my whole life,” Brassington said.

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“I’ve seen the impact (thrift stores) have and it’s been a dream of mine to own one someday.”

Brassington said he noticed the building — located on Thrift Avenue at the corner of Johnston Road — was available for lease in September.

Also the mother of one-and-a-half-year-old Daxton, Brassington said she began to wonder why her dream was just a dream.

“I thought, why can’t I do my dream?” said the business woman.

“I started to run the numbers and figure out the logistics – figured out how it would all work and discovered that it could be done if I worked hard.”

And he’s been working hard — seven days a week, in fact, since the store opened in Nov. 5.

It has been busy with customers ever since.

Filled with donations from the community, who responded to her Facebook post, the thrift store offers more than vintage or bargain finds, she said.

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“Thrift stores are a great way to recycle,” she says, indicating her stock of clean items.

Just because something is used doesn’t make it useless, he said.

“You can wear it, reuse it, be creative with it – it’s so versatile for so many things.”

Having her son also helped her decide to open the store.

“He’s grown up in this world, which can be a crazy place! And it’s only going to get crazier. Things are so expensive for so many people… saving wherever you can help. And I can show him how, by doing , we help the community and keep all these things from the landfill,” he said.

“I realized that I couldn’t help change anything in the world if I didn’t actually do something about it.”

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His mother — who has been his staunch supporter since he announced at age 12 that he would own his own thrift store — graciously helped him with some of the startup costs, Brassington said.

“My mom is amazing! He is my rock and I couldn’t do it without him.”

Since opening, he has been non-stop.

“It was unreal! Always busy. It’s really a learning experience,” she said.

Open from 10 am to 6 pm, seven days a week, the store also accepts donations during business hours (except for large pieces of furniture and printers).

“It makes my heart happy to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” Brassington said.

“Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”

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