Going to the Louisville Street Faire is fun. One of the highlights used to be going to the Birds of Prey thrift shop there on Front St. But now that they moved to 1355 E. South Boulder Rd – west of Big Lots and King Soopers, at 95th – shopping – now year-round – is even more convenient.
The cause supported by the store is very local, and truly inspirational. The Birds of Prey Foundation – www.birds-of-prey.org – takes injured birds, nurses them back to health and releases 63% of them back into the wild. Five hundred were released last year. They receive no government support. The Bird “ICU” is about a mile from the store, on former open space land. It features flight cages for the large birds to recuperate, and veterinary facilities. The birds are received from the Division of Wildlife and the public, for the most part. The shelter operates mostly through volunteers – about 100 volunteers are involved at the ICU and the thrift store. Many, like manager, Charla D’Angelo work at both. The birds – those that are “imprinted” with humans, making them unsuitablefor wild release – help in schools, teaching students about themselves and Birds of Prey.
What makes this thrift store a shopping pleasure is its neat, clean, organized environment, and Charla is devoted to making and keeping it this way. There are lots of sales, which are somewhat random – volume of donations determine the need for sales. The sales rotate through the merchandise – all shoes and accessories one time, all women’s tops another – so you have a pretty good chance of “catching” what you want at any one time. The kids’ clothes are always a bargain. The prices are clearly marked on the top of the rack. The dressing rooms are spacious and clean. The clothes are “screened” for quality, with the excess helping on a per-pound basis.
Charla and two part-time employees are paid, but the store relies heavily on their volunteers, to clean, sort and price the merchandise. They have five “regulars” and others who come and go. More volunteers, as well as donations, are always needed. The one-of-a-kind, homey (OK Moms – it ISN’T home, so please supervise your kids) and easy to browse atmosphere, combined with openness-to-bargaining attitude make this store extra fun to shop. This is the 2nd in a series of articles based on individual thrift stores in Boulder. Keep visiting this page to learn about more stores and thrift shopping in general. Next on the agenda: The Humane Society Thrift & Gift Shop.