Take-a-Peek Thrift Store now open

MARTINS FERRY – Teresa Phillips had enough.

She and her mother had amassed quite a collection of unique items and gifts, yet grew tired of packing and hauling their inventory back and forth from flea markets.

They sought a more permanent location.

Phillips was searching at length when luck finally struck and the vacated building at 102 N. Fifth St. became available.

Barely enough remodeling was required before Phillips had her ideal location ready to open. Shortly thereafter, Take-a-Peek Thrift Store was opened.

“We were looking around for quite a while and then this building became available,” Phillips recalled. “It’s a nice building and it was basically already set up to operate how we needed.”

Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Take-a-Peek offers a bevy of items to meet even the most eclectic taste, all for sale at discounted prices.

For Phillips, that was the important point. She wanted to be able to offer a wide variety of items to shoppers and at the same time, keep prices at a reasonable level.

She’s accomplished both.

“People need a place to come and shop for quality items at decent prices,” Phillips said. “We’re getting new inventory all the time. There are always new items out on the shelves.”

Take-a-Peek opened Dec. 12, just in time for last-minute Christmas shoppers to finalize their gift lists.

Looking back, Phillips noted the items flew off the shelves during the final holiday rush.

“We sold so many knick knacks, it was unreal,” she said.

Phillips tries to do a themed display for each holiday, most recently Easter. She’s also planning on making artificial floral arrangements for Mother’s Day, producing a cheaper alternative for residents who may not have enough disposable income for a formal bouquet.

Her inventory is varied and constantly changing. There is generally a large assortment of glassware and collectables, along with clothing, toys, DVDs and the increasingly hard-to-find VHS tapes.

There’s something for everyone it seems at Take-a-Peek.

Phillips obtains a portion of her inventory from donated items, along with rummage sales and other discounted options. She buys cheap and is able to resell with little markup. That enables her to keep her prices low.

Any second-hand items that she does take in are thoroughly prepared, however, before placed on the shelves for sale.

“We clean and sanitize anything that we take in before selling it,” Phillips said. “We make sure all the clothes are washed and cleaned before we put them out.”

Another feature is that Take-a-Peek offers a month-long layaway program. Customers who find something they wish to purchase, yet don’t have the funds readily available can have Phillips put the item aside and pay for it at a later date.

Phillips noted that once the warmer weather makes a steady appearance here in the coming months, she will be holding a massive toy and baby sale.

“Always check back in,” she said. “Our inventory is constantly changing as we get new items in.”

Take-a-Peek also seeks to give back. Phillips noted a portion of her proceeds go toward The Haiti Fund.

For more information, call Phillips at (740) 359-5129 or simply stop by at 102 N. Fifth St. in Martins Ferry and “Take-a-Peek.”

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleaderonline.com.