Pannick said that her era of “vintage” encompasses the '60s and '70s, but in recent years, the store has also begun to pull items reminiscent of the '80s and '90s for a more diverse collection of vintage wares.
The event requires advance planning, and clothes and furniture are put aside by employees throughout the year. On the day of the event, Pannick said that the store will be revamped with new racks and displays.
Light refreshments will be served.
“We try to do ‘thrift store’ a little bit different,” Pannick said.
The store is not only open to the public, but also to victims of domestic violence as a safe space to find gently used clothes for free.
Kent Wallace-Meggs, the executive director for the Durham Crisis Response Center, said the store goes beyond typical resources available to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
“It’s not a thrift store; it’s a boutique," Wallace-Meggs said. "It’s a very personalized shopping experience when someone goes in. It creates a safe and pleasant environment, instead of them just going into a clothes closet."
The thrift boutique was initially created because of a surplus of clothing donations from the community for the victims at the center, Wallace-Meggs said. The storefront yields a revenue stream for the organization, and provides the Durham community with secondhand clothing at an affordable price, as well as supplying items to victims.
Since it opened over a decade ago, Pennies for Change has built a loyal clientele in Durham County.
Leeanne Ensslin, a frequent customer at the boutique, has been shopping at Pennies for Change since it first opened on Chapel Hill Street, from which it has since moved to Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.
“There are two main reasons why I shop here,” Ensslin said. “The first is that I can find really good clothing, where I can’t afford to go to department stores, and the other is because it’s such a good cause.”
Ensslin has attended multiple events at the boutique in the past and said that it’s evident that the store’s employees put a lot of effort into curating the vintage collection.
“You can find lots of things: old gloves — really fancy old leather gloves with fur cuffs, cute hats, lots of great coats, scarves, dresses,” Ensslin said. “The staff is here the day before and all through the night preparing the shop, and when they have an event, it’s well-attended.”
Community members can attend the Vintage Flea WOW Event at Pennies for Change Thrift Boutique in Durham this Sunday to be transported to a different era while supporting a good cause.