Goodwill bringing second thrift boutique to Lexington County

By Natalie Szrajer
Posted 8/29/23

Like the first, the second location of a thrift boutique from Goodwill will be in Lexington County.

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Goodwill bringing second thrift boutique to Lexington County


Like the first, the second location of a thrift boutique from Goodwill will be in Lexington County.

Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina will bring its second Auten’s Loft store to 4708 Sunset Blvd. in Lexington, attached to the town’s existing Goodwill. Per a Facebook announcement, the new location is scheduled to open Sept. 30.

The first S.C. Auten’s Loft opened in December, attached to the Chapin Goodwill on Columbia Avenue. The store is named after Goodwill Upstate/Midlands founder Lloyd Auten.

Each location operates within its associated local Goodwill, but with its own separate space, providing a different type of thrift experience. Shoppers can find a variety of designer brands in the boutique ranging from $5 to $34, according to the Goodwill Upstate/Midlands website.

“We were blown away by Chapin,” said Jarid Munsch, director of marketing and public relations for Goodwill Upstate/Midlands SC.

“When we first started with boutique shopping, we looked at different factors where it would be well received and identified Chapin and Lexington. They were supported by the generosity and donations of people living in the areas who wanted to convert sales into service,” said Munsch. “Chapin and Lexington became natural choices.”

Munsch pointed to the loyalty of the shoppers in these areas as well as the generous donors as factors that made Auten’s Loft a natural fit for the Chapin and Lexington communities. Additionally, these Goodwill locations had the space inside the current buildings to feature the boutique thrift store. 

The Lexington location of Auten’s Loft will be slightly bigger than the Chapin location. As for the shopping experience, Munsch said it will be identical to Chapin.

“We want Goodwill to be a fun shopping experience,” he said, “with the same types of categories and name brand designers.”

“We want it to be fun and part of the fun is the hunt not knowing what you’ll find,” he added. “Anytime you go to a Goodwill retail store you don’t know what’ll be on the rack for that day. We rely on the support of the communities and those who donate.”

While Auten’s Loft is a boutique experience compared to the average Goodwill thrift store, the thrill of the hunt is not lost.

“The point of Auten’s Loft is it’s a different type of experience,” Munsch said. “We have 41 Goodwill locations [in the Midlands and Upstate]. Auten’s Loft is not meant to deter people away from the thrill of the hunt.”

The donations for Auten's have been “high” and “good,” according to Munsch, who said that donors and shoppers continue to invest in the mission of Goodwill. 

That mission includes career services, job training, certifications and programs helping people in South Carolina become independent through employment, according to its website. 

Munsch said the newest career training program is a drone pilot certification program called Elevate beginning this September in Greenville. 

“We just partnered with a drone pilot training company called AINautics allowing people to go get their license. It’s a weekend boot camp,” said Munsch. “As we grow we will continue to put more dates on the calendar. AINAutics is based out of Columbia.”

The program is for anyone at least 16 years old who can pass a ninth grade level reading and math assessment, according to the Goodwill Midlands/Upstate website. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration Office of Apprenticeship and grant funding from the University of South Carolina Office of Innovation and The Truist Foundation. 

This is just one of many programs and certifications made possible by Goodwill Upstate/Midlands.

“We take things that are marginalized and help people see their own value,” Munch said. “People have to recognize their own value. We’re just extending goodwill to each other.”

goodwill lexington, auten's boutique, chapin shopping


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