From the way their stories are told, in their past, both men went “junkin” one day and never stopped. Twenty plus years later, they met, worked together, talked and found a similar passion for the business of 2nd hand and thrift shopping. From that meeting they began to plan and then formed a partnership that resulted in the pair opening The Flipping Peddler a store they like to say “is 10,000 square feet of everything.”
Todd Olhausen and Gary Clark both have a unique twist on the traditional 2nd hand store. They both dislike booth walls, preferring open spaces and bright colors. Their store reflects this, with the interior color being light green; a color that allows the vintage and mid century furniture to “pop.” “Our shoppers see from one end to the other with very little obstruction. One lady saw ruby red glassware in the back of the store; from the door and made a beeline to it.” said Clark. Said one shopper, “I love coming in here because it’s bright and cheerful – not claustrophobic and musty smelling like so many antique or 2nd hand places”
Another unique feature of their design is the showcase window where they stage goods from various vendors in the store. The store is surrounded by glass. “Said Olhausen, “Every vendor’s item is tagged, so we stage their items in the windows. For Easter, we selected an Easter theme with colors and Easter items from over seven different vendors to make up the display in the window. For the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll do the same. Staging also helps the shopper see how an item may look in their home.
Said Clark, “We have a lot of fun here. While we are vendor centric, these people are our friends first. The store is owned by every vendor who pays rent here. They supply quality items and we sell those items for them. We have over 33 “pickers” (currently) who have highly trained eyes for vintage, 2nd hand and especially quality. From painted furniture to fantastic glassware and jewelry. Said Olhausen, “Even though we call looking for it “junkin,” none of this is junk. It is truly another mans treasure. Our vendors make it easy for us to help the purchaser walk away from the store with a smile on their face because they found something they fell in love with.”
Both men agree that they are still pickers themselves, but today, they prefer to help the new picker get started and to make a success of their business. Clark held a teaching credential in Adult Education in California. There he taught Small Business Entrepreneurship. Olhausen has 20 years in retail markets he brings that experience to the mix. They freely pass on their experience and knowledge to the vendors.
According to a recent report by Forbes Magazine, “American consumers, most especially the Millennials, enjoy the hunter-gatherer experience of second-hand shopping and have no qualms about owning used goods. As a result, used-merchandise stores notched a 7.6% increase the first half of this year on top of 11.6% gains last year. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/pamdanziger/2018/08/19/whats-trending-now-in-retail-and-what-it-reveals-about-american-shoppers/#18033be57f84)
The Flipping Peddler is located at 3945 N. Academy in Colorado Springs. Todd and Gary welcome the new shopper and guarantee a great shopping experience. Grab a shopping cart on the way in – you are going to need it.