Filling an island need

Tina Roye (l) and Susan Malins (r) of Score! Nifty Thrifty.

When a fire claimed the Exchange, two women went into action to fill a void in the Orcas community.

Susan Malins, with the help of her friend Tina Roye, opened Score! Nifty Thrifty at the end of June. They offer a variety of used items – from household goods to linens to jewelry.

“Every town needs a thrift store,” Malins said. “Most people are being very careful about the money they spend right now.”

Both Malins and Roye have experience in the second hand business. Malins serves on the board of Orcas Recycling Services and Roye ran the Exchange, the island’s reuse center, for several years. After it burned down last February, Malins, who has shopped at thrift stores for 40 years, decided to open Score!

All of the store’s merchandise comes from donations. Right now, they are able to make rent and utilities. Once they turn a profit, which should be in a few months, 25 percent of the money made will go towards local nonprofits. The mission of the endeavor is “community sharing.”

“Things that people don’t need they can make available to others at a very low price,” Malins said.

Located in the Eastsound Post Office building, the store accepts donations that are clean and in good working condition. They are not able to accept large appliances or furniture, old televisions, liquid, clothing, books, computers, construction, plumbing or automotive materials, bikes, batteries and food.

ORS has not set a date for the Exchange’s reopening, and until then, Score! will offer a place for islanders to share recycled goods.

“The community has been flocking in,” Malins said. “Some people have really discovered some finds.”

The shop is open Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most donations can be brought in then; for large quantities, call 376-8375 to make an appointment.

From Thanksgiving until Dec. 23, Score! will be open seven days a week to provide opportunities for holiday shopping.

“We’re hoping to make it a happy season for many people,” Malins said.