Jessica Guyant believes giving and receiving are universal threads in life; she is, in fact, very familiar with thread, running her own second-hand thrift shop in Summit County.
The Gold Mine Thrift store in Dillon is expanding to include more antiques and furniture inventory. Guyant said she loves visiting estate and garage sales to pick out pieces for her store.
“I’m very passionate about recycling and reusing,” she said. “I see things in the trash and think, ‘Why would someone throw that away?’ In today’s economy, you have to be more thoughtful.”
When she started the thrift business a year ago, Guyant worked with her brother, who specialized in buying and selling gold and silver. Once he returned to the Midwest, however, Guyant — who wasn’t comfortable buying gold — wanted to focus on expanding from clothing items. Now, she’s opening a separate warehouse next to her current location to focus specifically on furniture — bed frames, couches, dressers and more.
Guyant said while there are plenty of other great thrift stores in Summit County, her business goes one step further because she not only accepts donations, but buys much of her own merchandise.
“We’re not a traditional thrift store,” she said. “I am very picky — I hand-pick a lot of fun, nice things.”
Originally from Hawaii, Guyant used to serve as a boat captain in the Coast Guard. She said the community in her home state prepared her for business in the High Country — shopping was expensive, and a lot of the population was transient.
“My philosophy is really that someone else’s junk is someone else’s treasure,” she said.
Among the most popular items, the ones that fly off the shelves, Guyant said, are old wooden skis and snowshoes — antique, collectible items people tend to gravitate toward.
“There’s a super strong, faithful crowd of locals that comes in, and a lot of visitors who maybe don’t ski, and so they’re shopping while their friends or family ski,” she said.
Guyant travels all over looking for additions to her store, taking her trailer down to Denver and looking through abandoned storage lockers, for example, or scoring high-quality furniture worth thousands of dollars for $30 from an estate sale. Her mom owned a thrift shop for a while, too, and Guyant kept the idea of a store of her own in the back of her mind.
Now, Guyant mostly runs the store herself, with the help of a few volunteers. She worked at Keystone Resort when she first moved to the county but wanted to run her own business, on her own terms. She tries every month to give back to the community as well.
“It’s really important for me to give back,” she said. “I try to always make donations to something. I really believe you have to; so many people give to me, so I have to give back.”
Gold Mine Thrift offers discounts to seniors, and Guyant helps customers who request specific items. She said a local customer recently came into the store looking for a rustic, old-fashioned metal milk container. While browsing at an estate sale last month, Guyant not only spotted a giant milk bottle and bought it with the woman in mind, but she noted that, in a stroke of luck, the container had a tag from Dillon on it, making it even more special for the local.
Most days, Guyant takes her work home, washing all clothing or cleaning bigger ticket items before putting them out for sale in the store.
“Our washing machine at home is going 24 hours,” she said. “I take everything home and wash it or at least bring it to the Laundromat. I’m picking and choosing everything.”
Guyant said it’s tempting for her whenever she finds a unique or stylish piece, because she sometimes ends up taking it home instead of putting it in the store.
“I always want to keep everything for myself,” she said. “It gives you such a high, to find these great quality items at a great price.”
Bringing more furniture into her store’s new space — and working on a new website — is plenty to keep her busy as the new year begins, Guyant said.
“So many people have said we have enough used-furniture places. But there’s plenty to go around. People are thinking smarter about where they buy and what they spend.”
Gold Mine Thrift is located at 130 Main St., No. 1, in Dillon. For more information, call (970) 485-5588 or visit www.gmthrift.com.
Breckenridge Lock and Security under new ownership
Breckenridge Lock and Security, which has served Breck and Summit County for more than 15 years, has changed its name to Avalanche Lock and Key.
Longtime employee and lock expert Greg Notarmuzi began running the business Jan. 1, after buying the company from its previous owner. Notarmuzi has been fixing locks for people in the area for more than 12 years. For more information, call (970) 453-4452.