Glencoe's North Shore Exchange Has Huge Fundraising Year

By Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune reporter

For 88 years, the thrift shop run by the Woman's Library Club of Glencoe was staffed by volunteers tasked with collecting village residents' donations of used clothing and furniture, with the resale profits benefiting charities.

But by 2012, employees say, the Glen Cote Thrift Shop at 372 Hazel Avenue was barely making ends meet, prompting volunteers to embrace a dramatically different approach, which they say has transformed the tired venue into a posh designer boutique.

"We had to be creative and innovate. How do you take something old and make it new again?" said Wendy Serrino, board president of the North Shore Exchange, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by announcing that the revitalized consignment shop had garnered three times the sales officials expected to generate during its first fiscal year of operation.

Serrino said officials plan to distribute $150,000 of the proceeds from the profits of its revamped resale operation, doubling the amount of grants it distributed in 2013.

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