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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pair of thrift shops open on Appleway

Juli Wasson

Two new shops along Appleway Avenue in Greenacres are open to second chances.

Both are thrift stores and owners are hopeful they can attract customers seeking deals on second-hand furniture, collectibles, clothing and other such items.

“I do have some antiques,” said Shele Lutz who recently opened Shele’s Bargain Barn at 17909 E. Appleway Ave. in a large building that once was a radiator and small engine repair shop. “I don’t want to be considered an antique store. I want to cater to the people who need items.”

Lutz and partner Duaine Courchaine fill the shop by purchasing large quantities of items from auctions throughout Eastern Washington. Courchaine does much of the buying while Lutz prices and tags each item that includes furniture, clothing, bicycles, dishes, books and other household goods.

“I have everything you need in here to start an apartment from scratch,” she noted, adding the thrift store business appears to be one with growth potential during an economic downturn.

Not far is Owl’s Barter Barn, a cozy thrift store and consignment shop within walking distance located in the notable red barn strip mall at 18209 E. Appleway Ave.

Owner Alex Hannigan opened his shop last August after taking over and renaming Penny Pinchers. He fills the shop with furniture, glassware, clothing and other household collectibles.

“Our whole family has always been pack rats so I always thought it was a good idea to have a barter barn,” said Hannigan, 23, who recalls family yard sales at his grandparents barn.

Hannigan offers consignment for people who want to sell their items at his store and pay him a 35 percent commission. He also offers his ability to list items for online sales, taking a 25 percent commission on each sale. Also at his shop are homemade organic soaps and lotions and other creations made by his mother, Joan Hannigan.

Both Hannigan and Lutz agree they will consider a potential buyer’s offer for thrift store items. However, Lutz says she is relatively firm on furniture prices and Hannigan noted prices for consignment items are set by the seller.

The new shops give thrift store shoppers two more places to shop as they travel along Appleway and Sprague Avenues joining other locations such as the Valley Goodwill, Value Village, Classy Rack, Habitat Valley and the Salvation Army stores.

In other Valley business

Bella Custom Framing and Gifts opened doors last week at a new location a few blocks away in the Fred Meyer Shopping Center building just east of the gas pumps at 15701 E. Sprague Ave.

Owner Jeni Watts said the new shop provides a larger work station for custom framing, while still providing space for the fine gifts and collectibles. The phone number remains the same at (509) 922.3889.

Are you opening a new business in the Spokane Valley? Is your business expanding, moving or remodeling? Are you wondering about that new store that has opened in your neighborhood? Send an e-mail to Juli Wasson at or contact us by fax at 927-2175 or by writing to Business Notebook, Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, WA 99216.
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