One Toledo person’s trash — or, really anyone’s secondhand stuff — is now available at a new location for Lewis County thrifters: Toledo Treasures.
Having lived in Toledo for about 15 years, 51-year-old Heidi Harder opened Toledo Treasures last November. She originally moved from Puyallup with her former partner for another business opportunity, but now lives with her daughter, 33-year-old Hayley Oberg.
Oberg’s husband, Olan, runs a mechanic shop and rented a building with a large garage located on Jackson Highway and the garage came with a large adjacent building.
“This (space) here was just sitting here and we were like, ‘Well what can we do with it?’” Harder said.
The answer was a thrift store. More than that, Toledo Treasures also handmade goods including stickers, soaps, jewelry and art from local artisans including Kristin’s Jewelry Designs, Mountain Mama Creations, Cosmic Secret Soapery, Petunia Grace Craft Co. and Cowlitz River Trading Co.
Among the local artisans are an elementary student selling rocks and minerals and a high school student making jewelry. And some things aren’t for sale at all — they’re free. Currently, Harder has a lot of recently-donated prom dresses she is trying to give away.
“I had a giveaway for them planned this weekend but nobody showed up. I was willing to give them away to anyone who needs one since prom dresses are expensive,” said Harder.
Toledo Treasures is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as Harder trains to get her commercial drivers license and works as a bus driver for the Toledo School District during the week.
Once the school year ends, Harder plans to open during weekdays.
Starting in spring, Harder has big plans for Toledo Treasures. She’s currently organizing a Sunday farmers market at the thrift store. The first one is scheduled for April 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I want to do it where people can come up and do a garage sale in their own little booth too, so it’s like a flea-market or swap meet,” Harder said. “We live in such a rural area that garage sales are, well, you can drive 10 miles and you might find one or it might be an old sign, so it’d be nice to have them in one area.”
Toledo Treasures’ current location has a large grassy area in front where Harder plans to hold the market. She is also growing her own vegetables and flowers to sell and is working on getting a food truck for the market.
The business also offers painting classes on some Fridays at 6 p.m. with Vancouver artist Lindsey Rae Boyer.
Harder recently took on a donation of four sewing machines and is looking to continue a sewing class for beginners using them.
Even those with no experience in sewing can come to the classes. Harder added, “you can bring your own (machine) if you want to learn how to use it, too.”
Aside from donations and farmers market participants, Harder is looking for more local artisans interested in selling their goods at Toledo Treasures.
To find out more about the farmer’s market, how to sell crafts at Toledo Treasures, find out about future painting and sewing classes or to set up time to drop off donations, contact Harder on the Toledo Treasures Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Toledo-Treasures-102919859229474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toledo Treasures is located at 5484 Jackson Highway in Toledo.