Pelham’s Hatching Hope thrift store has ‘something for everybody’

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – If you aren’t really looking for it, you may miss the Marketplace at Hatching Hope on Pelham Parkway.

The thrift store sits in the middle of a Pelham shopping complex, sandwiched in between a Mexican restaurant and Mike’s Merchandise. Though it may not look like much on the outside, inside shoppers can find almost anything their heart desires.

“We are small but mighty,” said Jessica Trahan, one of Hatching Hope’s team members.

Hatching Hope itself is a disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that provides supplies and aid to people who have been displaced from their home due to, say, a fire or other disaster. The organization was established five years ago by Keli Wright and her son, Ashton Wright, after they lost their home in a fire. Ever since, Hatching Hope has worked to provide aid and support to all those in need.

The store, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, has garnered a huge following to the community with its wide variety of products available.

“Most of the things here are donated and the proceeds go to our work,” said Trahan.

Jessica said they have “something for everybody”. There are hand-poured candles, new boutique clothing, furniture, antique sailboat models and even appliances like refrigerators and stoves that are donated by HD Supply.

“We have a really great partnership with HD Supply,” Trahan said. “They donate all of our scratched or dented appliances and other things to us. All of the appliances are like new they just have some minor cosmetic damage.”

“We have such a wide clientele,” Trahan continued. “We have people that come in for different things like the boutique stuff or just the candles or people digging to find that rare antique find. We even have people that come in just to say hi to us, we’ve formed a lot of connections with people and that’s honestly how we keep people coming back. We want to make connections with people so they keep wanting to come back and bring their friends.”

Primarily, donations are made from people who realize they have no use for their specific items anymore, after which they call Hatching Hope to come take said items away.

They also work closely with Alabama Estate Sales, going to pick up pieces that would work well in their storefront. The items are then refurbished and cleaned to the point they look like new and then placed in the store for sale.

“We are really small so we limit our pickups, we can only do so many per week but we make it a point to come pick up whatever people want to donate,” Trahan said.

Originally, the store was located in a smaller space in Alabaster but with the growing popularity of the store, they decided to relocate.

“It’s really impressive that we’ve made it to five years especially since you count two of those years were during COVID,” said Rhonda Bryant, a Hatching Hope team member. “I mean we opened this store in the middle of COVID. That’s crazy!”

The work they did during COVID-19 helped get them more acquainted with the community and showed that Hatching Hope was there to help.

“During COVID-19, we worked to do so much for the community,” Trahan said. “We did free COVID testing and gave out over 1,000 PPE bags that had hand sanitizer and masks and other equipment. We also donated what we had to local fire departments, police departments, schools, and post offices. We’re going to be doing another event like that soon that we’re very excited about.”

The store has a solid team of workers, some who have been there since the beginning and some who have just started. It is apparent, however, all of them enjoy the work they do with Hatching Hope.

“This is my getaway,” Bryant joked. “I come here to relax.”

“Our customers like seeing the same faces,” said Trahan. “It’s how we get them to keep coming back. They like seeing us and talking with us and being like, ‘What do you have for me today?’”

New items are constantly being added to the store’s floor and Bryant said they are always surprised by what is brought through the door. It should also be no surprise that items often go quickly.

The best way to find out what the store has to offer on any given day is to follow their Facebook page. According to Bryant, it is not uncommon for the phone to begin ringing off the hook after an item has been posted to the page.

“We posted a picture of a couch being taken off the back of the truck and within 10 minutes a guy commented, ‘I’ll be there in half an hour,’ and then he came and bought it and it was gone,” said team member Karen Lahnala, who has been with Hatching Hope since the beginning five years ago.

“I didn’t even get to see it,” laughed team member Cheryl Lott.

Trahan said all patrons should know that extreme attention to detail is applied to all pieces in the store and no matter what they’re buying, they are getting their money’s worth.

“We do a lot of research into all of our items. We take great pride into what we’re doing,” she said. “We owe it to people who donate to us to get the most for what they donated so we clean everything and do research on it before we price it so people can feel comfortable buying these items.”

The store is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm at 2758 Pelham Parkway, Pelham Al 35124. You can visit their website at HatchingHopeCares.org.