New thrift store gives local children’s theatre a ‘second act’

(ABC 6 News) – When you buy from a thrift store, you probably don’t think about how your purchase can help other businesses. That’s the case for the Second Act Thrift Store in Austin.

Money from all purchases goes right back to the Matchbox Children’s Theatre. Like many theaters, Matchbox took a hit during the pandemic. As things get back to normal, the Matchbox board was looking to give them a second act.

Opening earlier this month, the store sells everything from clothing to knick-knacks and furniture in hopes of keeping them out of landfills and to give them a new home.

“Having the thrift store has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Jennifer Wiebrand, the president of Matchbox Children’s Theatre and the manager of the Second Act Thrift Store.

“It’s always been a need, especially in smaller communities. But for theatre, it’s really hard to keep consistent income. After COVID, we were really just struggling to fill the coffers again and just be able to maintain.”

Other theaters are invited to come in and borrow what they need for their shows. Whether that’s a lamp, a table, or anything in-between. Because instead of going and spending money on props, you can save it for other theater costs.

“It just allows us to keep the flow of things going, get the unique items in, but not have to store them for years on end. Summerset Theatre has come and borrowed, Hayfield Theatre has come and borrowed. So we’re looking to save money for everyone while also making money for Matchbox.”

Wiebrand said some of the items she has are very specific to theater and others can just go into people’s hands.

The store is open Wednesday through Saturday. If you’re looking to rent a costume, you need to make an appointment. Donations are always welcome.

Wiebrand said the store is constantly changing. So if you visit in the morning, it could be completely different in the evening.