New Thrift Shop In Marlinton Doing Brisk Business

Marlinton, WV – Most people look forward to the day they can retire and enjoy a life of leisure. Not Della Underwood. Underwood says she tried it three times and couldn’t do it.

“I retired twice and didn’t like retirement,” she said. “My daughter insisted I retire the third time. I worked for hospice in Estes Park, Colorado. She insisted it was too hard for me. So, I retired. I didn’t like retirement. So, one day she came over and said she was going to the store – ‘mom, can I get you anything?’

‘Yes, I’d like a rocking chair, a shawl and a Bible.’

She said, ‘why’ and I said, ‘well, evidently, you think I’m old enough to die. You just want me to sit here and waste away. So, that’s what people do when they get old. They sit in a rocking chair with a shawl around their shoulders and read the Bible, getting ready to meet their maker.'”

The reluctant retiree called her sister, Rosemary Hofer, who helped her become an entrepreneur.

“The following week, I called my sister, here in Marlinton, who’s a realtor, and I asked her to find me a small business and a house,” she said. “She accommodated me real well. The next week, two weeks later, I owned the laundromat in Marlinton and the house beside the fire department.”

Underwood spruced up the laundromat and gave the washers and dryers a much-needed tune-up. She had a lot of extra space in the building and decided it was the perfect location for a thrift shop. Underwood describes some of the items you can find in her new shop.

“Everything – I call it This And That,” she said. “I have everything from clothes to DVDs. I have toys. I have dishes – a little bit of everything.”

A Little Bit of Everything’ might have been a better name for the shop. You can also find candles, crafts, shoes, coffee cups, ski boots, a stuffed gorilla with boxing gloves wearing red shorts (for Valentine’s Day), assorted jewelry, inkjet printers, dolls, remote control caddies, cooking supplies, cologne in an oversized 15 amp fuse bottle, a Mr. Coffee machine for a dollar, and racks full of clean and serviceable clothing, that fashion bugs should enjoy sorting through. Underwood acquires goods from estate sales and auctions across a wide area and adds to her inventory almost every day. She says the response from customers has been very positive.

“Well, I hear they love me,” she said. “They tell me they do. They’re thrilled that we have the laundromat open. They’re thrilled with the thrift shop. They tell me my prices are reasonable and they come back. So, it’s been great.”

The entrepreneur says her shop fills an important niche in the local business community.

“I think that the economy is so bad that the people needed a break and I give it to them – I give them low prices,” she said.

Underwood says she’s renovating a back room in her building, which will be used to expand her business to include even more items.

“I intend to open up the back room as a used furniture store, this spring, because people are asking for furniture with reasonable prices, and the people have asked me to do it,” she said.

The proprietor is no stranger to Pocahontas County.

“I love it,” she said. “I was born up on Beaver Creek, born and raised there; Denver and Dolly Underwood’s daughter. Left town for many years and decided I wanted to come home and I’m glad I did.”

The laundromat and This And That Shop are located on Second Avenue in Marlinton. The hours are Monday through Saturday 8:30 – 6:30 and Sundays from 12-5.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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