The missing Link

Posted on 28 Sep 2012 at 11:00am

After years reselling treasures found in thrift stores for profit, Tony Green goes to work for a good cause at new store benefitting local charities

FASHIONISTA FULFILLED | Charity Link owner Tony Green was happy reselling couture items for his private business, but he’s found more personal fulfillment working to help charities. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

ANNA WAUGH  |  Staff Writer

Tony Green knows how to bargain hunt.

He’s spent more than a decade traveling to thrift stores in search of couture clothing and accessories that he can resell for a higher value.

His trips around the country to different thrift stores have led him to finds like a pair of designer shoes with a $345 price tag still attached. Beneath the price tag is the thrift store price of $14.99 scribbled in marker. He would resell items like that for $125 and make a large profit because while thrift stores often receive designer donations, the staff rarely knows how to market the value.

“They have a market for people in need or people who are bargain hunters,” he said. “The profits go to people who buy and resell.”

But Green’s success brought him only personal gain, and now he wants a more fulfilling career. After suffering through financial hard times in 2008, he said he realized charities were probably hit harder.

“I thought if I’m hurting, I know these charities are hurting,” he said.

The idea to create a high-end resale shop was born, but the timing wasn’t right just yet.

After moving to Dallas three years ago, he tested the waters for giving and charity events while delving into odd jobs. Finally a few months ago he partnered with four local charities and created Charity Link Foundation Consignment Boutique.

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Charity Link Consignment
Charity Link Foundation Consignment Boutique is at 3737 Atwell St. Suite 205. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and by appointment. For more information, visit CharityLinkFoundation.com.
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The 1,200-square-foot space on Atwell Street — near Lemmon Avenue and Inwood Road — is in a cozy strip center.

Items for sale range from a donated baby grand piano to small furniture, clothing and highly-sought-after purses and jewelry.

Partnered charities AIDS Services of Dallas, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Minnie’s Food Pantry of Plano and Paws in the City bring in the donated items that Green then prices and sells. He splits the profits 50-50 with the charities.

People can also sell their items on consignment but must donate 10 percent to a charity of their choice, and the remainder is split 45-45.

AIDS Services Executive Director Don Maison said the partnership is perfect for items like a baby grand piano that was too large for the agency to sell itself.

“It’s a great concept,” Maison said. “It’s a perfect venue for us because we get donations that are interesting and valuable, but we can’t really use them.”

He said he hopes the partnership will help ASD financially cover things that grants can’t cover because of restrictions.

“Grants pay for a lot but not everything,” he said. “We need unrestricted funds to help us cover everything else.”

Green opened in August but planned a grand opening that runs through Saturday, Sept. 29. He said business has been steady and the excitement has built around the store, so he hopes to spend the rest of his career helping the store and charities thrive.

“This is a life-altering change,” he said. “It’s something that can be passed down to future generations.”

Green said one his favorite shows is Secret Millionaire, a show where millionaires get to know people in need and later give them money. Although he was generous in his giving before starting Charity Link and doesn’t have the funds to give as much of the people on the show give, he said he’s still making a difference in his community.

“Here I am being able to do my own little version [of the show] is so cool,” Green said. “This is my profession, but I’m using my expertise to help I don’t know how many people. It’s intoxicating.”

Green said he’s looking to partner with more charities to keep the store full.

He said his favorite part about the store is working with the charities and helping the people who work so hard for other people, even if he’s taken a cut in pay to go into business to help the organizations.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to be able to be associated with these people who have given so much of their time and help them expand their outreach is way more important than a paycheck,” Green said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 29, 2012.

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