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Revolver Resale will offer treasures for area residents who seek quality used goods

Thrift shop in Canada
Photo by Julien-Pier Belanger on Unsplash

BY ANA MATTIUZZI

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A 1950 Florida Turnpike Authority sign sold for $250. An 18k precious gemstone art piece, found in the garbage, sold for $2,000. Paul Shafer has worked with unwanted treasures for 18 years.

Formerly a consignor, Shafer plans to open a second-hand shop at 2813 NW Sixth Street in the not-too-distant future. The shop will be called Revolver Resale, inspired by Stephen King’s novel “Needful Things.”

“The overproduction of everything for 100 years or more has given rise to what I do,” Shafer said. “The preservation and curation of things that should not be destroyed is my main goal: to keep people out of malls and retail outlets.”

At 20, Shafer became a parent. Since then, garage-saling and thrifting became his way to afford a better life for his family.

In 2005, he inherited the estates of three relatives. Having no previous experience in antiquities, he spent the next 10 years studying their value. He read hundreds of books, visited museums, and spoke with experts in design and jewelry.

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“I had the connections with collectors with huge collections and realtors needing to clean out houses,” he said.

Shafer is waiting to establish enough merchandise online before he opens the doors to the general public.

He gets his products from online auctions, garage sales, flea markets, realtors, and sometimes the garbage.

“The absolute fact is that most Americans do not have any clue about what they own or what their parents own,” Shafer said. “Most people buy something based on what they have been told or believe instead of knowing what they are buying inside and out.”

The store front was handed over to Shafer by what he describes as divine intervention. In October 2020, while on a stroll, he bumped into a woman who was looking to hand over her storefront. They clicked, and he decided to build his store.

Steve Nichtberger, the owner of Flashbacks, a popular thrift shop in town, said Shafer has been postponing the opening for a year. “We need more second-hand stores,” Nichtberger said.

Shafer started his business inside out. He first started purchasing the items for his inventory, then began setting up his business plan.

“Only time will tell if I’m right,” he said.

Christopher Garrett Pryor, assistant clinical professor specialized in Entrepreneurship, said failure is a mindset when starting a new business.

According to Pryor, one of the main reasons new business owners fail is the lack of money and inventory. However, it does not take a lot of money to start.

He has done research in developed countries where there are more limitations in place for local entrepreneurs and has found that failure rates are at an all-time low.

“Gainesville is a place where people get their start, then leave,” Shafer said. His primary audience does not include the average Gainesville resident. “Gainesville is not known for its class or culture.”

Shafer is looking for an educated and experienced audience who invest, collect, or decorate with quality.

“I think Gainesville needs more thrift stores” Gabriela Moreno, a student at the University of Florida, said. “It would be cool to see them partner with creative students or publications that can help promote the store as well as help promote the art of thrifting.”

Moreno is part of Rowdy, a student-owned fashion and lifestyle magazine. She attributes her style and confidence to thrifting.

“It has allowed me to cultivate my own style that’s not based on what everyone else is wearing,” she said, “I think thrifting has normalized fashion and made it something that anyone can do; it has allowed people from different economic or cultural backgrounds to explore their sense of persona without the need of validation from others”

  • I would think naming it after some Twilight Zone episode would be more appropriate than Stephen King.

  • It’s true the vintage goods our parents and grandparents owned still last — they still exist — because they were made in America, or in a time before everything was made to break down after the warranty ends. New goods in big box stores are faddish style, cheap and break fast, filling our landfills 😡

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