Lovingly curated second-hand store opens in Longfellow

True Finds open the second weekend of each month

When Longfellow resident Mary Laurel True was only five years old, her mother taught her how to recognize a bargain and how to dress with style. True said, “I’m the oldest of six children, and we grew up without a lot of money. My mom loved thrifting – and she loved beautiful clothes. I didn’t know there was any other way to shop.”
True and her partner, Bob delMas, opened a second-hand store in Longfellow called True Finds on May 17, 2024. Located at 3600 42nd Avenue South, True Finds will be open for business on the second weekend of each month. 
According to True, ”There are very few second-hand stores left in the Twin Cities. Most have packed up and moved to the suburbs. There are a handful of consignment stores, but those prices tend to be higher because the stores are paying a percentage of the sale price back to the original owner. There are thrift stores, but they don’t tend to be curated like ours will be; and there are vintage stores too, but their clothing tends to be on the smaller side.”
Walking through the front door of True Finds, you’ll notice that the clothing is arranged by type, not by size or gender. True said, “Sizes vary so widely by brand that the numbers are almost irrelevant these days.”  There are also shoes, jewelry, wall art, cards, and an assortment of other treasures for sale. The store dog Ollie will likely be there to welcome you, along with the store owners.
Location matters
True Finds sits in a lively small business corridor along 42nd Avenue. They are in good company with proximity to the Blue Door, the Riverview Theater, Mother Earth Gardens, and the soon-to-open Lynette’s Restaurant (in the former Riverview Café and Wine Bar). 
True said, “It’s important to us that we’re part of this neighborhood. We like the idea of connecting the dots when we can. When the Riverview Theater showed the Bob Marley film ‘One Love’ recently, we did a Jamaican window – and we weren’t even open for business yet.”
Another strong neighborhood connection will be apparent when you go to the cash register with your purchase. It’s possible to make a round- up donation to the Soup for You Café!, soon to re-open at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. If you’ve never been, Chef Judah serves up soup and bread for lunch Monday-Friday at no cost. And all are welcome. 
A second chapter
Both co-partners had long careers in higher education before becoming shopkeepers. Both were also married to other spouses, and widowed at about the same time. True worked as director of community engagement at Augsburg University, and delMas was a statistics professor at the University of Minnesota until he retired.
While working at Augsburg, True was involved with helping start the Sisterhood Boutique on the West Bank: an entrepreneurial venture of young Somali women in partnership with Pillsbury United Communities. Ten years later, it’s still going strong. She also worked with the annual rummage sale of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, a fundraiser of epic proportions, and managed a non-profit second-hand store in Northfield, Minn. for almost two years. 
DelMas said, “In my academic work, I worked 60 plus hours a week – most faculty do. I was able to be creative in certain ways: writing curricula, assessments, and research studies, but I didn’t see myself as being entrepreneurial. I started this adventure with Mary Laurel because I wanted to support her passion for clothing, recycling, repurposing, and building community. As we’ve gone along, I’ve found that I have skills to contribute, too. I love problem solving, and there always problems when you own a small business; and I love fixing things that need fixing. We’ve found that we complement each other in so many wonderful ways.” 
Good for the neighborhood
In addition to being a welcome addition for shoppers who enjoy buying gently worn clothing, True Finds is also a great place to donate clothing in the neighborhood. Donations can be brought to a drop-off box on the 36th Street side of the property, or arranged by emailing truefindslongfellow@gmail.com. Clean items in good repair are welcome. True said, “We know we aren’t going to make any money doing this, but we hope we can become an integral part of the community while having fun together.”
She offered these suggestions for people who are just starting out shopping second-hand. “Going to a second-hand store isn’t like going to a big box store, where each item comes in multiple sizes and colors. In a second-hand store, each item is one-of-a-kind. The clothing at True Finds will be natural fibers, and good quality brands at fair prices. Every month there’ll be plenty of new things to choose from, so come often.”
Credit/debit cards and local checks will be accepted at True Finds, but not cash. Hours will be Thursday and Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 


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