A downtown shopping trip turned into dream come true for new shop owner
Published 9:29 am Monday, December 15, 2014
Whether shopping on a budget or looking for a unique gift this Christmas, Lisa’s Thrift Boutique in downtown Elizabethton should be on the list of stores to visit.
Lisa’s Thrift Boutique is located at 545 E Elk Ave. and specializes in women’s clothing and home accessories.
Owner Lisa Vatterott strives to make sure her shop is filled with unique pieces that won’t empty shoppers’ pocketbooks.
“My vision is that the average woman can come in and get an outfit for around $10,” Vatterott said. “I don’t think an enhancement for yourself or your home should break the bank.”
Vatterott took over Lisa’s Thift Boutique from its former owner in June. It was just a stroke of luck that her name was Lisa too and she did not have to change the business’ name.
She got her start in the retail world when she went to work at 3 Bs Gift Shop in Hampton after moving to Carter County from Colorado.
“I had always had that interest, but I had never pursued it,” she said.
That all changed during a shopping trip to downtown Elizabethton. She visited Lisa’s Thrift Boutique to buy a piece of furniture and ended up starting her own business.
“The owner said off handedly that I should buy her shop,” Vatterott said. “I asked her about it and then I went home and thought about it. About a week later, I had my own store.”
The work that Vatterott has had to put into her small business has been hard, but she says it is all worth it to help customers find what they want.
Vatterott, along with her family and friends, personally buys each of the items that are in her thrift shop. She features a mixture of new, never-worn pieces and gently used modern and vintage items.
She visits different estate sales and markets, but the exact location of her shopping trips remains a mystery though.
“If I told you, I would have to kill you,” she laughs, while sorting clothes to be put on display. “It is just wherever I see things that I want, that get my attention.”
While on her shopping trips, Vatterott said she keeps an eye out for clothing and decor that is “in style, unique and beautiful.”
“Sometimes I miss the mark,” she said. “What I think is beautiful might not be beautiful to everyone.”
One of those items is a vintage coat from Saks Fifth Avenue that was sold to Vatterott by an individual. The coat features a custom label with the name of the original owner stitched into the lining.
“This was his grandmother’s coat,” she said. “It is beautiful.”
What she enjoys most about her store is the ability to help customers when they need it. She said she recently helped a customer who had lost all her belongings in a fire get a new “church clothes” wardrobe.
“People may not always be able to afford brand new clothes,” Vatterott said. “What I do is try to give them the best quality, and the best style of clothes that I can find. If you can charge a little less, you can help people have the things that they want. That is what I enjoy being able to do.”
Customer Angie Fisher said it was the bargains, along with Vatterott’s friendly personality, that keeps her returning to the shop.
“What’s nice is I get to dress like all the other moms even if I don’t have the budget of the other moms,” Fisher said. “You want to look nice and she allows you to do that on a budget. She really cares about people. She is sincere.”
Lisa’s Thrift Boutique is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.