Secondhand shop bursting at seams

Secondhand shop bursting at seams

A perfect repository for one person’s junk and another’s treasure is Next to New, Inuvik’s secondhand shop located in Ingamo Hall.

The store moved to its current location in September from where it used to reside at the Inuvik Works building on Berger Street. When Inuvik Works closed down over the summer, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which ran Next to New in part with funding from the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, approached Ingamo Hall to take it over.

The secondhand store took a cut in size by about a half, making it a bit more challenging to rummage through containers and shelves of clothing to find items, but it is still a treasure trove when it comes to good quality items for a cheap price.

Eileen Rogers, co ordinator of the shop, has been at the Ingamo Hall location since it opened in September and said shoppers can fill a grocery sized bag for $3 or a garbage bag for $5.

A handful of people come in a day, according to Rogers, but she hopes if more people know about where Next to New is located and when it is open, the numbers of people using the shop will increase.

“Mondays are usually the busiest,” she said.

“There’s always people coming in for stuff that’s cheaper than at the other stores. This is good for the community. It gives people another option.”

The small room, located off of the main hall, holds clothes for all ages, costumes, an artificial Christmas tree, television sets, books and other household items.

“People bring things in with tags still on them,” said Rogers.

She said if anyone is going through possessions during their spring cleaning ritual and want to drop stuff off at Next to New, there is a bin at the back of the building.

Susan Kovacs is a frequent customer of Next to New. Originally from Hungary, Kovacs owned a business similar to the secondhand shop in her home country and realizes the importance of the facility in the town.

“Sometimes I go for just fun. Every day there’s new stuff. Sometimes I buy, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I find brand new stuff,” said Kovacs.

But even Kovacs realizes the Next to New space is a little cramped.

“It was a nice, organized, bigger cheap jerseys place before, and now, only one problem, not very big. If there are more than a few people there, you can’t really move.”

Items at Next to New help community members as well as those outside town borders. When the store moved from its bigger location, stock was reduced by shipping a large Sea Can to Paulatuk. Also, many items were sent to Iqaluit’s Aurora College after a fire in February destroyed 22 apartment units and left 90 people homeless.

Although ideally a bigger location for its secondhand paraphernalia would benefit the town, Next to New is open for business five days a week and is always chock full of treasures for next to nothing.