On this Sustainable Saturday, we want to introduce to you “The Wise Penny”, a thrift store located in Baltimore, MD. Instead of just going to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, we thought you might want to add this thrift store to your list of go-to thrifting locations. This week, we were happy to sit down with Dr. Holly Lentz-Schiller, the Chairman of the Volunteer Committee of the Junior League of Baltimore (JLB), an organization that has been around since the early 1900’s and who runs the Wise Penny store that has been around since 1970. The Wise Penny is one of the many ways the Junior League of Baltimore gives back to the community and we were able to get a bit more insight on how.
Q: Tell me a little bit about the Junior League of Baltimore and how The Wise Penny came to be?
A: Well, The Wise Penny started out as a project of JLB that was a way to help support the community. The JLB actually started out in New York and now we have Junior Leagues all over! It’s always been a women-owned league and the store grew out of bringing revenue in to support other JLB projects and also to help run the league itself. Both JLB and The Wise Penny are nonprofit, but our Wise Penny staff are not JLB members. We except donations at The Wise Penny and those donations are looked through by our staff members (there is a list of what we except and what we do not except on our website); but our JLB members are required to donate to the Wise Penny.
Q: How does the JLB and the Wise Penny give back to the community?
A: We do A LOT to help the community! We have so many projects that we have and are currently working on and we have worked with many partners over the years as well. A few of them are Share Baby, where we donate children’s clothing and baby clothes; some of our members volunteer at the Maryland Food Bank, First Fruits Farms, an organization that helps support food insecurity and also some of our revenue goes to Period Poverty. Then there is also Asylee Women’s Enterprise that we partner with which helps women in Baltimore seeking asylum. There are a lot but those are just a few current ones.
Q: What would you say The Wise Penny is most known for in terms of merchandise?
A: We are known for selling women’s wear, especially our better women’s wear which is what we call our designer section of women’s clothes. We also have our Treasures & Trinkets sale every February which is our biggest house wear sale. Then something we have that’s grown in popularity are our Penny’s Picks, which is a sale we have once every month where everything is a dollar!
Q: Are there any current or future plans in store for the Junior League of Baltimore and the Wise Penny?
A: Well, at The Wise Penny, we have been implementing more sustainable practices such as becoming a paper and plastic free zone in our store. We also have been recycling textiles. Some of the clothing donations we get aren’t always presentable enough to go onto the floor, so we have been sending them to places the properly recycle and dispose of the textiles. Then lastly, here is an exclusive that we plan to start next year. We plan to have events that will feature a women of color makers market where we give women of color a platform to promote their business and sell their merchandise.
The Wise Penny has a lot of great things to offer, and to show you how, we were able to put together some stylish thrifted looks to show you what wonderful items you could find shopping at The Wise Penny. We were able to style three looks; one for women’s fashion, men’s fashion, and children’s wear.
Once again, we want to thank Dr. Lentz-Schiller for interviewing with us to give us the scoop and an exclusive on the future plans of The Wise Penny. If you are ever in Baltimore, MD looking for a new spot to thrift, we highly recommend The Wise Penny. They are located on 5902 York Rd. Baltimore, MD 21212 with their current hours being Thursday through Saturday from 10-6 and closed on Sunday through Wednesday. If you want to read more about The Wise Penny or find out what they except for donations, feel free to visit their website at www.jlbalt.org; and don’t forget to check out their social media @wise_penny_baltimore on Instagram and @wisepennybaltimore on Facebook.