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Opening doors on re-purposed treasures
With some slight wordplay between the TV series “Storage Wars” and the word “wares” (a word used to refer to articles of merchandise or manufactured goods) came Storage WAReS: a new re-purpose store opening in Sequim.
Storage WAReS has been developing for about a year as the family behind it all prepared to own and operate their own store for the first time.
Kendal and Aleta Wake along with their children Jeremy Wake and Kali McKenzie and their children’s spouses Jennifer Wake and Kyle McKenzie always have wanted to start a family business, Jeremy Wake explained.
For more than a year the family members have each been dabbling in selling re-purposed items gathered from defaulted storage companies in either big yard sales or on eBay, but they finally decided to combine forces and open a store.
“We thought about this location a few months ago and felt it was a good fit being one of the busier areas in town and with the Serenity House Thrift Store and Goodwill already nearby which tend to have a similar clientele,” Kendal Wake said.
Although the Serenity House Thrift Store and Goodwill may share a similar audience as Storage WARes’s, Storage WARes owners want to have a variety of items different from those found at their competitors.
“It’s always great to give people more than one option,” Executive Director of Serenity House Thrift Store Kathy Wahto said. “It’s just a matter of what the market can bear and we’ll just have to wait and see.”
What to find
Inside Storage WAReS one can find anything from tools, jewelry and antiques to clothing and household materials. At first the store’s inventory will be quite vast, but the owners hope to familiarize themselves with their clients and customize the store for the area’s needs.
“Not only do we want to get to know our clients, we also have so much inventory we want to price things to move quickly in order to keep bringing new items in,” Kendal Wake said.
The owners have a couple ideas they would like to promote business with and to help get to know customers. Some of these ideas include keeping a customer “wish list” with items customers want Storage WAReS owners to keep a look-out for and having a weekly auction item on Facebook.
How it works
In anticipation for the store, Jeremy and Jennifer Wake bought their first storage unit in May 2013. Since then the family has been attending storage unit auctions to bid, buy and sort through the units to gather store inventory.
“Its like gambling and treasure hunting at the same time,” Jeremy Wake said. “Biding on the unit is kind of fun, but the real excitement is never knowing what you’re going to find.”
On average the owners of Storage WAReS spend about $400 per storage unit they buy. However, the prices at auctions range from $1 to $2,500.
When it comes to bidding on storage units “there’s a bit of a learning curve,” Jeremy Wake said. “We’ve learned to look for clean units, nicely organized and full.”
Also, places like Seattle are better for storage unit auctions simply because there are more units to peer into, Jeremy Wake further explained. And “peering” is exactly what you do, as no one is allowed to go inside a unit prior to bidding on it.
After purchasing a new unit, its “go time” for the owners of Storage WAReS, Kendal Wake said. “First you lock it, then pay for it and then we usually pull up with a big truck and start sorting.”
Storage units that don’t get sold at auction end up being cleared out and taken to the dump.
“The whole idea of a store like this is great because all this stuff isn’t going to the dump, but getting re-purposed,” Jeremy Wake said.
Storage WAReS grand opening
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, May 2
Where: 680 W. Washington St.
More info: Call owner Kendal Wake at 477-4455 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Alana Linderoth at email@example.com.