Boomerangs Special Edition is a concept charity thrift shop run by Cierra Michele Peters and Micah Belyea. The seven-year-old store houses a collection of archival and emergent designer garments, furniture, and curios. BSE is a cultural neighborhood hang which you’ll find more community-minded and personally involved than the average thrifting spot.
Can you tell us the history of Boomerangs and how the organization gives back?
Cierra Michele Peters: In 1983, the Aids Action Committee was founded as a community response to the ongoing epidemic. 100% of the proceeds from the donated items we sell in our shop goes back into client programming. Boomerangs was started in the mid-1990s as a social enterprise to raise funds for AAC. Boomerangs relies on generous community members to donate product to our location. Programs the AAC offers include: HIV/STI testing and prevention counseling; a day shelter for homeless youth; and housing services and assistance.
What sorts of cool pieces can you currently find at Boomerangs?
Micah Belyea: We carry a variety of clothing that caters to all genders. Currently we have brands such as Nili Lotan, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Isabel Marant, NSF, Dries Van Notan, Dolce & Gabbana, and The Row available. People often don’t realize that we carry furniture and housewares as well; often you can find brands like Artemide, Waterford Crystal, Scandia Furniture, Jonathan Adler, and West Elm.
Cierra Michele Peters: We receive a lot of support from the community, as well as corporations. You’ll find items that are gently used, vintage, or new with tags. The most interesting items we usually receive are war paraphernalia, beauty products, or fetish gear. It honestly ranges.
SEL: What items do usually have that people may not know that you have in the store?
Micah Belyea: People typically think that we only carry women’s designer clothing and are surprised when they find furniture, housewares, and men’s clothing.
SEL: When are the best times to come by to check for things? Are there "delivery" days?
Micah Belyea: I don’t think there’s a “best day” per se, because we get donations regularly throughout the day, so new merchandise hits the floor each and every day. A good chunk of our more interesting pieces, I feel, come from the community.
Cierra Michele Peters: Every Thursday nights between 5PM and 7PM we have our customer appreciation event, Thankful Thursday. We offer a 15% discount on all full-priced merchandise, we serve wine graciously donated by our neighbors, and we sing show tunes loudly.
SEL: If someone wants to donate clothes, how do they do that? What are you looking for?
Cierra Michele Peters: People can donate any time that we are open. We accept gently worn or new and unworn merchandise. Everything should be in wearable condition, and we have a short list of things that we cannot accept, which includes items such as underwear, socks, swimwear, countertop appliances, beds or bedding, and towels. A full list is available both in store and on our website