The Church Mouse put in play a different business model as an alternative to consignment shops, when volunteers from among the members of a church here on Hilton Head Island started the shop nearly 20 years ago as a charitable endeavor. From the beginning, When people bring their well-loved furniture, clothing, tableware, jewelry, furnishings, and accessories to The Church Mouse, they are, in a real way, consigning them to doing good work in the community.

The difference is this. Instead of returning around half of a sale price to the person who consigns the item, The Church Mouse puts far more than that sale price to work for the good of our neighbors, here in the beautiful Lowcountry where we’ve been fortunate to make our homes.

Knowing that something they have enjoyed will find its way into the hands of somebody who will value it just as highly – whether a piece of furniture or jewelry, a clothing item, a set of golf clubs or skis, a table setting they no longer use, a book they have enjoyed and completed, a piece of art –– knowing that is the beginning of a feeling of satisfaction that consignment shops cannot match. Our gratitude for living or visiting here gets real when the things we no longer use can do so much good for so many.

Yet Another Difference

After using the option of consignment shops, once, twice, or even a number of times, many people conclude that the complication of the consignment relationship is not worth the modest amount of cash that comes out the other end. At the Church Mouse, we offer a more conclusive answer than consignment shops, and with this answer are great deal of good radiates outward into the community, instead of a small amount of cash dribbling back to you.

In addition to the steeply discounted amount of cash that a consigned item returns to its original owner – eventually – a disadvantage that weighs larger than that, people tell us, is that they aren’t really rid of the item until – or unless – one of the consignment shops succeeds in selling it. The reason you’re not done with that item yet, is that to consign something is to transfer it to somebody else’s custody or care – but not their ownership. You see, an even more specific definition of consignment is “to set apart for, or devote to, a special purpose.”

And that’s the meaning that The Church Mouse kept, from the consignment idea, “To set apart for a special purpose.” What they changed is what happens after that. The results, over the years of great and growing success, have been that more than 125 local and regional charities have reaped the benefits of the things we no longer wanted or needed.

And the Difference for Donors

Another difference between The Church Mouse and consignment shops is this. People tell us that consignment shops don’t measure up to an experience like the experience they find here. When you drop something off with The Church Mouse, instead of at one of the Island’s consignment shops, you get the chance to see Hilton Head Island’s most carefully curated collection of well-loved things for sale.

As a result, our donors in some cases become our customers, too. The Church Mouse looks and feels more like visiting a friend’s home than browsing a thrift shop or consignment store. And new items arrive every day, so a visit is never ho-hum. And when you donate an item to sell at The Church Mouse, our team of volunteers makes sure it is spruced-up and looking its best. Then it joins the display among other items of the same category, in discrete mini-departments around the shop.

Becoming Part of a Larger Purpose

You become part of something greater than yourself, when you donate or buy from The Church Mouse. In fact, during the years that The Church Mouse has carried on its work, the results have directed more than $2.5 million in grants to charitable organizations, missions, and non-profit endeavors on behalf of the community. Consignment shops don’t offer that kind of satisfaction. At The Church Mouse, you are helping others in ways that range from nutritious meals, to literacy, to medical care, to family support. The Church Mouse makes it easy to do well while you are doing good.

Located even more conveniently than consignment shops, The Church Mouse is on Arrow Road, not far from the Sea Pines Circle, and easily within reach, for visitors and Hilton Head Island residents alike. Come join us for a visit, and enjoy.

Written by : Church Mouse

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