Jacob Nash was inspired to open his thrift store, Margie’s Closet after a good friend asked if he knew anywhere they could donate clothes specifically for the transgender community. Realizing such a place didn’t exist, Nash started one of his own.
Located in Ohio, Margie’s Closet is the first thrift store in the state designed to support transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive people with affordable clothing options. They offer a wide variety of clothing options including chest binders for transgender men and inclusive sizes.
The initiative started as a popup exchange for members of the LGBTQ community to trade clothing in a safe space, but after overwhelmingly positive feedback, it became a permanent storefront. According to Nash, other businesses have been highly supportive of the initiative and it’s not just transgender patrons who shop there. Nash, says, “We’ve had people coming in and purchasing items that are from the community, but also people that are supportive of the trans community that are coming in and saying, ‘We are coming here to shop because we want to support the community, the trans community, the nonbinary community.’”
Many members of the trans community don’t feel uncomfortable shopping in traditional stores for clothing, but Nash says his dedicated space makes shoppers feel more confident and supported. The store serves as a hub for not only clothing but also information for other resources as well as a place to meet other members of the trans community. The store even offers free shopping vouchers to those in need, available through a variety of nonprofits in the area.
“I realized the importance we play in trans and non-binary people who walk through our door,” says, Monika Veliz, a store manager. “They’re looking for direction, they’re looking for… connection [and] community. That was the defining moment of what the store actually was for me.”
This story is part of our ‘Best of 2021’ series highlighting our top solutions from the year. Today we’re featuring business solutions.