When Claudia Lacy was growing up in a single-parent household in Mound in the 1970s, she was embarrassed when her mother shopped at thrift stores and garage sales for the family.
Last year, Lacy launched The Langdon, a charitable resale shop in her hometown.
“She must be laughing,” said Lacy, referring to her mother who died a few months after the shop opened. “Now I’m surrounded by secondhand things.”
Lacy, a former investment portfolio manager, moved from Dallas back to Mound. “I was retired and wanted to use my time to fill a need in the community,” she said.
“We all have so much stuff. I could turn it into dollars to give to what people care about.”
Lacy’s twist on traditional resale shops is that donors of the items get to choose the charity or organization that benefits from the sale.
“We all have different loves and passions — from the Animal Humane Society to mental illness,” she said.
For her new venture, Lacy chose a building resembling a grandiose log cabin that she remembered visiting as a child when it housed an antique store. She named her store The Langdon, after the serene lake it sits on.
After cleaning and preparing the space during spring 2014, Lacy spread the word that she was looking for donations of furnishings, accessories and clothing in good condition.
“People kept dropping off stuff, and before long, it was filled to the porch and yard,” she said.
Lacy donates 50 percent of sales to the designated charities. The rest covers operating expenses, such as rent and utilities. She takes no salary, and the store is staffed by volunteers, whom Lacy recruits using her warm, outgoing personality.
The Langdon’s merchandise changes daily. Apparel ranges from Prada shoes to party dresses. Home furnishings include lighting, artwork, sofas, tables and scores of collections, such as 100-year-old Bolivian pottery and Baccarat crystal.
“We are given lots of furniture from million-dollar homes on Lake Minnetonka,” she added. “We’ve even had a grand piano.”
During the holidays, room vignettes are decorated with wreaths, garland and ornaments, and dining tables are set with festive china. On cold days, there’s a roaring fire in the stone fireplace, thanks to donated firewood.
Last year, Lacy and her staff even trimmed a magnificent 15-foot Christmas tree, which quickly was sold to a customer.
“People donate holiday decor beyond belief,” she said. “We’ve sold tons of Department 56 villages in the boxes for $10.”
The Langdon is not only a drop spot for people’s secondhand stuff; Lacy and her staff of volunteers also have created a warm and welcoming hangout for customers.
“We’re more than a resale store,” she said. “People stop by for a cup of coffee, to read — and look at the lake.”
What: The Langdon will host two events featuring holiday decorating and entertaining tips. Treats and cider will be served.
When: “Making Magical Mantels and Wreaths,” 5-8 p.m. Dec. 10 and “Come to the Table” with tabletop ideas, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12.
Where: 2529 Commerce Blvd., Mound.
Cost: Free. Reservations requested, 952-472-4483.