By: Chelsea Seifert
Texas State University student
Right down the road from Texas State University stands Retro Exchange, a San Marcos thrift shop that focuses on recycling and aims to benefit college students.Retro Exchange, located near the square, is owned by the Yarovinsky family and has been in business since 2003. "Buy, Sell, Trade" is the store’s motto.
Storeowner and manager, Mona Yarovinsky, said her husband’s love for recycling was a major influence to start Retro Exchange.
“My husband loves to recycle,” Yarovinsky said. “He knows the kids are into recycling too, so he wanted to be near a university. It also sounded like good business.”
Yarovinsky said the store was much bigger when it started, but they wanted to decrease in size to be on a more personal level with students nearby.
“I’m probably the only one (thrift shop) that gives fair money to the kids,” Yarovinsky said. “I look at everything individually and price everything per item. I enjoy talking to the students, giving them advice and letting them tell me what’s on their mind.”
Retro Exchange use to export clothing abroad to other countries such as Chile, Russia, Japan, England and Turkey merely to help others, but wanted to downsize to have a relaxed atmosphere.
“We use to have 100 employees and we wanted to get out of that,” Yarovinsky said. “We wanted to downsize. My husband thought this would be more laid back and we would enjoy it more, and he was right.”
Yarovinsky said it wasn’t difficult getting the store started because San Marcos needed a place that supplied stylish, eclectic clothing for students on a budget, as well as sell clothes for cash or credit.
Raquel Yarovinsky, Mona Yarovinsky’s daughter, occasionally works at the store to help when available.
“I love it (working at Retro Exchange),” Raquel Yarovinsky said. “Since we buy clothes nearly everyday, I get my shopping fix through looking at and buying clothes for the store. It’s also a great and laid back environment.”
In the past, Retro Exchange has held some events to promote the store and meet the public and hopes to do so again in the future.
“We use to have free beer and live music twice a year,” Raquel Yarovinsky said. “We haven’t had an event in little over a year, but we plan on having another event this upcoming fall semester.”
Both Mona and Raquel Yarovinsky said that most people who work at Retro Exchange become like family, and they hope the family atmosphere is noticeable to the San Marcos community.
Retro Exchange, open for 10 years now, is a ma and pa thrift store that offers affordable and stylish clothing to all.
Retro Exchange is open Monday through Saturday 1-6:00 p.m.
Retro Exchange is located in downtown San Marcos at 314 N. LBJ Drive. Learn more about this locally shop at http://retroexchange.blogspot.com/p/home.html .