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Meet Jeremy Wright of Thrift in South Side

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Wright.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jeremy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve built my career for the past nearly 10 years in healthcare management. More specifically community health as I have a passion for those who are underserved in this area. Both my undergraduate and master’s degrees are in health administration and I’ve stayed pretty true to this career path up until now. About a year ago my business partner, Shoshanna Brown, and I had a garage sale and we had this crazy idea that we should open a Thrift store that would deliver monthly boxes to people’s homes. However, both Shoshanna and I are very community oriented and we knew that whatever we did had to incorporate that passion. It was from this conversation in my basement that the initial concept for Thrift was born. Later down the road as we worked on logistics we decided that we would utilize the thrift store to be an anchor for a marketplace that would help showcase products created by African American businesses.

Has it been a smooth road?
HA!! It definitely has not been a completely smooth road. One of our biggest challenges has been simply figuring out how to work together despite our somewhat unique dynamic. I’m just going to come out and say it… My business partner is my ex-girlfriend. I know some people probably cringe when they hear that but it has actually been more of a challenge explaining why we are working together than it has been doing the work. Although romantically it did not work out we still complement each other in business extremely well. She is strong where I am not and vice versa. We don’t agree on everything but we challenge each other in a way that makes our business stronger. Although we hold equal equity in the company she has graciously allowed me to serve as CEO while she is our CFO. Overall, the business has been met with a lot of support though.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Thrift – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In general our company is a thrift store that specializes in high quality but low cost clothing and accessories. However, what sets us apart is that our thrift store is the support system for a marketplace that carries nothing but products created by black entrepreneurs. We want people to be able to buy black and give black in this community without having to think about it so much. We wanted to be able to shop in place that was an investment in our own community. In addition, we wanted to help small black businesses bring their products to the shelves by making it easier for them to do it. We will offer a variety of ways that they can sell with us from consignment to wholesale.

I am most proud of the stereotypes that this company is already breaking. Our community has supported us and not torn us down. We have been able to raise capital through the support of other black businesses and supporters. We have been extremely collaborative and not in competition. The excellence and pride of the black community shows up in all that we have been able to accomplish so far even though our business is still very new.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that Chicago is a big city where you can still experience such a great sense of community. However, I think what I like least about Chicago is its politics. Chicago and Illinois politics have such a history of divisiveness and corruption but I am hopeful that a few of my friends who are running for office will help to change that!

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

4 Comments

  1. Cathy

    March 6, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Awesome article about a true visionary!!

  2. Ehi

    March 26, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    This is awesome and you’re on the south side!!!!!!!! I’ll be stopping by soon!

  3. Gailmarie Wooten-Ward

    July 31, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Bravo Jeremy! I’m feeling as though I am meeting Shoshanna for the first time! I am very proud of you young man! I look forward to supporting your efforts! We are family!

  4. Gailmarie Wooten-Ward

    July 31, 2018 at 4:23 am

    To your continued successes!

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