Chances are you if you pop into Stuff Etc. in Cedar Rapids looking for a bargain, you’ll bump into Cerisa Thomas.
Thomas works as the floor manager at Stuff Etc., which means on any given day she’s working somewhere in the store to keep the resale retail outlet.
“I take care of everything on the floor with my team, from working the cash registers to sorting and putting out merchandise” she said, noting there are around 40 employees at the Stuff Etc. Cedar Rapids location alone.
“I’m very hands on and love to work with people — from our employees to our customers and consignors. It’s really fabulous when we get to know our customers’ names.”
Thomas started as an associate at Stuff Etc. six years ago.
“Here at Stuff you get trained on all aspects of the store to begin with,” she said. “So by the time I was moved up to the receiving department I asked lots of questions. I wanted to know everything.”
Thomas soon moved up to a supervisor role before being asked to take on the role of floor manager.
Now she answers a lot of questions on a daily basis, but she’s more than prepared for the job.
Thomas has an eye for decorating, so she enjoys working on displays for the store.
“I love doing the vignettes, as we call them, setting up displays of merchandise or ‘hot picks’. It’s fun to set up a vignette and watch something that you put in it sell within half an hour. I love the thrill of the sale.”
Thomas said they carry a variety of merchandise from vintage to modern.
“We have everything from infant through adults and it’s all under one roof,” Thomas said. “And I think it’s exciting that when you walk in, there is always something new.”
Thomas said because she is on the floor every day she’s got a great handle on what they have in inventory.
“I love when I can help a customer find something they don’t think we’ll have but we do,” she said, admitting she’s been known to let other shoppers know they can find an item at Stuff when she’s out and about doing other shopping.
“It’s like recycling here,” she said, noting that she feels especially good about Stuff Etc’s resale philosophy. “People clean out their closets and we give you money for those items. You are giving items a second chance, and you are getting something for it.
“Plus, we are helping people save money in the long run while shopping, too. A lot of times we hear people coming in for one thing and leaving with much more than just what they were looking for. I tell people all the time that if there’s something you are looking for, just come in and search, and you will likely find it,” she said.
It’s a safe bet that if you find Thomas in the store while you are looking, she’d be able to find it for you.
WINNER: Stuff Etc.
ADDRESS: 252 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids
PHONE: (319) 373-2380
RUNNERS-UP: Crazy Daisy, 712 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids (319) 262-3615; shopthedaisy.com; Simply Saavy Boutique, 568 Boyson Rd. NE No. 180, Cedar Rapids; (319) 202-0602
PICK IT UP: Top Shelf is available at Hy-Vee, Casey’s and Fareway stores in the Corridor