Epic Exchange is a business that lives up to its name. Owned and run by the whole Sharp family, Scott, Dionne and their children, the retail store is known for its recycling business model and store design.
The Epic team buys, sells and trades gently used clothing and accessories with the public on a walk-in basis. Their experienced buyers evaluate the items customers bring in and those customers can receive cash or store credit if their items are purchased.
Epic purchases are based on the season, style, condition and inventory levels. When clothing does not match the criteria for a sale, often the customer does not want the hassle of taking them elsewhere. This is when Scott and Dionne offer another option.
The philanthropic business owners work closely with the Idaho Youth Ranch. This non-profit agency offers shelter, substance abuse treatment, training programs, adoption services and counseling for at-risk children and their families. Epic Exchange is one of 29 stores that help to fund the youth programs and services.
“The Idaho Youth Ranch is a really helpful organization that we utilize to take the clothes we don’t select [to be purchased],” Scott said. “They will come and pick up clothes from us once or twice a week if needed and they take them and resell them to help their organization for all the kids they help.”
Scott and Dionne became involved with the organization as part of their recycling business model.
“We wanted to keep our business fully recyclable. So to continue that with the clothes we aren’t purchasing makes sense,” Scott said. “We wanted to find an organization that was giving back to the community in Idaho, especially to young people and helping them to better themselves.”
Aligning their business with this charity has benefitted both the Sharps and their business. Not only does it help them spread awareness of their business, but it gives them the opportunity to give back.
“When we wanted to be a part of the community, we didn’t want it to be more about making money for us, we wanted to give back to where we could,” Scott said. “We have clothes we can donate to them, so it’s such an easy thing for us to do. But you know, they seem to really appreciate it, and it is nice to be appreciated.”
Scott emphasizes the importance of business owners getting involved in their communities.
“Find someone who aligns with your thinking on how you operate,” Scott said. “Also, you want to stay local. I think it is hard to go outside your own community, especially when you are a small business. Find somebody local that can help you, while you help them. It makes it work for everybody.”