common / Crossroads Weekend

Tanya’s Gathering Place fulfills a dream for owner

Beth Rowland

Tanya Hershey's store is the realization of a dream.Tanya Hershey's store is the realization of a dream.

Following a dream. That’s what owner Tanya Hershey says of opening her Berkeley Springs consignment shop, Tanya’s Gathering Place. Hershey had worked as a medical records specialist which, as she says, was a career that paid the bills but did not satisfy the soul. She’d always loved finding treasures at yards sales and in thrift shops and dreamed of opening her own consignment store someday.

            “Someday” started to come about when Hershey was on leave from her job recovering from surgery. She came to Berkeley Springs on a day trip (she lives is South Fulton County, Pa.), and immediately felt a connection to the town.

            “I felt better, calmed and relaxed. The people were kind and I loved all the little stores,” she said. She decided then that the time for a change had come and never went back to medical records.

            

There are five rooms of clothing and home decor items.There are five rooms of clothing and home decor items.

Tanya’s Gathering Place opened on Memorial Day 2012 and now offers brand-name women’s clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, home décor and housewares (there’s a wonderful Christmas selection of home goods at the moment), DVDs, art, and much more — all reasonably priced. With a beautiful interior décor of black and hot pink, Tanya’s Gathering Place looks no different from an upscale women’s dress shop.

            The store has gained a number of loyal customers since its opening. Many are local folks who first learned of the store by word of mouth. Those loyal local shoppers are critical to the store’s success, Hershey says.

            “The shops in Berkeley Springs are not just for tourists or visitors. Without the support of local people, it’s hard for most of the shops to survive.” That’s why the store’s motto is “Shop, Earn and Give Locally.”

Not just a clothing store, there are lots of home decor items available at Tanya's.Not just a clothing store, there are lots of home decor items available at Tanya's.

            “Earning” is the flip side of shopping at Tanya’s Gathering Place. Consignment customers (sometimes the same folks as the buying customers) can bring their clean (absolutely free from smoke, Hershey cautions), washed and pressed name-brand items in excellent condition for resale. The consignor receives 40 percent of the final selling price. After 60 days, there is an automatic markdown and any items unsold after 90 days are picked up by the consignor or donated to a no-kill pet shelter’s thrift shop in McConnellsburg, Pa. There are a few other rules so it’s best to stop in the store and thoroughly understand how it all works before bringing in items.

Customers Nora McMackin from Front Royal and Samantha Wymer from Strasburg were thrilled with their "finds" at Tanya's Gathering Place on their day trip to Berkeley Springs.Customers Nora McMackin from Front Royal and Samantha Wymer from Strasburg were thrilled with their "finds" at Tanya's Gathering Place on their day trip to Berkeley Springs.

            Hershey’s savvy customers have learned to come by often to see what new items are available from consignors. As one customer said, “It motivates me to clean out my closet if I can resell the items. I then use that money to buy new things. That’s one reason I’m here almost every week.”

            The weekly sales are another reason customers come in often. One week it will be red-colored tagged items, the next orange or purple. These can be as much as 50 percent discounts on selected items. There are currently five full rooms of items for sale.

Co-worker Ashley Stahle always seems to have a smile on her face at Tanya's.

Co-worker Ashley Stahle always seems to have a smile on her face at Tanya's.


            Located at 87 North Washington Street in Berkeley Springs, Tanya’s Gathering Place has a Facebook page (with the same name) where customers can keep up with the sales and other store information.

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