Dina is passionate about the community and excited to bring shoppers high-quality new and gently-loved items.
“I opened The Treasure Chest in 2015 because I lost my traditional job,” says Middlebrook. “I had already been reselling, but only on the side. I took it full-time and within a month, needed a store.”
Today she sells goods from every department you can think of, out of a fully stocked 6,000 square foot space. As a certified reseller, she purchases both new and used items. Her hunt for treasures includes storage unit auctions, increasing the chance of finding rare and valuable items for resale.
On display in the store are more than 350 Barbies in unopened boxes. This outstanding collection, which includes duo sets, Bob Mackie releases, and more, has been featured on Travel Alberta. Products for sale include smoke and vape, rocks and gems, metaphysical supplies, antiques, collectables, jewelry, health and beauty, and much more.
What makes The Treasure Chest a success goes far beyond the huge selection of products. Middlebrook is also very passionate about taking care of people and being a good community member.
“It’s important to be an honest, trustworthy human,” she explains. “I show up for people and act in good faith in everything I do. Helping out where needed is important too. In addition to sending a truckload of items to help people that lost everything in the Kelowna fires, we routinely support the local food bank, the school’s breakfast club, sponsor local athletes, and much more.”
Middlebrook continues, “As a natural networker, I truly love people and the amazing relationships we have built up around town. We are local; we planted our roots here and raised our children here. I have had a wonderful time growing a local business and hiring local employees.”
There are some challenges. As with all retail businesses, some customers can be rude and theft is always a growing problem. Middlebrook, however, is undaunted.
“I want to thank the whole community, in general, for its continued support. Without our community and customers, we wouldn’t be able to grow. For the future, The Treasure Chest looks forward to doing what we do and doing it well – just continuing to be.”
Middlebrook is happy to share some tips for first-time and seasoned thrifters:
- Visit regularly: Thrift shops receive new items on a regular basis, so it's important to visit often to get first dibs on the best finds.
- Go early: Arriving early in the day increases your chances of finding unique items before others have a chance to snatch them up.
- Keep an open mind: Thrift shops can be a treasure trove of hidden gems, but you may need to look beyond the surface. Keep an open mind and be willing to reimagine how an item can be used or repurposed.
- Look for unique items: Thrift shops often carry one-of-a-kind or vintage items that you won't find anywhere else. Keep an eye out for unique clothing pieces, accessories, furniture, or decor items.
- Be patient and persistent: Thrift shopping requires patience and persistence. It may take several visits to find exactly what you're looking for, but the thrill of discovering a hidden gem makes it worth the effort!