Interior designer discovers ‘quality finds’ at Duluth Salvation Army Thrift Store

May 26, 2021

“This is quality!”

Those were the words of Duluth resident Sarah Taylor during her recent visit to the Duluth Salvation Army's Thrift Store, 2101 W. Superior St. She shops there all the time. 

“Everything I buy here is like a treasure,” explained Sarah, 64, who moved to Duluth a year ago after spending much of her life working as an interior designer in the Twin Cities. She shops at the thrift store for her clients, loved ones, and herself. 

“I come down here weekly because there is always something that I am looking for – and then it appears,” Sarah added. “People's generosity for donations is awesome. By buying here, I save for myself, but I feel like I'm doing stuff for other people, too.”

The Duluth Salvation Army Thrift Store accepts donated clothing, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, electronics, and much more. Your donations and purchases directly fund crucial programs – meaning the bargains you find provide hope and healing by meeting the basic needs of others in our community.

Sarah has a deep appreciation for the services that The Salvation Army provides. She recalls when, years ago, her son had developed eye problems and she needed assistance in purchasing glasses for him. The Salvation Army had a program that helped her.

“It made me feel good that someone cared,” said Sarah, who has raised a small army of children during her life, including two kids, eight step-kids, 16 foster kids, and three others she 'honorarily adopted.'

“When you shop at The Duluth Salvation Army Thrift Store, the money is going to help somebody, such as putting food on their table or having a hot lunch that day,” said Captain Teri Ellison, commanding officer of The Duluth Salvation Army. “We also provide vouchers for people to receive household items, clothing, and other goods.”

The store’s staff members have come to know and love Sarah.

"We see Sarah a lot and she has become part of the family,” said Kim Paulson, Duluth Salvation Army Store Manager. “She is so friendly, personable, and interactive. We know what she likes, too, so if an item comes in that Sarah might appreciate, we'll point it out to her.”

Something for everyone

In September, Sarah will marry her fiancée, Robert "Butch" Spindler, and items found at the Thrift Store will be part of their special day. Besides their wedding day, Sarah and Butch's own home is filled with Thrift Store findings, from their living room to their closets.

“If you are just looking for something nice, they have it here,” Sarah said. “Shop here first and then if you must, you can get your odds and ends in other stores.”

For the do-it-yourself crowd, the Duluth Salvation Army Thrift Store provides endless possibilities.

"Maybe it is an item that has a scratch on it but it's brand new – you can just go to a hardware store and pick something up for a couple of dollars to fix it,” Sarah said. “Here, the prices are very reasonable.”

Sarah has a simple tip for anyone looking to spruce up their home or wardrobe.

“The first thing is simply picking your colors,” she explained. “Find something like a picture that you have on the wall that you really like. Once you find it, then you can look at it and draw the colors out. Why does it make you feel good? Go with what makes you feel good and what makes you want to go home.”

If you would like to work with Sarah, she can be reached by phone at 763-614-8122 or by email at

The Duluth Salvation Army Thrift Store is always in need of quality, gently used items. If you have something to donate, please call 218-722-7723.

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