We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Vanwinkle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexandra, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When my boyfriend and I started our business, we were still working our full-time corporate restaurant jobs. We had both been in the service industry for many years working long nights and early mornings. We eventually started thinking to ourselves, we need something new. We needed to find a way to work for ourselves and actually enjoy what we are doing. We did our research and found out about buying liquidation pallets and reselling at a much lower cost than the major big box retail stores. We thought to ourselves this is it! Yes, we wanted to work for ourselves and be our own bosses but what value were we going to bring to our customers? We started small, and by small, I mean we started in the smallest storage unit possible, the size of a closet at a storage facility and eventually had enough inventory that we ended up in the biggest storage unit available! Now we have our first store front making it possible for customers to shop anytime and that’s a great feeling. Not knowing if we would be successful in starting this business or if we were going to fail and now seeing where we are at today makes leaving the corporate world and bringing great quality products to our customers for so much less makes it so worth it. We dove into this business headfirst and didn’t know where we would end up. Nothing in life is guaranteed as we all know, it’s how you go about working for it. And boy do we work a lot. We thought escaping the corporate life would give us more time and freedom. HA! We work more hours, but you know what? We are working for our goals, our future and that’s totally worth all the long days spent working this line of business. Plus, I get to spend more time doing what I love with my best friend and partner and that’s a huge bonus in my book.

What should our readers know about your business?
Thrifty Bodega is a place where you can go and find Target Liquidation items as well as other large retailer brands but at a fraction of the price and might even find things that are no longer sold in stores. We keep a variety of inventory such as furniture, bedding, clothing, home decor and general merchandise. Starting this business was not easy that’s for sure. We did a ton of research to find the best available product that we could sell for a great deal. When we first started, we were trying to figure out our target market, our pricing structure, our discount structure and so forth. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and I think what’s great about the business we are in is that we can offer so much at such a great price and have more flexibility in our random sales and promotions we do each week. I think what sets us apart from other similar businesses is that we are small, which gives us the opportunity to be more personable, get to know our customers and cater to what they are in search of at that time. If we don’t have something they are looking for we will take down your contact information and once that item or something similar arrives we reach out right away. What did we learn? We as small business owners realized we wear all the hats. We are HR, Marketing, Buyers, Admin, Bookkeepers, Furniture builders and so much more. You need to have patience in this business and know that not all pieces will fall into place right away. You really have to work for it and do your research about what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We love Fort Worth! First thing first we have to hit up the Stockyards. Its iconic and full of history and Texas culture! We would visit Cattle drive, show them the gorgeous Stockyards hotel that the infamous Bonnie & Clyde stayed in-We love history so our friends would be getting a little history tour all over Fort Worth. We have to stop at Tim Love’s The Lonesome Dove for some food and then take them to a show at the Red Goose Saloon which used to be an old shoe store by the way! After we toured and ate and drank our way through the Stockyards our next stop would be downtown Grapevine. We love the little town feel of downtown Grapevine. Full of small businesses and many amazing restaurants to choose from. We would have to visit the Grapevine Oil Company and the Texas General Store for sure! Lunch at Napoli’s where Post Malone used to play before he became big and drinks afterwards at Willhoite’s!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our Family first and foremost! They have been so supportive from the beginning. They are constantly promoting our social media pages, telling their friends about us, even coming to town to work our store so we can take a vacation from time to time! Our family is the biggest support system, they are our cheerleaders, and we cannot thank them enough for their support and love! We also want to shoutout our customers who keep us open and going every day! We strive to do bigger and better things for them. We are going into our second year of business, and we would not be where we are today without the support of our customers, our loyal followers and people who return back to us week after week.

Website: www.thriftybodega.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thrifty_bodega/

Facebook: @thriftybodega

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.