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Stage Two thrift store moving to Sterling

Resale shop proceeds fund Self Help Enterprises

STERLING – It’s stage 3 for Stage Two Resale shop.

The nonprofit Rock Falls thrift store at 225 First Ave., which raised money for the now-defunct Sterling Christian School in Galt, was given to Self Help Enterprises in February 2013. Self Help provides employment training and residential support for adults with disabilities.

The building Stage Two is in was always cramped, and became even more so as donations of items rose in the wake of its new mission. Parking, too, has been an issue. The hope always has been to move to larger accommodations.

That hope is being realized: The store is moving across the river to a former Video Village store at 205 St. Mary’s St., just south of Kroger’s. That move will triple Stage Two’s space, said Carla Haubrich, Self Help’s executive director.

The building, which once was a grocery store called People’s Market, also has a large parking lot.

Its first day in the new spot will be June 2. Hours will remain the same: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Self Help took over the thrift store in part to have a revenue stream that didn’t flow from the state, Haubrich said at the time.

Since then, the store has generated more than $10,000, she said, and more space means Stage Two will be able to take in more and larger items.

“I think a lot of times, people just didn’t donate because they knew we didn’t have the space,” Haubrich said.

It also means the nonprofit will be able to expand its recycling program – which now focuses on electronics, paper, cardboard and aluminum – to include textiles, Haubrich said.

Best of all, though, because of the additional space, and because it’s closer to Self Help headquarters at 2300 W. LeFevre, the store will become another place to train clients, who will be paid to help sort, process and price donations, she said.

Longtime co-managers Agnes Povilaitis and Emily Habben, Stage Two’s only paid employees, also will make the move, as are its volunteers.

Haubrich hopes its customers will, too.

“Rock Falls has been very good to us. We’ve had a very good clientele; we just didn’t find a location there,” she said, adding that continued support from both communities is important to the shop’s success.

In fact, she welcomes volunteers from anywhere in the area to help with the move, which will take place the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the Monday, June 2, reopening.

How to help

Until just before the last weekend in May, Stage Two Resale Shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 225 First Ave. in Rock Falls. Call 815-626-7323 for more information on the store.

Plenty of items are needed to stock the new site at 205 St. Mary's St. in Sterling when it opens June 2. So for now, folks doing their spring cleaning are asked to take large or bulky donations to Self Help headquarters at 2300 W. LeFevre Road, where they will be stored until moving time.

Anyone interested in helping with the move or otherwise volunteering is asked to call Self Help at 815-626-3115.

More information on Self Help and its recycling program can be found at or on its Facebook page.

Stage Two site to house two businesses

ROCK FALLS – The building that now houses Stage Two Resale Shop will not sit idle.

Katy Selmi-Downs, owner of Selmi's Bridal Services in Rock Falls and a Country Financial agent for 2 years, and husband Kurt Downs, a vice president at Sauk Valley Bank, bought the building at 225 First St./state Route 40.

They are splitting it into two spaces, one for each her businesses, remodeling the interiors and redoing the facades.

"We're moving off the farm, and into First Avenue," Katy said, "and we're so excited."

The farm she's referring to is her family farm at 1206 Dixon Ave., where her parents, Frank and Connie Selmi, and her brother, Matt, run Selmi's Greenhouse and Farm Market.

The Downses are shooting for a Nov. 1 opening, in time for the annual Hometown Holidays festivities, she said.

You can learn more about her businesses on Facebook, at, or by searching for Selmi's Bridal or Katy's personal page. Katy also can be reached at or 815-441-4575.

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