R.I.P., Value Village Man
June 3, 2008
The Seattle Times reported a sad story yesterday: Bill Ellison, founder of Value Village and Savers, died at his Bellevue home on May 25. He was 79.
Ellison, who opened his first thrift store in the Mission District of San Francisco in 1954, came into the secondhand biz secondhand: his father, a Salvation Army officer, managed Salvos throughout Ellison’s childhood. According to the obit, Ellison was a pretty good guy; he “believed in treating people — his vendors, employees and customers — very well,” his son Thomas told the paper. “The culture of the company was the Golden Rule.”
You know I’m a devotee of the Double V., both for fashion and for fabulous knicky-knackies. So, Bill Ellison, I salute you. You and your palaces of slightly rank second-use stuff. May you cherish that big thrift shop in the sky, where every dawn heralds yet another 50% Off Day, Frodo and Sam aren’t missing from the Lord of the Rings board game, and the cashmere never smells like delousing agent.