4 Rivers plans many efforts
Outdoor consignment store 4 Rivers is relatively new in town, but its founders have big plans for the little store.
Paul Peters founded the store as well as the nonprofit Nehemiah Project, which 4 Rivers supports. Peters also founded Covenant Case Management Services, which assists individuals with disabilities, in Charlotte.
His business partner, Brandi Jordan, said they thought of an outdoor consignment store, as the closure of God’s Country Outfitters in Albemarle left a gap for local consumers to find outdoor supplies.
They also recognized the price of new gear may deter some families from enjoying outdoor activities.
“Some can’t afford extremely expensive gear,” Jordan said. “This encourages families to get outside, bonding and enjoying the outdoors.”
The location is ideal for an outdoor consignment store with the lakes, Morrow Mountain and other outdoor recreation opportunities nearby, the owners said.
The store’s downtown location in the heart of Albemarle was also intentional, Peters said. 4 Rivers wants to help grow the downtown area.
“We just really want to do an outreach for the things people may need in an outdoor area,” Peters said.
The store has flyers available with a list of consignment ideas, including crossbows, sports equipment, child carriers for hiking, camp stoves, camping cookware, cargo racks, kayaks and many other types of equipment. Items can be consigned or donated.
The store also offers rental packages, including a birthday set, tailgating set and camping package. The sets include daily or two-day prices. The tailgating package, for example, includes a pop-up tent, two chairs, a grill, corn hole boards and a cooler.
By summer, Jordan and Peters plan to offer equipment rentals for kayaks, paddle boards and other items.
“People love to be outdoors here,” Jordan said, adding that when she moved to the area, one of the first things she noticed was how often people went out walking.
Vendor booths are available for rent within the store. Businesses can sell anything related to outdoor recreation, from homemade duck calls to corn hole boards, Jordan said. Vendors could also offer services, such as waxing snowboards and skis.
The store is also the only one in Albemarle that sells trail passes and shooting passes for Uwharrie National Forest, Jordan said. It has been approved to sell fishing and hunting licenses and will begin selling them soon.
The store benefits the Nehemiah Project, which is designed to meet multiple needs in the community. The funding from the store supports the towers of the Nehemiah Project: the homeless, senior citizens, veterans, at-risk kids and abused women, those who suffer from addiction and/or mental health disorders, and those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Some members of the community may have already seen the store’s mascot, a Sasquatch whose motto is, “Believe in yourself even when others do not.”
The back of the store will become a training area for those with intellectual disabilities and for NC Works. Owners also hope to offer training and certifications to individuals with criminal backgrounds to help them land jobs.
Peters and Jordan want to provide job opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities, including working at a trail mix station, a jerky bar, helping accept consignments and other tasks.
“We are trying to encourage everyone to come alongside and partner with us,” Jordan said.
4 Rivers and the Nehemiah Project want to support those in the community.
“They have to believe there is something better,” Jordan said. “An addict, for example, has to believe they can be clean.”
Peters also participates in the Lunch Buddies program at East Albemarle Elementary School. East was the first school in the county to add the program, and others may add it, he said.
He has spoken with a couple of parents of Lunch Buddy students to find out what the families need.
Peters also hopes to offer a health fair.
Upstairs in the store, 4 Rivers and the Nehemiah Project plan to have a care closet designed to help the neediest in the community.
They plan to stock appliances, clothing and more. They have reached out to stylists and others who can offer services to help prepare individuals for job interviews. The plan is to allow someone who has a job interview scheduled to be able to look for clothing for their interview and make sure they look professional, Peters said.
They need additional stylists and other volunteers who can offer services, Peters said.
“We notice lots of resources through this community … we want to be the hub that sort of pulls all these resources together,” Peters said.
Part of meeting the needs means noticing issues.
“We are trying to see where these voids are at,” Peters said. “We will help plug volunteers into areas we know where a void is.”
Peters and Jordan would like to see the Nehemiah Project – 4 Rivers – community partnership idea become one that takes off across the state – if not the world.
“We want this model to go statewide, maybe train other states and countries to do something similar,” Peters said.
“The more people we have partner with us, the more we can do,” she said.
4 Rivers also just wants to help people notice the natural resources available to them and offer the equipment they need to enjoy it at an affordable price.
“They may sit at home not knowing what to do with the kids this weekend and they may not realize all that’s around,” Jordan said.
Jordan asked that community members bring their outdoor items in to consign or donate.
“If you can do it outside or if it’s something to do with outside, we’ll take it,” Jordan said.
Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.
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