Garden Thrift & Boutique
It’s not every day you see a beautiful woman wearing designer clothes and hugging her pet camel. Then again, not many people wear as many hats as artfully as Terri Schaffer does.
Businesswoman, animal lover, wife, mother and self-described “go-getter,” Terri consistently makes things happen. She is at her best while juggling the things she loves most: her faith, family, friends and love of animals.
Once a successful thoroughbred breeder, Terri now concentrates her love of animals at the Garden Worship Center’s Walk of Faith. With her flair for design and impeccable taste, she is totally in her element running the one-of-a-kind Garden Thrift & Boutique store located on the same sprawling 20-acre grounds as the Garden Worship Center, which is pastored by Terri’s husband, Norman Lee Schaffer.
Terri’s business sense, creative flair and her meticulous eye for detail are evident in every corner of the Garden Thrift & Boutique store. She takes great pride in presentation, customer service and extraordinary prices. A perfectionist, Terri claims her store to be the neatest, cleanest and best-priced thrift and boutique shop in the area. Regular customers agree and have continued to stalk the store for new bargains since the shop opened in 2010. There are values to be had daily; those in the know visit often in anticipation of great finds. Some shoppers come every day.
Terri’s two adult sons live in South Florida where they are third-generation estate dealers. Often, they come across high-end items that they generously donate to the Garden Worship Center. In addition, the store’s inventory comes from donations, estate sales and furniture auctions throughout Florida.
Terri proudly shares that she recently sold a gorgeous new leather sofa that was acquired at auction. Although it retailed for $3,500, a lucky buyer was able to “steal” it for the low boutique price of $375. Sofa prices typically run anywhere from $45 and up, while dining tables generally start at just $25.
The store’s purpose is to sell quantity in order to benefit the ministry of the Garden Worship Center. Furniture prices are generally negotiable, especially for large quantity sales. Recently, the church outfitted an entire apartment at no cost for a family in need.
The store is a way for the Garden Worship Center to minister and give back to the community and beyond. The church’s generosity is not limited to their parish; they give to other charities and have even shipped containers to overseas ministries.
“I’m blessed to have Terri as my wife. She is vital to the success of the Garden Worship Center,” says Pastor Norman.
The store’s Boutique Room, known as The Dusty Rose Room, gives Terri the opportunity to showcase her impeccable skills. It is only open a few days each month depending on designer acquisitions that have been curated by Terri. During those days, shoppers will find a tempting collection of designer label items such as Coach, Chanel, Ferragamo, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, St. John, Michael Kors and many more.
Because you never know what treasures you’ll find, one should never miss the opportunity to shop at these sales, which are generally attended by over 300 people. Considering that prices are pennies on the dollar for high-end designer items, it is well worth the visit during the special boutique sales. Merchandise moves quickly—and understandably so.
Shoppers are invited to stop in at the Garden Worship Center Cafe next door for a hotdog and soda for only $1 or a cup of coffee and a Danish. While there, be sure to visit the Garden’s Walk of Faith, a spiritual experience only a short walk or golf cart ride away. The path winds through the adjacent woods and quarry, ultimately leading to full-size replicas of Jesus’ Tomb and Mount Calvary.
Farther down the trail, tucked between the trees, an impressive array of life-size animal statues awaits discovery. Eventually, the scenic path leads to the stable that is home to a “nativity” herd of live animals: a donkey, goat, sheep, birds and even Isaiah, the famous camel, who may have a trace of Terri’s lipstick on his nose from a recent smooch.
Garden Thrift & Boutique › 12740 SE County Highway 484, Belleview › (352) 245-7404 › www.thegardenworshipcenter.com/thrift_shop