We are a woman-run business.

Melissa's Story

A FORCE OF NATURE

Melissa Meece is a multi-passionate entrepreneur. Her interests range from recycling and sustainable agriculture, to thrifted fashion, to holistic health, to writing about her recent journey running a restaurant. Her many interests are like the facets of a diamond- she shines her light and creates community wherever she puts her focus.  She is the heart beat at the center of both Rethreads as well as FIREFLY, a restaurant arcade serving locally-sourced, healthy comfort food just a few miles down the road from her beloved consignment shop.

 

THE BACK-STORY

Growing up on Long Island, Melissa was raised by her mother and grandmother with a philosophy of reducing, reusing, and recycling. "Waste not want not" was not just a catchy environmental ethos; it was a way of life in their household. As a child, Melissa and her friends started a group called the "Save The Earth Club" through which they initiated a recycling program at their elementary school, and raised money for environmental organizations. From an early age, one of her favorite pastimes was shopping at yard sales and thrift shops. Eventually she would learn the skill of reselling such secondhand items - for herself and friends - by posting on Ebay and Craigslist, hosting yard sales, and selling at consignment shops.

As a young adult, Melissa pursued an Environmental Studies degree at Vassar College, and spent several years working as an environmental consultant in New York City and Burlington, Vermont. She also helped many friends start and grow small businesses and knew that one day she would put those skills to use in her own business. Every new thrift shop and consignment store she visited provided ideas and inspiration for her own store "one day".

In Vermont she fell in love: both with farming and with Mark. Melissa and Mark left Vermont to work on an organic farm in Central Virginia in 2012. When the season ended, they moved to Charlottesville and Melissa decided to pursue her dream of opening a retail consignment shop. Rethreads - as a concept and business plan - was born in November 2012, and opened its doors as a 1,000 square foot storefront on Allied Street in February 2013.

In the beginning, Melissa worked the store all day, every day. She quickly learned important lessons about life/work balance and personal sustainability, and she gathered a team of trusted women to fill in the gaps, especially once Mark was diagnosed with cancer. Faced with this illness, he realized his dream to open a restaurant arcade, filled with the sounds of children playing, adults enjoying craft beverages, and high-quality, affordable food being served. When his illness took a turn for the worst, Melissa stepped in and made FIREFLY what it is today-- a living memorial to a wonderful man, and his passionate dream of life that lives on.

 

THE FUTURE

Melissa is currently the full-time owner/operator at FIREFLY. Running a full-service restaurant doesn't leave Melissa much time to work at Rethreads these days, but you'll see her popping in regularly to oversee the store, now twice its original size in a location two doors down from the original storefront.

Melissa is fiercely proud of what Rethreads has become and hopes to continue expanding its range of secondhand and eco-friendly offerings to the shoppers of Charlottesville and beyond.

Currently, Melissa is looking to pass on FIREFLY as a turn-key restaurant, keeping its fiery spirit in the local community blazing bright. She looks forward to refocusing her efforts on her first business baby, among other entrepreneurial ventures down the line. 

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Opening day at Rethreads! The grand unlocking of the door.

Opening day at Rethreads! The grand unlocking of the door.

 

Shining stars make a business bright.

 

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Hannah
Customer-service goddess and super-shiny helper, Hannah makes everyone who steps into the store feel welcome and cared for. 

She is a poet, creative soul, and free spirit. Follow her on instagram @writer_hannah

Terra
Consignment genius and primary collection curator, Terra has a passion for fashion that will not be confined.

She is co-founder of Two Scoops Vintage. Catch them vending at an event or surf their collection on etsy!

Annabeth
Social media magician and content creator, Annabeth sees to it that the store is sparkling and pleasant for all shoppers.

By day, she teaches music lessons and provides design & web support. By moonlight, she writes music for her girl band and her own project.