Just finishing up her 8th season with Wicked Thrift Kara Montori, 33, is always the life of the party.
Introducing Kara Montori, our rockstar! If you've never met Kara at Wicked Thrift on her regular Mondays with us, Kara is a resident of Transitions Centers on Cape Cod, which assists adults with challenges transition to greater independence, including finding employment that matches both interests and abilities.
"I was approached in 2011 and asked if I would kindly offer an opportunity to Kara." Tammy Venneri, owner and founder of Wicked Thrift recalled. Tammy continued, "They visited my store and I remember saying yes on the spot and then 'see you next week!'"
Since 2011, Kara’s responsibilities at Wicked Thrift include helping tag incoming items, going through the clothing racks to color coordinate and organize sizes and helping organize the stock room. On our busy trade days, when we see up to 1,000 incoming items on a Monday, her help is truly invaluable.
Kara says of trade days, “I’m always shocked to see how many people brought their stuff in.”
Kara began working with Wicked Thrift when the West Dennis location was the only location we had, back in 2011.
Kara remembers her time spent in the Dennis store with Tammy working in the basement of Westies Shoes, which acted as Wicked Thrift's stockroom and the old Victorian house and barn that was Wicked Thrift's original location.
“There was a chute that the bags would go down, and we would sort and go through all the new stuff in the basement.” Kara says that she likes working in the West Yarmouth location better, which opened in 2013, because “it’s bigger and you don’t have to go in a basement".
Some of her favorite memories at Wicked Thrift, this past summer, are working with Missy and Madison in the stock room, while Tammy would be going through the drop-offs in the back.
Tammy commented, “Kara kicks butt on general tasking…[She] runs circles around us and keeps us on our toes.”
On the trade days when Kara has worked with us, she sets the pace. When given a task, she does it right away and efficiently, often encouraging the rest of us to match her pace and not cut corners. The entire team is more productive than ever when Kara is on the schedule.
One of Kara’s favorite parts of working at Wicked Thrift is “seeing new stuff every day…stuff that you don’t see in other stores, unique stuff.”
Those who work with Kara at Transitions Centers, her “staff” as she calls them, also seem to benefit from Kara’s work at Wicked Thrift. She explained, “I always tell them after work if anything’s on sale, so they can come shop ‘til they drop.”
Kara describes her personal fashion as “neat and casual,” and she is always the first person to pull something out of the pile and say, “look at this!” or “Look, a new jacket for you!”
“What began as an exercise in social responsibility, has become a realization that life at Wicked Thrift simply would not be the same without Kara’s humor, help and friendship”, Tammy says.
PERSONAL NOTE FROM AUTHOR and CO-WORKER, MISSY JONES
I’m going to take a moment to step away from “news writing” mode.
As someone who has worked with Kara a lot over the last few years, I can honestly say that she is one of the most sunshiney people I have ever met and an amazing coworker and friend.
I think I mentioned to her exactly one time that I liked sparkles and, after that, every time something sparkly comes through our pile she says, “Look Missy! Something for you!” and I always hold it up to myself, as if to model it. No matter how many times that happens, it always makes us laugh.
When conducting this interview with Kara, she said something that honestly made me take a step back. I asked her why she thought that her staff liked that she had her job here at Wicked Thrift and she said, “I don’t know if other places treat people with disabilities equal like you guys do.”
Kara, you are a valued, loved and cherished member of this team, and I am so honored to write this blog post about you! I am so excited to see you soon.