Bev Kimberley stands in the perpetual tag sale and consignment shop she recently opened with her husband in Otis.
OTIS, Mass. — They are not affiliated with Goodwill, but they are trying to spread good will in their little corner of Berkshire County.
Bev and Ron Kimberley have opened Gram's Redneck Reusables, a perpetual tag sale and consignment shop as well as weekend flea market, on property they own on Town Hill Road in West Otis, just off Route 23 between Otis and Monterey.
They kicked off the new endeavor over Mother's Day weekend with the goal of providing a service while being environmentally responsible.
"Our main goal is to keep reusable items out of the landfills," Bev Kimberley said Sunday on a warm spring afternoon, when business was slow but the sun was shining on the rural three-season home now being used as the store. "Too much stuff is being thrown away that's still usable."
That "stuff" they are now selling includes books, tapes, toys, household goods, furniture, collectibles and more. Their initial inventory came mostly from their own possessions, accumulated over the years on both this property and their home down the road.
"We have enough inventory to keep us open for, without exaggerating, five or six years," Bev said.
They also have received donations - like two mint-condition Radio Flyer sleds given to them by the man at the dump, where they had been thrown away.
"They're brand new," Ron said, pointing to the sleds that bore stickers asking $40 apiece.
Those prices, though, are negotiable: Signs through the two rooms of goods encourage bargaining and their business cards read "Low cost and barter are the words." It's all in the name of trying to make sure people who need items can have them, regardless of their ability to pay.
"There are still many families that don't have both parents working. They live paycheck to paycheck," Bev said, adding that she wants people to feel comfortable coming in if they need something, like a new coffeepot or lamp. "They don't have to lose that dream."
The couple has a background in secondhand sales, having traveled the flea market circuit for years until moving the stuff around became too much work. Thus was born the idea of setting up the shop.
"It's so much easier to display it all in one space," Bev said.
They take donations of items, as well as consignments at no charge; interested parties can contact them at 413-269-4695, 413-429-7783 or email@example.com. In addition, they take donations of old eyeglasses for the Lions Club, old ink cartridges for the Otis Recreation Center, soda can tabs for the Shriners Hospital and box tops to donate to Farmington River Elementary School.
Bev said they don't look up the value of any of the items they sell to see if something might be worth money, because they would defeat their purpose.
"We're not looking to become rich," she said. "We're looking for homes for this stuff."
Ron echoed those sentiments. "We want to make a little for ourselves and take care of everyone else," he said.
The store will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an outdoor flea market every weekend through Oct. 12.
And as for the colorful name? The Kimberleys have a history of using the word "redneck" in previous ventures (think "Redneck Riders") and continue to embrace the term as something positive, particularly these days with the popularity of shows like "Duck Dynasty."
"Rednecks," Bev said, "are wonderful people."