When you visit Lost Treasures for the first time, it can be surprising that a store this size could hold so many different items all under the same roof. Browsing in the unique kitchen items, hard-to-find phone accessories, and a generous sized kids section, you soon realize: this is not an ordinary store but a unique shopping experience full of things you didn’t know you needed.
Lost Treasures opened almost three years ago by longtime friends who reconnected in the Heber Valley and decided to open a business together. Clarissa Southwick and Riley Alexander opened the business in 2020 as a vintage collectibles store that was supplied via estate sales and auctioned storage units. The business started out strong and then, along came, you guessed it, the pandemic and changed the whole basis of the business. Prices on storage units started going up and they both had a difficult time buying units that they knew were lost due to the shutdowns and people not being able to afford the payments on them. Clarissa had always been intrigued by pallet auctions and on impulse, they decided to try it out. They were all in and they discovered they really liked it and were happy to find that there was so much more selling potential in pallet auctions. The pallet auctions that Riley and Clarissa purchase are lost freight and surplus inventory. They bid on pallets thru an auction house. “We can see pictures of the pallet but we never know what we are going to get until we receive it and start unpacking it.” shares Riley. There are no return items in the pallets and all recent items in the store are new which are then priced at 25%-50% off retail. If items have a scratch or dent, they are always disclosed on the price tag and customers appreciate that.
When the business first started, there were over 25 local storage units storing the inventory; however, due to the store’s constant rotating, knowing what sells and what doesn’t, and being able to move product quickly and efficiently, they now only need about 10. Items that Clarissa and Riley know they can’t sell, they sell to other vendors that specialize in those products or sometimes they sell pallets back to an auction house.
One thing you have to know about the store: there is a challenge. As a business owner and as a customer it can be challenging not knowing when they will have a particular item people are looking for. “We know it’s a gamble but when we get requests for the same items again and again, those become the pallets we look for and what we try to purchase.” Clarissa says.
Clarissa and Riley have made a lot of friendships with their customers as a lot of them visit regularly due to the ever-changing inventory and the thrill of finding something new every week. Local business owners are relieved to know they can find a great selection of commercial goods if they are ever in a bind, particularly restaurant businesses. One other great thing to note: there is a large selection of indoor and outdoor furniture.
An interesting thing that the pair has noticed, is that often times, since the inventory is a direct result of mail carrier mishaps, it’s typical to receive items that are on trend with current holidays, because that’s what people are ordering when pallets become available. So around Christmas time, they will have a lot of Christmas items. For that reason, Christmas feels even more special for Clarissa and she loves unpacking all the festive holiday boxes knowing that someone is going to find the perfect gift or love having it wrapped under their tree. The holidays are the busiest and it’s always a goal of theirs to be fully stocked for holiday shoppers. If you can’t find the perfect gift anywhere else in town, it’s safe to say, you’ll probably find it at Lost Treasures.
Something shoppers may not realize is that Lost Treasures is a family-owned and family-run business. Clarissa’s mom helps handle inventory and is the one that does all the research and pricing on all items. Riley’s son, Landon, loves helping people at the front register. Clarissa’s brother is the warehouse guy; he builds and assembles all the furniture, assists the customers in the furniture warehouse, and packages and ships all the eBay orders. (They sell items as a top seller on eBay to help during the slow times at the store.) Clarissa’s young sons help in the warehouse and shadow Landon. Clarissa is passionate about every aspect of her job but she loves organizing the different sections and keeping it clean and appealing. Riley is a numbers guy and as well as helping with inventory, transportation duty, and customer service, he loves keeping track of the growth and numbers from the store. Last year he crunched the numbers and discovered they saved their Heber Valley customers close to $200,000 — had they paid full retail price!
The friendly and helpful owners of the store love their customers and often state how grateful they are to be here and how welcomed and supported they have felt. Like so many of us in this valley, they feel honored to be here. In turn, they strive to have excellent customer service, if there is ever a less than stellar experience, they will do whatever it takes to make it right. The store has a discount wheel they spin everyday with discounts up to 25% off in some departments, every day is different and customers find it very helpful knowing what the discount is as soon as they enter the door. You can see them spinning for the discount on Facebook, live every day. The store’s location has been tricky to find for some, but once you find it — it’s well worth the trip.
Riley and Clarissa’s Lost Treasures has a plethora of discounted gifts, needs, wants, and ‘just because’ shopping: plenty of reasons to come in and find your next lost or found treasure.
“We love our customers, we love finding people we get to call friends, we love living and working in the Heber Valley Community.
2211 W 3000 S, Suite D
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Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm