By Alison Stanton
When Ann and Jenny Siner opened their first My Sister’s Closet in Phoenix 25 years ago, they wanted more than just a clothing store. They wanted a way of giving back to the community.
Through their now-15 consignment shops, the sisters donate their extra items to local charities, said Ann, who has a My Sister’s Closet in Chandler.
“We have always donated unsold goods to local thrifts and charities in Arizona and California,” Ann said.
She added that they are also passionate about helping nonprofits that cater to women and animals. Ann, who has fostered hundreds of rescue animals, said she and her sister have donated more than 30% of their proceeds to organizations like the Arizona Humane Society, Helping Animals Live On, Fresh Start and Southwest Wildlife Conservation.
While some of the organizations were able to take the donated goods and sell them for a profit, Ann found some of the groups were losing money.
That inspired Ann and Jenny to open a thrift store for their unsold items and donating 100% of its net profits to the charities.
“If my sister and I know anything, we know retail,” said Ann, who added that she approached the owners of Fulton Promenade in Chandler about opening a thrift store.
“They said ‘yes, we will try it’ and we opened up My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store in 2014. In the first six months, we netted $70,000 and in the first year we netted $136,000 out of our 3,000-square-foot space.”
In addition to the unsold items from their other locations, Ann said My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store sells clothing and other goods that people have donated but don’t quite make the cut to be consigned.
Ann, who has served on the boards of many of the organizations My Sisters’ Thrift Store works with, has seen how these groups spend their donations.
“I see that they are not wasting their money, and we know our donations are making a difference.”
Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for the Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix, said Ann has been a “generous donor, thoughtful partner and wonderful friend to the Arizona Humane society since 1996.”
“Ann not only serves on the board of directors for AHS, but has also invested in AHS both monetarily as a donor and personally through her role as a foster hero for AHS’ homeless animals who need additional time in a home to heal from their injuries or illnesses,” Nelson said.
My Sister’s Closet donates clothing, home décor and home furnishings to AHS which, in turn, sells the items in its thrift stores.
“The proceeds the go back to AHS’ lifesaving programs and services,” Nelson said.
Dr. Steven Hansen, president and CEO of Arizona Humane Society, said because of Ann’s generosity as well as the support of My Sister’s Closet, thousands of pets have benefited.
“Ann’s longstanding contributions, both through her commitment and financial support, to the Arizona Humane Society are paramount to our mission of caring for the Valley’s ill and injured homeless animals,” he said.
Since the first store, the Siners expanded their business to include My Sister’s Attic, which sells home furnishings, and Well Suited for men.
My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store is located at 4985 S. Alma School Rd., Suite B-103, Chandler. For more information, call 480-758-5282 or visit mysisterscharities.org.
My Sister’s Closet is located at 2915 S. Alma School Rd., Chandler. For more information, call 480-722-1822 or visit mysisterscloset.com.