Second Life Upscale Resale in Avondale Estates is almost 14-years old, but that's in dog years. In human time the popular resale shop is about to turn two.
Several years ago, Tanya Mahous Tobias, who had spent a decade working in the airline industry, decided she needed a change in outlook and employment. Opportunities were scarce in the down economy but the thought that she and her husband Toby should be doing something for animals was foremost in her mind.
They were inspired by their beloved dalmatian Lucky, a formerly homeless dog deemed "unadoptable" who lived happily with the Decatur couple.
The inspiration they came away with from having Lucky in their life eventually translated into the following: take a risk, nothing is impossible and happy endings can definitely happen.
After on-site research at a non-profit boutique in Tobias's American hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska (she was born in Egypt) and a call to friends and family to help with donations to stock the store, Second Life opened on Jan. 8, 2011.
Second Life started with one employee, Tobias, and help from family and in the last 2 years has expanded to 15 volunteers and three part-time employees. Tobias still works more than 40 hours a week at the store and running the business.
They started by donating quarterly to four core animal rescue groups and in the last year have provided grants to 11 more. Second Life's donations to animal welfare organizations in the last year have totalled $45,000.
"There are some groups doing amazing work and we want to help," says Tobias.
"Donate. Shop. Volunteer." is the tag line of the non-profit. The 5,000-square-foot shopping area is filled with everything from designer clothing to antique furniture.
"We are very grateful for all the support," says Tobias, "The volunteers, the donors, the customers have all been great."
She entreats others to join the Second Life team, "Please come and volunteer. There's no minimum time commitment. We love our amazing volunteers."
The store is pet-friendly for customers who want to bring well behaved dogs to shop with them. Second Life routinely runs weekly specials and sales on everything from clothes to jewelry, books and household items.
"We are in it for the animals and to help educate on animal welfare, spay and neuter, pet adoption, and we want to do more," Tobias said.
Lucky died in 2011 at close to 17-years old, but is remembered well. There are photos and artwork of him placed throughout the store. If Second Life is Lucky's legacy then not only did the "unadoptable" dalmatian get his happy ending but he's helped provide one for many other homeless pets too.
Snapshot of Second Life Atlanta:
Location: 1 Clarendon Ave., Avondale Estates, GA, 30002
Hours of operation: Weds., Thurs., Fri., Sat., 11-6 and Sun., 12-5
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Donations accepted year around at store location.
To learn how to help Second Life help animals in need e-mail: contactus@SecondLifeAtlanta.org