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The SHOPKEEPER



Todd Light and Liz Taylor

Todd Light’s and Liz Taylor’s entrepreneurial spirits have created a resale emporium that spans 3,300 sq. ft. of merchandise acquired on their buying adventures from Sebastian to Miami. Taylor has an open-door policy that welcomes seniors who enjoy spending time there.
JOHN BIONDO PHOTO

BY DEBRA MAGRANN

When budgets are tight, the prudent go thrifting. These days, frugality is fashionable and looking for that just right item is part of the allure of thrift shops. Finding one is like scoring treasure.

Building community – one customer at a time – is what Liz Taylor has been doing since she opened her store in Lakeside Center, east of the Port St. Lucie City Hall complex. Next month she will celebrate the shop’s two-year anniversary.

More than just a business, Taylor treats her clientele like extended family. Leaving a career as a cosmetology instructor in Vero Beach, she found herself co-owner of Liz Taylor’s This & That, an emporium devoted to merchandise matchmaking and a place for seniors to congregate.

“It was my husband’s idea. He is an estate sale hopper in his spare time,” Taylor explains. “One night, he said out of the blue, ‘We need to open a store.’ The very next day he began to put a plan in place. Six months later we had built up a sizable inventory and found a location.”

Taylor’s husband, Todd Light, loves a good buy. Their shop is not run-of-the-mill; it’s a neighborhood destination for interior designers, families on a budget and seniors looking for camaraderie during the day. The former karate studio is home to 3,300 sq. ft. of merchandise garnered from yard and estate sales along the Treasure Coast.

Among the gently used, secondhand items for sale are home goods, decor and art objects, yard decorations, clothing, furnishings, wall art, antiques and miscellany that defy classification. There is a children’s room and Taylor gives personal attention to moms with little ones, offering freebies from her giveaway basket.

Client testimonials attest to Taylor’s lack of clutter and her attention to detail:

“Your shop looks GREAT, Liz, and if I lived closer I’d be shopping there all the time! Congratulations!”
— Christine M. Conner

“Dear Liz and Todd, I think you have a great store. I do not know where you find your stock, but you are a cut way above any other type of your category. Most of your items are in excellent and mint condition and your prices are tops.”
— Dennis Michael Kuno

Taylor keeps in mind the wishes of her customers, too. If there is anything in particular that someone is keen on buying, she scouts it out while in the field. She and her husband travel from Sebastian to Miami, acquiring inventory by the truckloads. Over time, local real estate agents learned of the duo’s penchant for purchasing and began to tap them as estate buyers. It’s their best source to find merchandise.

What makes this place unique is that it has become a kind of community asset — a place seniors can go to get out of the house. Taylor offers a free book and puzzle exchange and has hosted surprise birthday parties put on by loyal customers for each other.

Octogenarian Rolland Naugle, spends several days a week at a table by the front door putting puzzles together with his sidekick, Armando Rodriquez, who is deaf. Together, they add levity to the atmosphere and lend a helping hand on occasion.

“I just want something to do,” Naugle says. When asked if he still drives, he answers, “Me, drive? I drive people crazy!”



LIZ TAYLOR

Age: “21 at heart.”
Lives in: Port St. Lucie
Occupation: Retailer
Family: Husband, Todd Light; four adult children: Thomas, Orlando, Kwint and LaPorsha; one granddaughter, Kenleigh Elizabeth
Education: Associate Degree in Education from Indian River Community College
Hobbies: “Cooking and hanging out with neighborhood children.”
Who/what inspires me: “My husband. He always has will power and loves to do things.”
Something people don’t know about me: In the words of her husband, “She is an amazing handyman who can do an oil change or repair a ceiling fan!”

LIZ TAYLOR'S THIS & THAT

Address: 261 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 772.879.1868