After losing both of her parents and going through the daunting task of cleaning out their home, Sharon Fishcman thought up a business model — one that is unlike any other.
“We had an estate sale,” she said. “I called different nonprofits and they wouldn’t take [the items]. I was so frustrated.”
Empty The Nest began six years ago out of Fischman’s garage.
The company does wall-to-wall clean out and resale. Empty The Nest comes in to clean once occupants have moved out and taken wanted items.
Here is how it works.
Individuals wanting the service contact Empty The Nest for an estimate.
Upon arrival, Fischman or her employees analyze how much work will be needed to clean everything out of the home.
Empty The Nest provides an overall estimate for the work and deducts the value of saleable items.
For example, a home that will cost $2,000 to clean out but has $1,000 in saleable items would cost the homeowner $1,000.
“We take all the risk,” Fishman said.
If the items do not sell, Empty the Nest loses that money.
According to Fischman, it evens out in the end.
“Some times we lose,” she said. “Some times we win.”
The second part to this business is its thrift store.
All items collected throughout the week are put on display in the thrift store, only open on weekends. Each week the store is turned over with new items.
If the items do not sell over the three days, they are posted to Craigslist. If they still do not sell, the items are then donated or given away for free.
According to Fischman, about 70 percent of the store’s items sell each week.
“Our pricing is extremely affordable,” she said. “We try to make it so it’s a win-win for shoppers.”
Images of that week’s available items are sent to people on an e-mail distribution list and posted to Facebook each Friday.
Fischman and her crew clean out one house each day of the week and typically see a line of 30 anxious customers outside the door on weekends when the thrift store opens.
Home clean-outs are scheduled three weeks ahead of time. Fischman’s company has grown to include three trucks and 21 employees. Now, the company is emptying its own nest and relocating to Golden Valley.
The new location will provide more than twice the space it currently occupies in Burnsville. Empty The Nest will be located in a warehouse within the industrial district.
“That’s also part of our kitschy-ness,” she said.
For now, Empty The Nest focuses solely on emptying homes and selling salvageable items, but Fischman hopes to open her business to donations as well.
Empty The Nest can only travel an hour outside its home base of Burnsville at this point, but Fischman has dreams of franchising the business in order to open locations all across the country.
Empty The Nest’s new location is expected to open in early April.
Empty The Nest
8812 7th Ave. N., Golden Valley
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and noon to 4 p.m. Monday
Visit emptythenest.com or call 612-998-0102 with questions or service requests.
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]