Johnstown-based Coffee House Threads Was Inspired by Paige Colley’s Childhood Memories

Photo from @coffeehousethreads on Instagram

In 2017, Johnstown, Ohio-native Paige Colley started thrifting and selling clothes on Instagram as a side hobby. Three years later, in November 2020, she branded the business as Coffee House Threads at her first pop-up shop at a local coffee house. With this pop-up, Coffee House Threads officially became Paige’s full-time job. 

When she was in high school, Paige would sell trash bags of her old clothes for $50 as a way to make money for new pieces. But, her passion for thrift shopping started long before she can even remember. As a little girl, thrift shopping with her grandmother was a frequent endeavor.

“We always tried to see who could find the best items so we could go home and show my grandfather, who really couldn’t care less but he was always happy we had a good time,” Paige says. “It just became a passion of mine, to see what unique stuff I could find to create my own style.”

Now, Paige uses this passion for finding one-of-a-kind pieces to spread the importance of thrifting into her community. For every clothing drop, she spends anywhere from two to four hours thrift shopping around the Columbus, Ohio, area. After cleaning her new product and doing a bit of research to find its worth, another two hours is spent shooting photos of the items, drafting Instagram posts and posting sneak peeks of the items. Products are sold auction-style with interested customers placing their bids in the comments of each Instagram post.

“I hope to spread the idea of secondhand clothing to become everyone’s first choice over contributing to the corporate fashion industry,” Paige says. “I have recently been doing research into fast fashion and the effects it has on our environment, and I’d like to help supply sustainable clothing to my community.”

This intention has been well-received by the Johnstown community, and Coffee House Threads has even gained a few loyal “regulars” over the years. The community effort to help Paige grow her brand through word of mouth and sharing posts on social media has not gone unnoticed, and her customer base continues to grow.

The young entrepreneur’s ambition doesn’t stop there, though. In addition to her love of thrifting, Paige also has an affinity for coffee houses, something also inspired by her grandmother. Over the years, Paige has worked at various coffee houses and has even managed a couple local cafes in town. 

“Ever since I was little, I would go to my grandparents’ house on the weekends for breakfast. My grandma would pick me up and take me to the coffee house in town. It’s been one of my absolute favorite things in my life, getting coffee with her,” Paige says. “Ultimately, I would love to have a thrift section in my own coffee house.”

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As a senior studying magazine journalism at Ohio University and a passionate feminist, I created Freely Femme as a way to use my love for storytelling to highlight some of the most inspirational women in my personal life and beyond.

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