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Vintage Viking "New to You" Boutique



While it wouldn’t be unusual to see high school students walking through resale stores in our community, you may be surprised to find them shopping at one during lunchtime inside their high school. But at Spartanburg High School, students are doing just that!

Room 1332 has been transformed into “The Vintage Viking,” a functioning retail store that doubles as a learning laboratory for a very special group of SHS students. This school-based enterprise has brought to life the classroom skills and knowledge of juniors and seniors in the S.C. High School Credential Program. The store provides them with the opportunity to apply, practice, and generalize soft employment skills, and to acquire hard employment skills. It also encourages their creativity, cooperation, and independence.

SHS Special Education Teacher Sina Guffey created the concept for the Vintage Viking. In the area of her students' employability, she saw a huge gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. She noted, “My students were able to tell me how to be on a job, but when they were placed, they couldn’t successfully apply that knowledge.” Before Mrs. Guffey became an educator, she worked in clothing retail and received job training in that arena. It was a natural fit to become the framework for helping her students translate learning into real world application.

As she surveys the department-story worthy outcome of her student's work, Mrs. Guffey is full of praise: “These young people are so proud of what they have accomplished and I'm in awe of how hard they've worked. We started with a bare classroom and unassembled racks, fixtures, and shelving. They assembled the fixtures, sorted, organized, and merchandised the goods, set the floor, and did research on pricing at other thrift/second-hand stores. They did all these things while learning the hard skills that are required for retail sales.”

The Vintage Viking is open to SHS students and staff during lunch and 5th period and is doing quite a bit of business. The inventory of quality clothing and accessories is donated by faculty, family, community members, and friends.