ReActivate, a fitness apparel and gear resale store on North Campbell Avenue at East Glenn Street, will close its doors for good at the end of business next Wednesday.
“The business needed and required more time, and so did my family,” said Lydia Kennedy, the store’s owner. “Family is most important, so, naturally, I picked my family.”
The decision was difficult to make, but Kennedy feels blessed that she got to decide, rather than be forced to close. “We’re not going out of business,” she said. “We made a choice to close the store. I wasn’t forced because of finances. We always paid our bills and have money in the bank account. It just required more time and a team.”
Kennedy is unsure of what she will do next, but she hopes to use her master’s degree in educational leadership. “But I’m open to all opportunities,” she said.
The store opened Feb. 5, 2011, to sell new and used men’s and women’s fitness apparel and gear at prices that are approximately 60 percent less than retail.
The recycling aspect of the resale business was important to her and to the store’s customers, as well.
“I love being able to recycle stuff,” said Julena Campbell, a park ranger who spends most of her time in the Chiricahuas. “I was willing to drive two hours to get here.”
Another customer, Kathleen Rose, had heard about Reactivate from a hiking and cycling friend and was impressed by Kennedy and her store. “She was super-friendly, and I wanted to bring her clothes to help her in a mission of helping others,” she said. “I have witnessed her generosity at wellness events where she was giving her clothing away for free.”
In the past three years, the store donated more than 8,000 articles of sportswear and gear to those less fortunate. Inventory that does not sell before the store closes will be donated as well.
Kennedy built relationships with community-based organizations such as Bicas and the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona through her involvement with health and wellness events, which she will continue to do.
“Lydia’s drive and passion for a healthier Tucson is inspiring and sparked our involvement in the Tucson health community through the many health fairs she coordinated around town,” said Coco Horner, events coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. “We are thankful to have had such a great partnership with ReActivate and are sad to see such a great store and wonderful owner close its doors.”
Running the store has not been without challenges. Although Kennedy had a lot of community help and support from her family, when it came down to it, she ran the shop on her own. “When you’re the sole employer and employee, it’s very challenging,” she said. “If there’s one piece of advice I’d give, it would be: Don’t do it alone. I definitely needed a team of like, three people.”
One of her biggest joys has been seeing people come in who had lost weight and wanted to trade in their larger clothes to buy smaller ones. Or hearing about what new sport they were trying out.
“I feel blessed that we’ve had such a strong impact on the community in such a short time,” Kennedy said.