If you are reading this, then I am truly grateful for your visit and say “Thank You”.
The typical conversation question most people ask is “What do you do for a living?” After I tell them, they almost always say “Cool. That’s a unique business.” Somewhere in the conversation they always follow up with “How did you get started doing that?” I always tell them the short version, which is, “A week before my second spine surgery, in 2011, I was fired from my job. After my surgery I was unable to work for the next 6 months, so I started selling my stuff to pay my bills. Once I was able to walk, I went out and bought more stuff and sold it. I kept doing this, and from there, the little business that I didn't mean to start, just grew.”
Like I said, that’s the short version. If you REALLY want to know more about the true me and how I got started, well then, sit back and enjoy reading my little story I wrote for you. Hope you enjoy.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved collecting. When I was a little kid I collected free things like rocks and comic strips. Then, in 1977, this little movie came out called Star Wars and I immediately fell in love with it. My mom says she took me to see it, but i don't remember that. What I do remember is watching the commercials, on our black and white tv, and looking at the Sears Toy Catalog. For the next 10+ years, all I asked for, for my birthdays and Christmas’s, was Star Wars toys. Thankfully for me, my family listened. That started my toy collecting.
As a little kid, I always loved going over my Grandfather’s house during Christmas. He would have his O Scale train running around the Christmas Tree. I would sit there and watch it for hours. One year, while looking at the Sears catalog, I found out about the new exciting world of HO Scale Trains. I begged my parents for a train set, and on Christmas 1980, they came through. I’ll never forget it; my VERY first train set was a Tyco’s Clementine with the “Nite Glow” Gold. Soon after my brother moved out of our shared bedroom, my dad and I built a 4’x8’ train board. It was complete with two running trains, grass carpet, houses, roads, and a real water lake and stream. Too bad I never took a picture of it.
As a young adult, and raising a my new family in a small apartment, I didn’t have the space for toys and/or trains. A coworker of mine, at the time, talked me into collecting comic books. I quickly found out I loved reading Batman comics more then most others. But habits are hard to break at times and I slowly gave in to the desire to buy more toys; hence I started collecting Batman and other Comic book related toys. This was not good because that money should have gone to supporting my kids. Something I feel bad about to this day. In 1995, God blessed us with our third child and only son. Something snapped in me when I looked into his eyes. From that moment, I went cold turkey and stopped buying all comics and toys. Sad to say, in 2005 divorcee happened and all the toys and comics went into storage. PS. The divorce didn’t happen because of the collecting.
After the divorce, I started running, riding mountain bikes and competing in Triathlons. In 2007, I started a group called Ride And Run Richmond, where I helped people get motivated to run and ride. In June of 2009, a lady named Doris wrote me and asked me to help her learn how to ride her new bike. After a few sessions, we kind of hit it off and in two short months, Doris and I started dating. I’m happy to say we are still together to this day.
Around the same time Doris and I started dating; I was having a lot pain in my shoulder and down my arm. As the weeks went by, the pain was getting worst, but like a typical man, I ignored it. October 2009, I was doing a Triathlon and 8 miles into the bike ride, my arm all of a sudden went limp. I had no muscle control and it was just hanging. After the bike ride, I put on my shoes, (with one hand) and started the run. About a half a mile into the run, my arm all of a sudden woke up and I finished the tri in one of my best times. That night, while Doris and I were watching a movie, an extreme pain all of a sudden hit me. I then had to definitely go to the doctor. Come to find out, some disk in my spine had ruptured in my neck and was pinching the nerves. A couple days later I was on the operating table. The spine doc told me that my whole spine was a mess and that I was gonna need more work later on. After the surgery, The same doc told me that my Thyroid didn’t look right and that I should go get it checked out. I did and the results weren’t good, so I ended up having my entire thyroid removed. Then, while at a different doctors visit, the doc advised me to get a spot on my face looked at. I did and come to find out it was squamous cell carcinoma. I ended up having major Mohs surgery on my face. While there, the doc found lots more skin cancer and over time had to have more surgeries. Around the same time, I was having trouble walking on my foot. Come to find out I had heal spurs that was shredding my tendons. I ended up having surgery on my heal to help that.
If all that wasn’t enough, after running the Richmond marathon in 2010, I started having problems with muscle strength in my right leg. Months went by and was basically flopping my leg forward just to walk. Back to the spine doctor I go and sure enough, I now needed a major lower spine surgery. I told my boss at Lowe's that I would by out of commission again, but this time for possibly 6 months. A few days later I found myself without a job.
June of 2011 I had my lower spine surgery. After that, I wasn’t able to walk, work, or do much of anything else. I needed money for bills, so the only thing I knew what to do was to sit at the computer and sell some of my stuff/collectibles on Craigslist and eBay. After a few weeks of selling, Doris commented at how well I was doing and said, “You know, if you got more stuff, you could sell more." A few weeks later, one Saturday morning, I was out doing my training walk and I saw a yard sale sign in our neighborhood. I’ve always loved yard sales so I walked the extra distance. It just so happen that this lady was moving out to California and needed to get rid of everything. So I bought a bunch of tools, toys, and a wagon she had for sale. She held the items for me while I walked back home and got my wallet. Once I walked back to her place, I loaded up the wagon and walked back to the house with everything. Needless to say, I over did my walking that day, but it was worth it. Within a short time, I was able to quadruple my investment. Doris again was impressed and encouraged me to do more. Once I was able to drive, I started hitting more yard sales and attending auctions.
With all the sales of the different stuff, Doris noticed that I loved doing toys the most. She suggested that I concentrate on just the toys. After much success, we started thinking of a business name. we debated it for a while, but ultimately came up with Toy Rescue Center. The name seemed to work, because my little toy business was quickly growing and filling up our living room and spare bedroom.
Doris and I started looking into renting storage units, but their so expensive. After several days of thinking of what to do, one night it hit me, “Why not buy Doris’s parents old fixer upper house, that’s been on the market for years, and I can run my business out of the basement.” The next day I told Doris of my idea, then she told her dad, and to my surprise, everybody was on board. In November, 2011, we took ownership of our house, that we currently live in. I immediately went to work on the many improvements it needed. The very first thing I did was gut out the basement and built it back up into a store like toy room. Over the years I’ve had many customers come and do some shopping for their kids and grand kids. It would always warm my heart when I was able to provide parents / grand parents with clean quality toys at a good price.
In August 2013, an old friend messaged me and said her family needed help getting rid of her parent’s possessions. Up to this point, I had only bought and sold items that I paid for from yard sales and auctions. My friend’s proposition was that I would help the family go through and remove everything, and what ever they didn’t want, I could have and do what ever I wanted with it. The job was very dirty and took a week in high heat, but it was very rewarding. Not only financially, but the feeling of being able to help the family in troubling times from being burdened with so much stuff. That experience spring boarded me into helping others with their “Too Much Stuff” problems.
Since creating Toy Rescue Center, I had been accumulating quite a few vintage and collectible toys. I tried for years to sell them on Craigslist, but with no luck. So, at the beginning of January 2014, I took a step outside my comfort zone and rented a small space at Oddballs Antiques and Collectibles. The first few months were rocky, but soon I started selling enough to make rent. After that I expanded and started having regular customers buying from my booth.
In February 2014, I went to a couple’s house, to go buy a wire shelf, to put in my booth at Odd Balls. In talking with them, come to find out, they were loosing their house and all their positions. They felt helpless. I don’t know what came over me, but I felt compelled to help them. So I ran a series of Estate Sales for them to raise money to help them out. I’m happy to say Doris and I did help them out and was able to raise a little over four thousand for them. Even though I have conducted many yard sales, this type of estate sale experience, help spring board us into conducting more estate sales in the future.
In August 2015, Doris and I were put in touch with a lady that desperately needed help liquidating her deceased parent’s house. The house was slam full and it was very emotional for the lady, so we accepted the job and conducted a series of estate sales for her. Through the process, we had many customers ask us what was our estate sale / house clean out business name. To be honest, we hadn't thought of coming up with a name for that. The rest of the year I bounced around lots of ideas for a name, then all of a sudden it came to me, What is the ONE THING that everybody I talk to, and I, have in common? We ALL have TOO MUCH STUFF. Almost every day I hear somebody say “I have too much stuff”. So to me, that's the perfect name. I just added the RVA part because the domain was already taken.
The first couple of years of business I mainly focusing on reconditioning toys and furniture (two things I love) and then selling them. Because the house clean out and estate sale business has grown so much, I had to give up the reconditioning toy business. We still buy and sell toy collections, and we kept the TRC name, but I just don't have the time to recondition them like I would like to.
Between house clean outs, people just giving us stuff, and the collections we purchase, we have acquired WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. We desperately needed an outlet to sell everything. So, on January 1st 2018, we decided to rent more space from Oddballs. We now have a large booth, in the back of the store, to sell our furniture and other stuff. Since then, we also have expanded our toy booth.
For many years, Doris has collected and reconditioned American Girl Dolls, clothes and other related items. In October 2018, she decided to sell some of them to see how it does. It went so well, the next month, we ended up getting her an American Girl booth at Oddballs. As of July 1st, 2019, we have incorporated her doll booth, and my two toy booths together, and now have one large booth where we sell all kinds of dolls, collectible toys, kid toys, children books and stuffed animals.
So, if you ever get a chance, visit us our two little stores, inside Oddballs Antiques and Collectibles. The Too Much Stuff (TMS) booth and the Toy Rescue Center (TRC) booth.
If you made it through reading this whole thing, then I thank you and I hope you enjoyed it. If you are compelled to leave a positive comment, then please do so by clicking here.
I sincerely Thank You again. Morgan Quinn