Thrift store owner shares inspiration behind business

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX CAROLINA) – Lennox’s Toy Box opened on August 17, 2018, the same day its name turned 9 years old.

“This is named after my son, Lennox Evan Ostendorff,” Gentry Ostendorff told FOX Carolina. “I wanted to shine the light on his name as much as I could.”

Lennox died on October 8, 2021.

“It survived beyond expectations,” Ostendorf said.

Doctors diagnosed Lennox with a rare genetic disorder called adrenoleukdostrophy. The condition causes some fatty acids to accumulate in the brain, causing the brain to stop working properly.

Along with a friend who owned a building on East North Street and others who had items to donate, Ostendorf decided to open a thrift store to make ends meet by taking care of Lennox.

“I thought I could get those hundred dollar items and sell them a hundred dollar item a day, and then I could spend the rest of my time with it,” Ostendorf said.

Ostendorf opened the store by appointment, relying on Facebook Marketplace to showcase his merchandise.

“When Covid hit and everyone was stuck at home, a lot of people who were cleaning (things) wanted to donate,” Ostendorf said. “I had to charge people to come and pick everything up so I could deal with it all.”

Lennox’s Toy Box opened on August 17, 2018, which celebrates Lennox Ostendorf’s birthday and National Thrift Store Day.

Ostendorf said he finds it a rewarding business because, in many cases, he’s helping people move on after life-altering situations. He occasionally donates his services.

“Sometimes I’m blessed to do that and sometimes it’s overwhelming and I can’t afford it,” he said.

While August 17 is Lennox’s birthday and the opening of the Lennox Toy Box, it’s also National Thrift Day.

“Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll be open that day,” Ostendorf said.

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