Bust a Move Fitness reopens as thrift store in Colville

Taylor Newquist
Sports Editor

A new thrift store in Colville is packed with an assortment of trinkets hand picked by five-year retired Army veteran Richard Snyder.

Lying behind the treasures are freshly painted turquoise and purple walls, new hardwood floors and a mural with the name Bust a Move Fitness—a sheer glimpse into the hardships that small businesses have endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Snyder and his wife, Ashleigh Richie, opened the fitness center and dance studio in November 2019. Just as they were starting to turn a profit, the shutdowns hit, leaving them and Americans across the country playing a month-to-month guessing game of when they’d be able to open back up again. By June 1 dance, Zumba and other fitness classes were back in place at Bust a Move. Because of increased restrictions and protocols Snyder and Richie were forced to close down again last November, opening the thrift shop in its place on Dec. 1.

“You adapt,” Richie said. “I’m a go with the flow kind of person. It sucks because since I moved up here six years ago people have been wanting me to open something like this. Then it was going well, then it shut down and then it wasn’t going so well even when we opened.”

Having been open for less than a year, Bust a Move wasn’t able to collect any grants. Richie also wasn’t taking a salary, so she was unable to draw unemployment benefits. She said she doesn’t plan on returning to teaching Zumba in the future and said she’ll likely return to school teaching. Meanwhile, Snyder said business at the thrift store has been good in its first month, though it is hard work. He began collecting items at yard sales, estate sales when he was in the army.

“Why go out drinking?” Snyder joked about beginning his collection. “I’ll go buy things, because why not?”

Snyder operated a store front, which is when his buying took off. He retired from the Army due to an injury and continued to collect things. Turning the dance studio into a thrift store was a way for he and Richie to recoup some of the losses they’ve endured this year.

“Now I’m buying to fill the store instead of buying for treasure hunting,” Snyder said.

He has been purchasing items in online auctions and estate sales and traveling as far as Oregon and Seattle to get more merchandise into the shop. At the end of the day, he said they’re just doing what they can to get by during this tumultuous time.

“We didn’t want to make a ton of money, we just wanted to pay our bills and pay ourselves,” Snyder said of Bust a Move Fitness. “Even with this [the thrift store] we don’t want a million dollars, we want to keep going, get something else and pass it along.”

Richie interjected joking, “Well a million dollars would be nice, we’re not going to turn that down.”

The two share an optimistic outlook during a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

“Things just happen, you have to go with it,” Richie said.

The thrift store inside of Bust a Move Fitness is located on 130 S Main St. in Colville. As long as they stay in the current location, Snyder is going to continue traveling to bring in merchandise. Currently they have a selection of clothes, furniture, antiques, trinkets, books, movies and other collectibles. For more information call 503-410-4478 or email a.richie1@hotmail.com.