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Il Maestro at the Cash Register

 Maestro at the Cash Register

Il Maestro at the Cash Register

Volunteer Phil McKinley lives a double life at DAP Health’s Palm Desert Revivals.

Words by Kent Black • Photos by Lani Garfield • Spiderman Images Courtesy of Phil McKinley

 

As seen in DAP Health Magazine Issue 4 

Discovering Hidden Treasures at Palm Desert Revivals

Not long ago, Phil McKinley had a magical moment at the Palm Desert Revivals store where he volunteers. “A guy came up to the register with a beautiful midcentury lamp. We had it priced at 30 bucks,” laughs McKinley, who has been donating his time for four years. The customer used the image search feature on his phone and showed McKinley similar lamps. “He didn’t know if it was real or not. I said, ‘Go home and steam the felt off the bottom and see if there’s a signature. If it’s there, you have a $4,600 lamp.’”

From Small-Town Roots to Big City Bargains

A self-avowed shopaholic, McKinley recalls developing a keen eye for bargains growing up in the small farming community of Avon, Illinois. Many years later, one of his oldest friends in Beverly Hills introduced him to consignment shopping, and he was instantly smitten by the pre-loved. 

A Home Filled with Misty's Gems

When he and his partner, David, bought their home in Rancho Mirage in 2016, he became a regular at Misty’s Consignments. On a tour of his lovely, midcentury gem that Frank Sinatra built as a gift to his daughter, Tina — but that she declined, leaving Sinatra to let visiting musicians use it — McKinley points out some particularly spectacular finds, such as the $14,000 sectional sofa they got for $840, and a rare koa wood rocker from Hawaii that he bought for pocket change and was later appraised at over $7,500. “The whole house is practically Misty’s,” he says. “I said to Misty, ‘Want to come over and see what we bought from you?’ We had Misty and her whole crew over for a party.”

McKinley’s Highway 111 perambulations soon made him a regular at Revivals’ Cathedral City and Palm Desert locations. He got to know Steve, the store manager, who pulled him aside one day and suggested he become a volunteer. Given his Midwestern values, it made sense. His father was a volunteer fireman, and his mother was on the local board of education. McKinley had volunteered at a mental health facility during college. 

The problem was his rather demanding day job.

The Broadway Maestro Behind the Cash Register

Philip Wm. McKinley is a theatre director, choreographer, writer, and producer who has staged plays and spectacles from Broadway to Tokyo to Salzburg. Among his nearly countless productions have been “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,” one of the 20 all-time highest-grossing productions in Broadway history. His direction of “The Boy from Oz” with Hugh Jackman garnered five Tony nominations, and his production of “Zombie Prom” became a legendary off-Broadway cult classic. He staged “Ben Hur Live” in Europe with 350 actors and 100 animal performers, and directed seven editions of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Along the way, he has picked up five Tony nominations, seven Barrymore nominations, an Emmy nomination, and a treasure chest of other awards. 

Balancing Stardom with Service

McKinley says he had an idyllic, small-town childhood. He and his playmates put on theatrical productions in the barn next door. “We’d invite all the neighborhood ladies and sell them lemonade.” He took piano from two elderly spinsters, and recalls staining their piano keys red from picking raspberries in their yard while his sisters had their lessons. 

He went off to Augustana College, where he emerged with a degree in education and a job offer to teach junior high school near Las Vegas. One day, a teaching colleague slapped down a flyer for auditions being held at the Stardust and dared McKinley to take a chance. He got the job. 

For the next several years, he sang, danced, did comedy for shows three times per day, seven days a week, no vacations. He once performed hours after having all four wisdom teeth out. He fainted offstage after the first number, but was revived and made it out for his second number. He was unfazed. “It wasn’t a job…it was a career.” 

After meeting David, his partner convinced him to move to New York. They did, and McKinley began his highly successful ascension of that city’s theatrical ladder.

When McKinley met DAP Health Volunteer Services Manager Marcie Lerner, he decided not to reveal his occupation, only that he was out of town quite often. Lerner told him they had a lot of snowbird volunteers. He could come in whenever he had the time. 

Embracing Community and Connection

McKinley found his groove at the Palm Desert store, and says he especially looks forward to working Sunday mornings with Lauren, a young volunteer, whom he helps with sorting through designer clothes. “I love my team,” he says, “And I love my customers. They’re such characters. Colleen Heidemann became a Vogue model when she was 69. She’s a regular Revivals shopper. Whenever she comes in, she’s dressed to the nines.”

A Home Filled with Misty's Gems

McKinley says the community he has found in the Palm Desert store strikes a familiar emotional chord in his Midwestern heart. He recalls Tom, the store’s greeter, who sat in a chair at the front, wearing a funny hat, and welcoming everyone who walked in the door. He’s in awe of Carol, who started as a shopper, and has become a hugely popular jewelry maker. And there’s Connie, a 97-year-old staff member who comes in every day. “She’s a teeny tiny thing, but she does everything…works as cashier, works in the back, you name it. She’s phenomenal.”

For the most part, McKinley manages to keep his superhero/impresario identity under wraps at Revivals, though every once in a while, worlds collide. Not long ago, a shopper came to the register, excited at his rare find: a mint condition program from “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.” 

“A co-worker opened the program to the title page and asked if the customer wanted the program signed by the director,” McKinley recalls. “My co-worker pointed to me and said, ‘He’s standing behind the register over there.’ We had a good laugh. That was a fun moment.”

The Kier Royale Treatment

The Kier Royale Treatment

 

Monster legend Udo Kier thrifts at all four of DAP Health’s Revivals stores 

 

Words by Kay Kudukis • Photo by Kelly Puleio

 

Udo Kier has had a monster career in more ways than one. His acting credits span six decades working with venerated and provocative filmmakers like Andy Warhol and Lars Von Trier. You might recall him in Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho” as Hans, the flamboyant lamp dancer, in a threesome with River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. More recently, he’s got a six-episode arc on the Al Pacino led “Hunters” as Adolph Hitler, and a new movie, “My Neighbor, Adolph.” 

“I’ve played Adolph Hitler five times,” Kier says wryly. “My [inner] direction was always comedy. I think about Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Dictator’ when he kicks the world.”

Kier is used to playing monsters. In fact, he’s a cult film monster staple. He played the doctor in Andy Warhol’s “Flesh for Frankenstein,” and the lead in “Blood for Dracula,” from frequent Warhol collaborator Paul Morrissey. He’s also portrayed Jack the Ripper and a slew of other unsavory characters.

When he’s not filming, there’s a fairly good chance you’ll run into Kier at one of the four Coachella Valley Revivals thrift stores. Unlike branded chain retailers, Revivals offers something entirely different at every outpost, whether it’s Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, or Indio. 

It’s not clothes Kier is seeking — although he does have a thing for vintage ties. No, the man is into art. It doesn’t have to be a famous artist, but it must speak to him. He has been spoken to a lot over the years. Hence his four shipping containers full of thrifted treasures. 

When asked why he thrifts, Kier’s answer is simple: “I love it.” But maybe that quartet of receptacles bursting with art and furniture finds have something to do with his past. 

On October 14, 1944, Operation Hurricane launched a 24-hour bombing campaign on Cologne, Germany. Explosives pounded the city — including the hospital where Kier’s mom was in labor with him — relentlessly. They survived, but barely. When it was over, Cologne, the city that had been built in 50 A.D., was in ruins. Things were so bad, Cardinal Josef Frings told his people “Thou shalt not steal” was temporarily on hold, encouraging them to take whatever they needed to survive. 

At 18, Kier moved to London to learn English. Now recovered from the Blitz — the eight-month, nonstop bombing by the Nazis — London was back to her jolly old self and swinging into the ’60s. Counterculture was so far out it was in. 

One day, in a coffee shop, Kier was approached by a man who asked him if he’d like to be in a film. Kier said, “I don’t know how to act.” The director replied, “I don’t care.” One screen test later, he was cast as the gigolo in “Road to Santa Fe,” directed by Michael Sarne of “Myra Breckinridge” fame. Since then, Kier has appeared in more than 220 movies.

His love of art is not limited to paintings and sculptures, but includes glassware, pottery, and architectural furniture, mainly midcentury modern. When Kier purchased his first home in Los Angeles, needing to furnish it, he did it all by thrifting. His first piece was a George Nelson chair, one of Herman Miller’s designers. 

On one thrilling thrifting adventure, Kier found a pair of chairs with metal slats for the back. Enter his prized vintage ties. He wove 11 of them into each chair as backing. If he gets bored with those, he swaps them out.

Unlike many thrifters, Kier isn’t in it for the resale value. He also doesn’t go thinking, “I need something for that wall.” No, he indulges strictly for the pleasure of finding something he would like to enjoy for longer than a glance. In fact, if a friend is over at his home (a repurposed 1965 Palm Springs library designed by John Porter Clark and starchitect Albert Frey) and admires one of his treasures, there’s a fairly good chance — if Kier’s done enjoying it — it’s going home with said friend. 

In 2021, Kier played the lead in writer-director Todd Stephens’ film “Swan Song.” The movie is based on the real, outrageous, and famously controversial Sandusky, Ohio hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger. In one scene, a thrift store owner tells Pat how much his life has impacted her own, and gifts him with a lime green leisure suit. Whether Stephens knew of Kier’s thrifting passion and generous nature is unknown. Either way, it’s a very nice little Easter egg for those on the hunt.

On the Rack

On the Rack

 

Revivals shows its cheekier side

 

Words by Daniel Hirsch • Photo by Aaron Jay Young

 

Voted Best of the Desert thrift store and furniture store, DAP Health's Revivals Thrift Store brand offers visitors many unique treasures. Beautiful midcentury modern furniture and eclectic fashion finds, of course, but also — if you come by the back alley after closing on just the right night — leather harnesses, chaps, cat o’ nine tails, rare erotic artwork, and a plethora of other adult-centric goodies.

“Just the right night” is whenever Revivals After Dark, the store’s 18-and-over evening event, occurs. Revivals first hosted this pop-up sale four years ago to sell items inappropriate for the family-friendly retail space’s regular hours and racks. It’s since become a semi-annual, highly anticipated, and buzzy community event. Like general sales from Revivals, all Revivals After Dark proceeds go to support DAP Health patient and client services, and more than $70,000 has been raised since its first outing. 

“This is a win-win-win,” says Revivals volunteer Mark Musin, who has spearheaded Revivals After Dark since 2020. “You get to get rid of some stuff that you loved, that you had great memories with, and pass that along to someone else.” Musin adds those beloved items have included vintage leather chaps, adult movies, vintage photographs, and even a sex sling or two. “You should see the people who buy these things! They are so thrilled.”

More than just a clothing sale, Revivals After Dark, which takes place outside, behind the four-store chain’s Palm Springs location, has a party-like atmosphere. It’s a place not to just get a great deal — with a leather harness going for as little as $25 — but to see and be seen. Past events have featured DJs and Mr. Palm Springs Leather contestants modeling looks. It’s not uncommon to see strapping fellows stripping off clothing to try on a leather vest. It’s fun that also makes an impact.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get together, which is really important for the leather community,” says Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) President David Dunn. “And Revivals provides a fun, and somewhat different, environment in which others can be introduced to us. It’s awesome!”

PSLOD, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the leather, kink, and fetish community of the Coachella Valley, has been a partner with Revivals at all the After Dark events, promoting it widely to its membership and being on hand to answer any leather- and kink-related questions curious shoppers may have. PSLOD also receives $1,000 in donations from each event. 

“The leather community has a lot of purposes and a lot of goals, but one of them is philanthropy. Another is supporting the community,” says DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing Steven Henke. “PSLOD’s mission is to build a stronger, healthier community — and that’s DAP Health’s mission as well.”

The initial idea for Revivals After Dark — as well as the partnership it would solidify between DAP Health and PSLOD — emerged from pure happenstance. Henke recalls walking through the Revivals warehouse one day and noticing a large pile of books and magazines of a “more adult nature.” When a volunteer explained they were too graphic to put out in the store and that there were many more items like that in the Revivals trove of donations, Henke realized there was an opportunity to do a uniquely private event that connects with members of the leather and fetish community while raising funds for DAP Health.

The first Revivals After Dark occurred inside the Revivals Palm Springs store in 2019, featuring merchandise laid out in the aisles. To everyone’s delight — but not necessarily to anyone’s surprise — it was a hit, raising nearly $6,000 in 90 minutes. A second event seemed like a no-brainer, but 2020, with its ensuing global pandemic, required getting creative. So, Revivals After Dark moved from inside the store to the alley outside — with clothing racks and tables of merchandise set up al fresco. In doing so, it fully crystallized into the form it was perhaps always meant to have. “It has a vibe that fits the merchandise really, really well,” says Henke of the backlot setting. 

In November 2020, the second back-alley Revivals After Dark proved to be even more successful, with more than 200 people lined up, masked and socially distant, hours before the event’s start time. Since then, there’s been two sales a year and the curation of items available, led by Mark Musin and a squad of Revivals volunteers, has grown more expansive.

Musin emphasizes that it’s not just leather gear or material of interest to the leather community that’s on sale. The product mix his team puts together boasts a wide array of fashion, erotica, and kink objects favored by the general LGBTQ+ community. According to Musin, shoppers have included young people and older alike, an expansive gender spectrum, as well as residents from every corner of the Coachella Valley.

For many, the history of some objects also adds to their allure. At the Revivals After Dark in June, Bob Miller, a Desert Hot Springs resident who has long been involved in the leather community and describes himself as “a boot guy,” was surprised to meet another boot collector who had donated about 50 pairs to Revivals. The man had lived abroad in Europe, where he collected various rare and heritage boot brands, maintaining them in immaculate shape. Miller snapped up about seven pairs at a great price, each with an intriguing backstory, um, to boot!

“I get most excited about the vintage photography and oil paintings,” says Henke, noting that these objects are often created by, or feature, gay men that may no longer be with us. “This is our history… They beg to be remembered.”

With history in mind, Musin and his team often consult with historians and organizations like the Tom of Finland Foundation to make sure they’re appropriately handling any rare or historically significant donations. 

For Dunn, speaking on behalf of PSLOD, Revivals After Dark also represents his community’s future. It’s an event that can demystify leather, kink, or fetish communities to those who may be curious. Given the affordable price tags, it’s a more accessible place to start a leather collection, spring for a set of quality restraints, or acquire whatever article expresses a part of one’s identity yet to be explored. “It’s a very sex-positive event where there’s no shaming of anyone,” says Musin. “There’s a place for everyone.”

Given the lines at the door and the fact that the harnesses sell out in mere minutes, everyone indeed seems to have gotten the memo about Revivals After Dark.

Revivals is a Girl's Best Friend

Revivals
DAP Health Magazine

Revivals is a girl’s best friend

 

Step inside DJ Modgirl’s retro-filled mega-closet, an ongoing collaboration with thrift stores throughout the valley and beyond

 

Words by Kay Kudukis • Photos by Matthew Mitchell

 

Kellee McQuinn’s closet has its own closet. The doors to the closet’s closet have been removed, and that’s where her shoes live in clear plastic boxes. I pick up a sparkly pair with what I’m guessing is a five-inch spiked heel and ask if she can actually walk in them. “They go with an outfit,” she says with a shrug and a laugh.

I turn to look at the racks and racks of clothing behind me and wonder if it’s the beaded and feathered Las Vegas-style gown she showed me just minutes ago. It looks like one of the Bob Mackie confections Cher might have worn on her 1970s TV shows. I flash back to my youth, with my mom getting ready for an event at the country club, doing her hair and makeup, then slipping into a cocktail dress or a gown and a tiara, transforming into a 1960s princess. It’s a nice memory. I feel happy.

Of course, that feeling has a great deal to do with McQuinn herself. Known throughout the valley as DJ Modgirl, she played my 65th birthday party. It was her first gig, and the first time we met. We became instant friends, although I imagine that’s what happens with everyone who meets her. She’s a natural performer with a cloud of charisma surrounding her like Pigpen has dirt. But, you know, in a good way. 

For anyone who doesn’t attend or read about local events, DJ Modgirl has captured the valley’s fancy with her boundless energy and retro style that echoes whatever groove she’s been asked to spin at one of the hundreds of events she’s DJ’d over the past year plus change. Metaphorically, this girl is on fire. 

So, it isn’t surprising that she’s the face of the new “Re-Love the Pre-Loved” campaign at DAP Health’s Revivals Thrift Stores, where profits from all four valley outposts — in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio — benefit the nonprofit. 

“Kellee is the perfect person to bring our campaign to life,” says DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing Steven Henke. “She possesses an authentic passion for vintage and resale fashion, projecting a joyful persona wherever she goes. We are also proud to support her as an ally by sponsoring her new Sunday show on KGAY radio.”

That’s right, she has her own weekly radio show, too. But let’s get back to her closet. 

It used to be a second bedroom, and not a small one either. One entire wall is racks of clothing, all retro and separated by categories: glam, sporty, disco, cocktail, tea party, art gallery, yacht rock — and going waaay retro is one lone square-dancing dress. “It was for a hoedown,” McQuinn tells me, and it is not a knockoff. “This is handmade from the Ozarks.” 

All I want to do is to stay here and play dress-up forever. I snap out of it, reminding myself that not one item here would fit me. So, should I wish to create a closet like this for myself in my size, how would I go about that?

McQuinn enlightens me: “So thrifting — whether you’re in a store, at the vintage mart, or any kind of kiosk — can be a little overwhelming. I go for color. I’m attracted to color. Or anything shiny… I have a friend. His favorite color is clear. And he will argue that clear is a color.” She looks a little bewildered, then wryly intones, “I try not to wear clear clothes.”

She goes through her dresses as she talks, like she’s shopping, perusing the racks. She tells me her style icons are Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O, and that totally tracks. Put a pair of big sunnies on her with any outfit, and she could pass for either.

“It’s better, in a way, to go when you don’t have an agenda,” she tells me, “and you’re just in the treasure hunt of it all and looking for color and texture. I just open my mind and I’m like, ‘All right, fashion gods, guide me’ and boom, boom, boom — I find some really great stuff.” 

She continues down the rack. “I don’t want to sound like a New Age nut, but I really use the Force. If I’m looking for something — furniture, a knickknack, or something for an event — and I get an intuitive hit to go to Revivals, I beeline it there. And you have to sift because you might not notice… ‘Oh that’s just a pink dress,’” she says, as she pulls a pink dress off the rack. “Or is it?” Suddenly, the dress comes alive with its gorgeous bodice and twirly skirt.

“Just like music,” she continues, “clothes make me feel alive. And one thing I love, love, love about Palm Springs is: people turn it out.”

We commiserate over peer pressure in Los Angeles, where we both lived for a while, and where people are judgy because you’re expressing yourself through your clothes — too many sequins, too much color… But here in Palm Springs, “There’s always someone who is going to be way more sparkly and way more rainbow bright than you,” McQuinn says.

She feels the same way about clothing labels as she does about people labels: she doesn’t care. A great dress is a great dress, whether it’s Chanel or an unrecognized designer. If she likes it and it fits, it’s hers.

Does she ever agonize about leaving an item behind for someone else to re-love? She laughs. “Forget about the man who got away. I have to forget about the dress that got away. But I also trust it.”

She gives me that 1,000-watt smile of hers, and I know she really means it when she says, “Everything happens for a reason, you know?” And I smile back because I live here too, and I know exactly what she means.

A Long Life Well-Lived Through Service

A Long Life Well-Lived Through Service

Per Frank Sinatra, love is lovelier the second time around. For Connie Lobo, life is a waltz — one, two, three time’s a charm. A 15-year Revivals Palm Desert staff member, Connie is small in stature but mighty in knowledge. She brings more than 50 years of experience to the store. 

She came to Rancho Mirage 23 years ago to visit a friend when something unexpected happened: She met Denis. Their commonalities astounded them. Each is an only child, each has the same China pattern from previous marriages, each installed the same tile in their hallway, and their birthdays are five days apart in March. What didn’t they have in common? Their age. Denis is 12 years Connie’s junior.

But age is just a number. So, a year later, Connie sold her house in Arizona, and they moved in together. Her eldest daughter, Cecelia, joined them later. Immortalized in Joshua M. Dragotta’s 2012 documentary, Cecelia gained fame as exotic dancer and burlesque performer Satan’s Angel. Her specialty is in the film’s title: “Satan’s Angel: Queen of the Fire Tassels.”

Connie and Denis never married because, she says, with a twinkle in her eye, “My first name is Constance, and his last name is Constant.” While that’s true, it was pragmatism that won the day. Both have children from previous marriages — Denis, one son; Connie, two, plus Cecelia. Their previous lives and estates were written in permanent markers. 

A home furnishings designer, Connie took a position at Wacky Wicker, but when the owner sold, Connie retired, something she’d tried several times. It never stuck. 

Cecelia suggested she volunteer. Connie resisted but interviewed as a gesture. She spent a year donating of her time at Revivals in Cathedral City. Her skill at identifying and pricing pre-loved home furnishings didn’t go unnoticed. Revivals Palm Desert offered her a staff position. Retirement just wasn’t sticky.

“Everyone knows and enjoys Connie,” says Palm Desert Store Manager Douglas Marriott. “Her wealth of knowledge helps me function better. We recently had a few statues that I thought were worth maybe $250.” Connie pipes in: “They were Rossi.” That’s Leonardo Rossi, whose work has brought up to $5,000 at auction. Connie’s pricing was fair, but nowhere near what you’d pay at auction or retail. “They didn’t stay around long,” Marriott says with a chuckle.

This year marks Connie’s 97th on the planet. When asked her secret to longevity, she quips, “Black coffee.” Her two boys — Ron (75) and Ray (65) — live in Texas and New Jersey, respectively. Cecelia passed away in 2019 at age 75. It’s still difficult for Connie. Cecelia was not only her firstborn. “We were the best of friends,” Connie says quietly. “The best.”

When a night out is called for, Connie and Denis enjoy La Tablita (near the Cathedral City Revivals), but she prefers to cook and stay in with Denis and their two rescue pups. Some believe if you’re over 60, you can’t find good, lasting friends, let alone love. After two marriages, and 70 years, Connie found both. She can’t tell you the recipe for love, but she can share her recipe for chili.

Connie Lobo’s Kansas Style Chili: Brown one pound of ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and chili powders. Add two cans Mexican-style tomatoes and four cans of red kidney beans. Heat until done. Enjoy with corn chips.

DAP Health Celebrates El Día de Los Rey …

DAP Health Celebrates El Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) Early at Revivals Thrift Store in Indio

 

In many cultures around the world, January 6 (AKA The Epiphany) is considered the day the Three Wise Men finally arrived in Bethlehem to shower newborn Baby Jesus with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Latinos specifically celebrate this day, known to them as El Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day), with a plentiful, evening family meal that concludes with a sweet baked bread known as Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings bread) for dessert.

In cultural solidarity with the East Valley community, DAP Health joined families in and around Indio by celebrating El Día de Los Reyes one day early — on January 5, 2023 — from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. at the Indio branch of its Revivals Thrift Stores. While supplies lasted, shoppers who spent $10 or more received a complimentary rosca (valued at $17) from local bakery Panadería y Tortillería Guerrero.

Día de Los Reyes marks the end of the holidays for the Latino community,” says Revivals Indio Store Manager Rosie Escobedo. “In celebrating this warm tradition and giving the gift of roscas, we at DAP Health and Revivals are expressing our appreciation for the Latino community of the East Valley. Without our loyal shoppers — most of whom are Latino — we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are in this location. We’ve been busy from Day One. People are grateful for the quality of our merchandise and for our low prices. We want to show them we’re grateful for them, too.”

“It’s such an honor and pleasure to have been chosen by DAP Health to contribute to this special day of giving back at Revivals,” says Panadería y Tortillería Guerrero Bakery Manager Oscar Guerrero. Run by parents Eutimio and Elva, with the help of Oscar and his sister Lorena, this family affair (located on Highway 111 at Clinton Street) has supplied its loyal customers with tortillas, tostadas, and so much more, all freshly made daily, since 2004.

“Our roscas have a slight orange flavor to them,” continues Guerrero. “Their shape signifies the kings’ crowns, the fruit represents their jewels. Every year, we bake about 1,500. They sell out quickly, straight out of the oven. People wait in line for them, something that makes us very proud and happy.”

More than 400 people turned out for the event, with more than 140 families taking a rosca home, compliments of Revivals and DAP Health.

Consistently voted the best of its kind in the Coachella Valley, Revivals is DAP Health’s chain of thrift/vintage/resale stores, staffed predominantly by volunteers, with outposts in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio. One hundred percent of its profits fund the commitment to health equity espoused by the agency.

“By opening our Sexual Wellness Clinic, as well as our fourth Revivals store, in Indio, in 2022, we at DAP Health have shown our commitment to the health and prosperity of our desert neighbors in the East Valley,” says Director of Retail Dane Koch. “I’m so happy members of the community came out in full force to join our staff and volunteers in celebrating Three Kings Day, a wonderful family tradition that aligns perfectly with the values of our organization.”

A Moment with Revivals Donor and Shopper …

A Moment With Revivals Donor and Shopper Ann Sheffer 

Ann Sheffer is committed to getting involved in her community in as many ways as possible. From 2015 to 2021, Sheffer — who with husband Bill Scheffler has called the desert home for 15 years — served on DAP Health’s all-volunteer board of directors, also co-chairing the organization’s 100 Women donor group and annual Everyday Heroes event, which honors DAP Health’s devoted core of volunteers. 

Chair of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission also from 2015 to 2021, Sheffer is currently a member of the task force overseeing the upcoming Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture, to be created by esteemed artist Phillip K. Smith III and placed in the city’s Downtown Park. 

Sheffer continues to be a stalwart DAP Health supporter. Most recently, that patronage took the form of a large and varied donation to the Palm Springs Revivals location. Below, the humanitarian activist talks about why she gives to the award-winning resale store, and why others should follow her lead. 

 

How did you first hear of Revivals? 

Well, this amazing retail space is clearly beloved in the community, so I surely heard of it fairly soon after Bill and I moved here. But I didn’t really appreciate how much money it generates for DAP Health until I was on the board. It’s quite extraordinary. 

 

How long have you been a Revivals donor, handing over your pre-loved items so they can be re-loved? 

Certainly since I was a board member, but probably even before that. I remember once packing up a suitcase full of clothing and donating all of it — including the suitcase! I especially like what my dear friend, the late Barbara Keller, once said. When she would buy something new, she would take something old out of her closet and put it in a pile to donate to Revivals. Barbara was my role model and such an inspiration. She was the president of DAP Health’s board when I joined, and she and I — alongside our friend Terri Ketover — were committed to increasing DAP Health’s outreach to women, as clients and donors. Giving to Revivals is the perfect way to achieve this.  

 

Tell me about your most recent donation to the Palm Springs store. 

After not going to many events during COVID, I realized that I had literally dozens of gala outfits, costume jewelry, and uniquely Palm Springs purses in fun shapes such as flamingos, cosmopolitan cocktails, popcorn containers, and the like. Bill and I also had everyday clothing that had been hardly worn, not to mention kitchen appliances, games, and several hundred books. 

 

Why do you think Revivals is especially deserving? 

Because of the work DAP Health does. It really is one of the most well-thought-out and best-run organizations in the desert. CEO David Brinkman has a vision, and as board members, we were just there to make it happen. There are many ways the agency raises money, but Revivals seems like the perfect kind of fit to what DAP Health does. It’s good for the people who make donations, and for the people who can come buy great things at reasonable prices. You give, but you also take back a lot of satisfaction from having been part of it. 

 

You’re also a Revivals shopper? 

Absolutely. It’s such a great collection of stuff! The other day, when I made my drop-off, [DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing] Steven Henke took me into the back room, where some people were repairing jewelry and electronics while others were sorting books. It’s like Santa’s Workshop. There’s always a constant flow of donations to all four stores — in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and now Indio — so the volunteers and staff have to keep processing so many things. If you compare Revivals to other resale stores, there’s no question it just has so much more pizzazz and style. 

 

You would no doubt strongly encourage your fellow desert dwellers to follow your example and donate. 

Again, absolutely. Palm Springs is a very generous, compassionate community on many levels. But we also like to have fun while raising funds — at events such as DAP Health’s The Chase or the upcoming Palm Springs Film Awards gala. Donating to Revivals is a way to recycle outfits while also benefiting those in need. The best example of this “circle of life” is the time someone — I’ll never say who — showed up at a DAP Health event wearing a very colorful, elegant outfit I’d donated to Revivals. That brought such a big smile to my face. 

Revivals and The Bobs

Fighting e-waste with “the Bobs” at Revivals 

Revivals Stores agrees with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sees the value of electronics that can be reused, refurbished, or recycled to minimize the actual waste that might end up in a landfill. This helps prevent polluting at unprotected dump sites in the Coachella Valley, and at locations abroad where it might be shipped.  

There is good reason for this concern. Although electronics waste (e-waste) represents 2% of America's trash in landfills, it equals 70% of overall toxic waste, due to the presence of heavy metals. (EPA) 

The EPA also says donating used (but still operating) electronics for reuse helps prevent waste and pollution. Embracing resale extends the lives of valuable products and keeps them out of landfills. And if fewer new units need to be manufactured to meet consumer needs, our carbon footprint falls more. 

Revivals Stores has been fighting e-waste in the Coachella Valley for years by helping shoppers find useable electronics in great condition for a low price. But before items make it to the sales floor, sometimes they need to spend time in rehab with a pair of volunteer repairmen who have been compared to the dynamic duo.  

“The Bobs” help make Revivals Stores a go-to for historic electronics pieces that work like new, plus newer items ready for use. 

“We’re both electronic nerds,” Bob H. says.  

Busy year-round, their work receives extra attention during Palm Springs Modernism Week every February and October when period-specific pieces are in highest demand.  

“The Bobs” are driven to give back to their community by helping fight e-waste while expanding access to healthcare for patients at DAP Health.  

“We have a small footprint in our work area with the highest return for DAP Health, and all that money goes to services,” Bob L. explains. “You can't get much better than that.” 

Both say that volunteering for Revivals Stores has provided them with something meaningful and fulfilling, on top of their career accomplishments.  

“When I retired, I wanted to find something that enables me to have this feeling that I am giving back something to my community,” says Bob H. “You walk out of here at the end of the day and feel like you've accomplished something.” 

Volunteering helps Bob L. tap into motivation he felt during his earlier career.  

“I have tried to always find a place in my career that when we finish, the community's in a better position, people are healthier and they're safer.” 

Volunteering at Revivals gives that to him. 

“The thing about DAP Health is it has a very dynamic ability to respond to the needs in the community as they change, to evaluate them and deliver services, whether it's medical assistance or counseling or support.” 

For store locations or to learn more about Revivals, please visit their website: revivalsstores.com

Mode – Take it Home Today

Take It Home Today – Mode Furniture at Revivals 

Sometimes the feedback Kris Fisher gets about Mode furniture at Revival’s makes him feel like he is in the 1993 film Groundhog Day about a meteorologist who finds himself living the same day repeatedly.  

The reaction many furniture shoppers have when they see the quality, design, and affordable prices of Mode is “Why didn’t I stop by Revivals first?”   

Fisher says “I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard that. People have purchased from us and then canceled their six-month sofa order because they can take it home today when they buy furniture at Revivals.”   

Fisher is the Senior Store Coordinator at the Palm Springs Revivals store and spends much of his time helping customers shop for or special-order brand-new Mode furniture, lighting, rugs, and art.  

The pandemic has created chaos for most retailers struggling with supply chain issues.  Backlogs of shipping containers in Los Angeles and Long Beach, which account for 40 percent of sea shipping freights in the U.S. remain a challenge. 

What that has meant for furniture shoppers is lengthy delays of having their furniture delivered. Commonly, it is taking three months or longer.   

For those in the know, the Mode brand is known for quality, design, and affordable price points. Revivals has an added feature that appeals to shoppers - the ability to see it, buy it, and take it home the same day. Many shoppers are savvy decorators, mixing resale and brand-new pieces in their homes to create a unique look and feel that reflects their individuality. 

Each of the four Revivals stores buys for its area and sells the furniture directly off its sales floor while offering some styles to be special ordered. This allows Palm Springs to offer a different assortment than the stores in Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio. It is a byproduct of each Revivals store listening to its customers and reflecting those needs in its collection of Mode furniture.  

Earlier this year, a realtor was looking for nightstands to help him stage his properties. Fisher is strategic in his ordering of new furniture and is quick to respond to changing customer needs. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Palm Springs store had only a few desks on its sales floor. When the world went into lockdown, it became apparent that desks would become a necessity for people working from home. In turn, Revivals launched a new campaign ‘Home Means More Now’ featuring all the many ways Americans were expecting their rooms and their furniture to pull double duty. 

“We get a lot of compliments on the comfort of our furniture and especially the comfort of our beds. I have overheard customers say, ‘oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m able to get a bed for $400,” Fisher says. Customers come back and tell him, “We put the mattress in our guest bedroom and now our guests are asking where we got it so they can buy one for their home.” 

Shopping at Revivals also Benefits the Community 

For 26 years, 100% of Revivals profits have benefited DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project). DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.   

“It’s rewarding to know you are part of something that’s the backbone of this community,” Fisher said. “DAP has always done a lot for this community. That is why people donate to us. 

Revivals is staffed by a mix of employees and community volunteers who care about the experience customers have in each of the stores. “Revivals is committed to providing a shopping experience that makes folks smile,” says Dane Koch, the Director of Retail. “Shopping at Revivals is a unique experience that creates a feel-good effect. We want our shoppers to know that they matter to us.”   

If you have not already experienced the thrill of the save at Revivals, you can find a store near you on the retailer's website revivalsstores.com. While there, you can preview or buy select items from the Mode collection along with a specially-curated collection of ‘mixed century modern’ resale items.

Revivals Online Artist Spotlight Feature …

Revivals Online Artist Spotlight Features DAP Health Clients

When words fail him, Robert Coughlin’s art speaks for him.

“I don’t know if I do too well in language, I feel a bit lacking in being able to communicate. I really think that painting for me is my voice.” Coughlin says. “I had a pretty rough childhood, so my images have always been really bright and colorful. I’ve always wanted anybody who sees them to feel lifted up.”

Coughlin, along with nine other DAP Health clients, will have his art for sale during the holiday season in an artist spotlight on Revival’s website (revivalsstores.com).

Corina Lujan, DAP Health Wellness Center Manager, says selling the art is an extension of a career development program at DAP Health that helps clients become productive. Through the program, it was apparent there were a number of talented artists. “A lot of them are really skilled with no place to sell their art,” Lujan explains.

“Selling their art is a way for them to make a little bit of extra money, especially since some of them are on disability. Their fixed income doesn’t allow for a lot.”

Normally, client art is displayed in the lobby of the Barbara Keller Love Building at DAP Health. But construction and COVID reduced the traffic flow through the hallway.

“We launched e-commerce at Revivals during the pandemic and felt the timing was right to use the online site to spotlight DAP Health clients,” says Director of Retail, Dane Koch. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the artist. The timing of the online sale makes giving a gift for the greater good easier than ever before. The limited-timed event begins on November 25, 2021, and will end on January 2, 2022.

Coughlin says he is excited that he will be able to sell his watercolor and acrylic paintings. His paintings are a form of communication for him and one of the messages he wants to portray is his gratitude for DAP Health providing the care he needed.

“I wept the first time I went to the dentist there,” Coughlin says. “All my dental work was so necessary.

The dentists and everybody in the front office treated me with such compassion. It was very emotional for me that I wasn’t treated like a leper. I’m just so grateful for them, for Dr. (Tulika) Singh on the medical side and Josie (Pimentel) her assistant. They’ve just been so compassionate and kind and really supportive.”

Click here to meet the artists 

About Revivals

Giving Back Never Goes Out of Style. Shopping at Revivals funds hope and health for the 10,000 individuals who call DAP Health their healthcare home. Revivals Stores donate 100% of its profits, totaling over $1 million a year, to support comprehensive medical and mental healthcare at DAP Health.

Find Yourself at Revivals and support the community you want to create. Revivals has four locations throughout the Coachella Valley - Palm Springs, Indio, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert. Customers are also able to shop a broad collection of brand-new Mode furniture alongside vintage finds on its website.

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area. Visit Revivals Stores at www.revivalsstores.com.