The 1942 Willys MB Army Jeep parked in front of The Thrift Shop on Chicken Alley in Vineyard Haven is authentic and used, but it’s not for sale. It’s the car that Noava Knight, the new shop assistant at the store, drives to work.

Five days a week, Ms. Knight, 26, hops out of the Jeep her boyfriend purchased on the Cape and strolls into the shop. She greets her colleagues, most of them more than 40 years her senior, and gets to work reorganizing, advertising and planning.

“It’s been fabulous bringing in someone new and young,” said Sandy Pratt, the thrift store manager. “She’s bringing in the 21st century.”

Bringing a store up to date means making use of the Internet. The Thrift Shop on Chicken Alley is now on Facebook, courtesy of Ms. Knight, and has achieved nearly 500 “Likes.”

Mrs. Pratt also praised Ms. Knight’s creative ideas. Plans are in the works to use the thrift store as a venue for live music.

When Ms. Knight first saw the want-ad for the position she now occupies, she knew she was the right person for the job.

“I know the store. My mom would bring me here as a kid,” said Ms. Knight, who grew up in Vineyard Haven. “At first I just associated it with the smell of mothballs.”

As the youngest of five kids, Ms. Knight was used to drawers full of hand-me-downs and previously-owned clothing. It wasn’t until her teenage years that Ms. Knight began to see herself as stylish. “Old Navy suddenly wasn’t as cool as I thought,” she said. “I didn’t want to look like everyone else anymore.”

That realization eventually sparked an interest in clothing design. Ms. Knight designs costumes for the Vineyard Playhouse. She also designs her own lines, and features her work during Fashion Week in September.

Working at the thrift store helps Ms. Knight with her designing in more ways than one. “There are so many old designer clothes in the store,” she said. “It’s great to be able to look at the old construction, functionality and style of the clothing.”

Claire Chalfoun, one of the store’s volunteers, donated studio space for the young designer to use.

“That was an amazing gift,” said Ms. Knight. “In the past, I’ve worked out of my mom’s shed or random rooms in the house. It’s amazing just to not have to clean up after myself every time I work.”

As Ms. Knight walked through the back room at the thrift shop, Mrs. Chalfoun was sorting through newly acquired merchandise. Ms. Knight gave her a “You’re awesome!” in passing, and received a “You’re awesome!” in response.

“I have a whole new family here,” said Ms. Knight. “The staff, the volunteers — it’s amazing how much support I’ve been getting.”

Mrs. Pratt said the support is well deserved. “We listen to her new ideas and just let her run with them. If they don’t quite work out, we’ll adjust, but we want her to try,” she said. “She’s bringing in a lot of young customers and providing access to a whole new demographic. We’ve never had young people coming in the store in the numbers we do now.”

Spreading the spirit of thrift store shopping to other people of her generation is indeed one of Ms. Knight’s goals.

“The thrift store makes sense for me and for the Island,” she said. “I love doing things myself and I’m all about recycling.” The staff and volunteers of the non-profit thrift store take retail into their own hands, and their earnings benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

“Maybe I won’t be here forever, but I see the Vineyard as always being my home,” said Ms. Knight.

She’s got a full plate for the summer, but doesn’t know what the future holds. Luckily, the Knight is young.