If you’ve followed by Instagram or Facebook page, you know I’m a big thrift store shopper. I blame my sister Kanista! She got me started many moons ago and I was always amazed at the incredible things she would find. I wasn’t all that into it for a while because I never seemed to be able to find cool things like my sister did. But once I started going with her and watched how she worked through a store, I started to catch on!
Now when I walk into my favorite stores, I have a system that I follow – much like my sister. Some days it’s about clothes and other days it’s about the tchotchkes!!! Some days it’s even about furniture…more on that later…
This year, I decided to do something different with my thrift store finds. I started a photo album of everything with an explanation on how much I paid and other information, like how much I found it online for and so on. So when I was preparing this post and downloading photos to use, I realized I was going to have to separate this into several posts or this one would be too long! Mind you, this was even after selecting only my most favorite items this year so far!!! So here goes Tales from the Thrift Part 1…
This has definitely been the “year of the bag” or “bag lady” year for me. I’ve found several gently used or brand new purses. The beige and black Franco Sarto was brand new and I have used it almost daily since I found it for $6.99. Incidentally, most of the handbags seem to be priced at $6.99 at The Salvation Army. I don’t know why that seems to be the magic number but I’ve bought several for that price this year. I also found two Coach bags! The first one – a very light beige bag was priced at $14.99 but it was Memorial Day Weekend and everything in the store was half off so I score big time on that purse! (Incidentally…I gifted that purse to my sister Kanista because she loved it so much when I sent her the picture!) Then a few weeks later I found a brown Coach purse for $3.99! I like this one because its small, goes easily over my shoulder and forces me to NOT load it up with unnecessary items!
My glass obsession took a huge turn this year when I found almost an entire set of Mikasa crystal! When I walked into the store I saw the set and I think they must have just put them out! This was one of those times when the store wasn’t real crowded and I didn’t grab a buggy or a basket…you wonder…should I run and get a buggy?…should I take a few with me and grab one?…what if someone sees I’m interested and comes over and grabs some from the set???!!! Such a dilemma! Ha! I did a little research into these glasses and they are a discontinued line called Jamestown with a platinum trim. You can still get some of them at Replacements, Ltd. so of course I went there to see the replacement costs. Most were about $20-$25 while I paid 99 cents for each glass!
My sister is also hooked on glassware and tends to go for mid-century modern designs. She told me about Dorothy Thorpe glassware when I visited her last year in North Carolina. Then in January I was in the Hoover Salvation Army and a bunch of boxes had been put out waiting to be placed on the shelves. Usually people are swarming around these containers but that particular day there weren’t that many people in the store. I spotted a glass that was part clear and part gray and silver. Then I spotted another…there were six total! I knew I had something special because of their “look.” So I quickly googled and discovered that I had a set of Dorothy Thorpe vintage silver fade “ombre” highball glasses priced at $1.99 each! When I googled this set I found it anywhere from $45-$75, the higher price included a caddy! My sister Kanista “might” get these for Christmas…just thinking out loud!
I love finding pewter and talavera items too. This year I found three pewter crosses in one visit. Someone must have been redecorating and I benefited from it! Bonus is that they are all “made in Mexico.” Finding the small talavera cross was a nice addition to my downstairs hallway. The colors are a perfect complement to my décor.
Sometimes after I post a great “find” I get comments and people who want to go thrifting with me. I’m game anytime folks! Some want to know the best time to go thrifting. That’s harder to define because it’s really hit and miss! I mean, when I’m looking for something specific, that’s when I’m not going to find a thing. Other times, I stumble upon some unique and valuable items…like the Steuben glass vase I found a few years ago for $2.99 (on Ebay for $135) or the House of Black Diamonds Goldstein mink coat I found for $60 (on Ebay for $3K!!!) I tend to find the best things when I have ten minutes and I just pop in to see what’s there. My store strategy – the way I work the store – seems to be working for me!
I also think the key for me is to go into a thrift store with a creative mind-set. When I do that, everything in the store takes on a unique quality. Like the amber chandelier I found just a few weeks ago. I picked it up, turned it over a few times and thought….hummm, how could I use this? Then I remembered the gazebo tent on our deck. Then I also remember thinking a few months back how fun it would be to have a chandelier hanging in the middle of the tent! Eleven dollars later…and a hook from my husbands tool box, it was hanging in the gazebo tent and I was loving the look!
Stay tuned to Part 2 of Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!