No matter where I go I am always on the lookout for a thrift shop. A thrift shop to me is often a hidden gem that can be found in the middle of a bustling city, in a basement of a church, in a sleepy country town, or even on a sheet neatly spread out on the ground. When I spot a thrift shop, my body often goes through quite a few physiological changes. My mouth waters, my heart races, my eyes bulge, and my hands get itchy–itchy to sift through all items used! I also get a thirst. A thirst for finding a beautiful vintage item that some old lady wore in the late 60’s. Or a lovely piece of bric a brac that I can display somewhere in my home. This thirst is not quenched until I enter the thrift shop and glean over an assortment of items.
When I am in a thrift shop, I am like a kid in a candy store only I am not hungry. I am thirsty! Thrifting is like water to me–once I go without it for more than 3 days I start suffering. Maybe I am being just a wee bit dramatic but at least you get my point. I have a passion for thrifting.
Here are some questions that can allow you to get a glimmer into my thrifty brain:
At what age did you begin the fine act of sifting through other people’s junk?
Thrifting is so much more than sifting through other people’s junk! It’s the ability to find a treasure in an unlikely place. It’s a form of urban treasure hunting. But to answer your question –my mother is a professional thrifter as well so I have been coming along on thrift hunts with her since I was a baby. I remember she would take me to the salvation army with her and spend hours there. I would eventually start to cry because I wanted to leave. I usually ended up playing with toys on some used couch with another kid who longed to leave as much as I did.
As I got older and my styles changed a bit I was interested in more vintage type clothing and started tapping into my thrifting genes. I began frequenting thrift shops alone at around 17-years-old.
What’s your favorite thrift shop that you have had the pleasure of thrifting at?
My favorite thrift shop is located in the Bronx. It’s a salvation army that I have attended since I was a little girl. I won’t divulge in the name because I tend to be selfish with that spot. I don’t want other professional thrifters all up in there–that’s too much competition!
Where do you usually thift? At Salvation Army? Goodwill? Or mom and pop thrift shops?
As a child it was an insult if someone said, “where do you shop at? The salvation army?” but now as an adult I proudly boast of my “S.A” finds. Although it is hard to remember where exactly I found particular pieces, I usually shop at the Salvation Army. That is my favorite thrift spot-hands down. Goodwill tends to not be vintage enough for me and more overpriced. I try to stay clear away from actual vintage shops because the prices are usually 10x (or more) of what you will find at the Salvation Army.
How does your boyfriend deal with your insatiable appetite for thrifting?
He has adjusted quite nicely. I suppose the flip side of having a girl beg him to take her to thrift stores or stop alongside the road if she spots a gem thrown out in the trash, would be to have a girlfriend who desires expensive designer clothes. I think he secretly likes to thrift too. He has seen the gems I have purchased from thrift shops so he respects my hobby and even encourages it at times. I love him for that.
Are there any downsides to thrifting?
The downside would be that your closets and house can get filled with gems that you have purchased. It is important to give items away/re-thrift if you find you are not wearing them as much. I have a lot of closet space so I have one closet dedicate to vintage collectibles but I know many people are pressed for closet space so please check your inventory every 6 months and get rid of items you don’t like anymore or just can’t see yourself wearing.
I also hate finding really nice shoes and as it turns out the shoes are too small/big for me! That’s definitely a drag.
Why did you decide to create this blog?
Thrifting is one of the things I do in my spare time that I am truly passionate about. I also believe that it takes a certain talent to thrift. You have to have a particular fashion sense or sense for design because at times it is not easy to sift through some homely items for that one gem. I know I am not alone in thrifting as I see and meet many fellow thrifters wherever I go. This blog is a forum for discussing all things thrift and sharing my reviews of thrift shops I go to. I will try to update it frequently but working a full time job as a teacher may not allow that.
I want people to see that to many people thrift stores are more than just, “junk stores.” They are meccas of rare items. Thrifting is more than a “poor person’s means of shopping.” It is a middle class and even wealthy person’s passion as well.
Just admit it. You are too poor to shop at retail stores.
Negative. I will admit when I was younger we were very poor so I believe this was the reason my mom primarily (and still does) shopped at thrift stores. I can afford to splurge on the more expensive items. The truth is I am very frugal and I like to save more than I spend. I also like to dress nice (usually). Thrifting affords me the best of both worlds. I can purchase nice threads, decorate my apartment , and still have money to put into my savings account. I do shop at retail stores because there’s a lot of things you just can’t find at thrift shops. Even when I shop at retail stores I always shop with a frugal eye. I guess it’s due to me growing up poor — I know the value of a dollar and don’t want to waste it in overpriced clothes.