Resale shops and thrift stores are truly an asset to society. This may come off as rather sarcastic, but they complete my life. *Tee-hee* These stores are generally ran in partnership with a specific charity; making the shopping experience all the more gratifying knowing the profits are going to those in need.
When I got my first job at the ripe age of 16, I wanted my money to go further. I worked in a coffee shop of the local mall. I saw first hand how fast money can be spent when items bought were brand new. And just like buying a brand new car, these things aren’t new forever and are soon used.
Blessed with a set of wheels from my parents, my friends and I loved to scour resale shops for authentic vintage Tshirts after school. The irony was in the fact that stores like “Canadian Eagle” were selling vintage T’s with new shirt prices. Needless to say, this store did not get very much of my hard earned money. The resale shops provided the exact same look that I was going for with out the mass consumer baggage.
A few weeks ago, my trusty iron took it’s final tumble from my ironing board. It had a great run being purchased brand new seven years ago. In fact, my mama bought it for my when I was moving into the dorms at SIUC. My iron was a good friend to me and my sewing machine. It was in that very dorm that my passion for sewing erupted and I began to sell my creations for profit.
I was sad to see my old friend go, but I knew I would find a new one in our local Salvation Army. In fact, I found this great digital iron that holds twice as much water for steaming. If any of you lovlies out there sew, you know how important this function is. Back to the iron, this beauty cost me all of $6.00 and heats up super quick with a beaping function to let me know when it’s met my desired setting.
If you already know me, you know I have never had any formal sewing or fashion schooling. Yes, I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree, but that’s a story for an other day! I have been considering going back to school to study fashion, but I really don’t want to go into debt for most likely two years of review. Being the bullheaded woman that I am, I refuse to never take the easy route. Thankfully, I am a Taurus through and through, enabling me to figure out almost any problem if left to my own devices. Where was I?
I have found that the best part of most thrift stores is the book section. There is a whole trove of wonder, inspiration, and information waiting to be taken into your mind. You just can’t beat $1 a book and $.20 for a magazine. Even used book stores can’t compete with those prices. With the horrible idea of going back to school floating around in my head, what did I find on the end of the corner book shelf in the Salvation Army?!
Sure, it’s from 1983, but a lot of the principles of fashion remain unchanged over time. As I thumbed through this book, I squealed with delight and practically threw my crumbled dollar the clerk.
When you visit my etsy shop, you will, for the most part, see me modeling my handmade clothing. I have started to get the hang of this aspect of my little business. I yearned for some fun kicks to wear for my lil photo shoots. And although, many fellow vegetarians would scoff at the very idea of wearing leather, my heart soars when I see a beautiful piece of vintage leather attire. I get especially teary eyed, when I see hand stamped belts and purses :sigh: .
These cow girl boots called my name out loud. I mean, come on, they are GREEN!!! They were also a perfect fit to my tiny size seven feet. It was my destiny to find these boots. At the mere prices of $15, these were a steal to boot. Heehee, no pun intended.
Upon entering any thrift store, I practically run to the crafting section. There are always amazing fabrics that someone never got the chance to sew. In addition to the crafting area, I also raid the linens sections. I carefully examine and spread out bed sheets for inspection. I fondle and inspect the fabrics seeking any and all that tug at my heart strings. I can’t even begin to tell you about the adrenaline rush I get when I find some extra special vintage fabric. I swear, there are fairies born somewhere in those moments.
I found these fabrics(and many more not pictured) at the local Humane Society thrift store. It feels good to help support all those furry and feathered babies that have no family. I also love that fact that there is usually at least one dog and cat roaming the store keeping the volunteers company. I spent a whooping $10 for around 20 yards of fabric. Whatta deal, right!?
My long term love affair with thrift stores is what helped to inspire my creations and in turn, my business. There are so many perfectly good materials that have yet to be used. The super low cost of these materials is passed to the patrons of my shop. I feel great knowing that the money I spend on materials goes to good causes and keeps the landfills a little less full.
What is your favorite thrift store find?