Monday, August 26, 2019

Everything I Know About Thrifting - Where?

This is probably the most common question I get.
It usually goes like this:
"Where do you find all of your great stuff? I never find anything when I go thrifting!"

(A good day but I visited two thrift stores on my way home from an appointment)

First I would like to say this:
I do not find amazing things every time I go thrifting. 
I often post when I do,
 I obviously don't post pictures on my IG of the many trips
 I make without finding one single thing!

I think the where question is more about frequency and diligence than the actual where!

(I'm willing to have a glass shelf or two cut if the price is pretty low to begin with.
 You just have to decide if the effort is worth it to you)

I have found things in well organized thrift shops and in total dumpy, smelly spots. 
It's all in what you are willing to do.

(Here is my huge "Golden Girls" couch in a corner at a non-profit thrift store. 
Quick phone call home for someone to measure the spot on the porch!)

(Here it is in it's new home on our porch.
  Mollie actually sent me a screenshot of this exact couch in an old episode of  
Hawaii Five-O!! It really is vintage!)

I hit the "regulars" often.
Goodwill is my most visited spot where I live
 but I don't always find them to be that great in towns I visit. 
Location. Location. Location.


(Here are those chairs, refreshed and in our Library. BUT that zebra rug is the thrifting find of all time if you want to "score" it by price paid vs. actual value. Read this crazy story here!)

Now here's a great trio. 
I found these at a GW that had not been a very "lucky" spot for about 4 months. 
But I decided to pop in and here these beauties sat!! I grabbed all 3 tickets - one is missing the glass but it's an easy fix and they priced the one with broken glass under $15.00 so no problem! I'll get the glass cut!

These are in my family room now. 
I haven't had a chance to share how they look in their new home yet but I will soon!

Church affiliated thrift stores are often the best spots to thrift in smaller towns. 

I also check out "non-profit" type thrift stores. These are the ones that support homeless shelters, drug rehab centers, women's shelters, humane societies, etc. 

( I don't love the design on the doors. If I had purchased this it would have gotten a coat of paint!) 

If I'm in a different part of town or on a trip and have 10 minutes to spare I just google "thrift stores near me" and pop in the closest one or two.
My first ever Brighton Pavilion bamboo chair was found in a Restore in a pretty rough section of Atlanta. I was over there for an appointment and popped in. There was the chair in the middle of a ton of plumbing parts for... $15.00!

(This piece lives in my kitchen now. I painted it and it's a ton of good storage. 
This particular non-profit has been the source of quite a few great finds!
I always pop in when I pass by.)

I also hit up the occasional yard sale or estate sale but not on a regular basis.
That is too time consuming for me. I live in an area with a lot of traffic 
(Atlanta area traffic is legendary)
and I rarely have time on a Saturday anyway. I see people on IG who do the estate and yard sale circuit and have great success. Just doesn't work for me. 
That is the "success" part of this. You have to decide what works for you that doesn't feel like "too much time/not enough yield" to you. 

I stopped by this yard sale/estate sale on a whim on a rainy Saturday and that elephant now lives in my entryway. And since the weather wasn't great and they only had a half day on Sunday to finish selling a house full of stuff they made a great deal on a huge pile of vintage finds! It never hurts to ask prices. I asked how much two things were and the lady said "We are ready to deal. The more you buy the better the prices!"
 Done. I grabbed a bunch of vintage goodies that day.

I like to thrift and I'm happy when I find something I can use!
So, I guess I'm easily pleased in this process :)

I do like to browse Facebook Marketplace.
 It's great if you are looking for something specific. 
It's a very time efficient way to "thrift shop."

(This would have been a bit of a drive but if I had been searching for something and the price was great then I would make the drive. It has to be a really wanted/needed piece for me to drive far but I have made some road trips for great finds!)

I bought this vintage Pier One settee on FB Marketplace, 
used it for a year and found something I liked better 
and then sold it on FBM!

You can enter bamboo coffee tables for instance, put in a radius from your home you are willing to drive and all the possibilities pop up. 
I have had great luck shopping and selling on FB Marketplace. 
I also look at it when I am travelling.
 Just put in your location and see what's around. 
You never know!

And check those sites often. Amazing deals do happen!
 I saw this moments after it posted, messaged her, arranged to meet her in a grocery parking lot on the other side of town (near her) in about an hour, I was leaving on a mission trip the next day and had a zillion things to pack up for the trip but hopped in the car to go grab the set and by the time I met her she said she had had over 100 messages about it! I'm sure!! Look at that price!! For all three pieces. And to be honest I didn't even try to bargain - I just told her to consider them sold!!

Of course this amazing purchase sparked another One Room Challenge.

So go as often as you can.
And keep an open mind.
 You never know what you might find. I found my kitchen table and chairs when I was thrifting for my Master Bathroom One Room Challenge (which has an amazing thrifted find of its own!)  I ran in a Goodwill after a trip to Home Depot for supplies and literally had 5 minutes to give to the outing. And there it was. And I found two green Chinoiserie lamps for my entryway. Grabbed all the tags, paid and was out of there in about 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be an all day outing. Just stop as you pass by! 

 (That footbath was huge - literally 2 feet across. This was in a vintage shop so kind of the next step up from thrifting it but the prices were really good in this particular shop. It never hurts to look!)

These were "online finds" - either Craigslist or FB Marketplace. I really can't remember. Such a nice lady! We arranged a meeting spot and I was going to get the garden stool. When I arrived the buyer for the gorgeous planter had been a no-show. She offered me the planter as well. We had chatted back and forth while making arrangements to meet and she knew I loved blue and white. I didn't have her total asking price in cash on me (only planning to buy the stool!) and she ended up "throwing in" the amazing planter for the cash I had on me because we had enjoyed messaging back and forth and I had been friendly and she knew I would enjoy it! It was about 1/3 the asking price! It pays to be nice. 
And I do love that planter. It's here right now.

Do you have a go to thrift store or thrift shopping tip?
Please share!

In the third part of this series on Thrifting I'll talk about HOW I thrift and WHAT I look for. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Everything I Know About Thrifting - Why?

I receive a lot of comments on my Instagram account about my thrifted finds.

I'm the co-founder of a hashtag #thriftwithus 
because I love to see what everyone is finding on their thrifting outings!

People want to know where I go, how I find great stuff, 
how am I so "lucky" to find so many things and more.

details here 

So, I thought I would do a little series about my thrifting "habit" so to speak.

I'm starting with "why" which is different for everyone 
and my own motivation to thrift has been varied over the years.

1. I am genetically predisposed to go antiquing, thrift shopping and to take those finds and refinish, paint, recover, repair whatever "re-" they need. My mother was the queen of repurpose, reclaim, reuse before it was a "thing."  I grew up in a house full of family antiques and treasures my mother found and used in our home when I was growing up. 
I was born in Charleston SC where buying something new is unheard of when there is a family piece or hand me down that could be used, recovered, painted whatever.
So basically what I'm saying is the "why" is that I had no choice :)

details here

2. There have been times when a yard sale or thrifted piece was all that was in the budget. Period. 
Plus, I just think it makes financial sense. 
A lot of vintage pieces are, in fact, higher quality pieces than I could afford to buy new. 
And there are other things I want/need to spend money on.

details here 

3. I think thrifting is good for the environment and it's certainly good for my community.
 I thrift in some private stores that support local causes like drug rehab
 and in organizations like Goodwill that put people to work.
That's a win in my book.

porch details here

4. I enjoy it. I do not thrift for clothes because I do not have the patience for it but I have friends who find outrageous bargains in the clothing areas of thrift stores. I think certain areas are better than others for finding high quality or designer items but people find gems in the craziest places. 

details here and  here

5. We have a big dog - 80 pound puppy right now - and we always have had and will have dogs. They are family members and I worry less about losing something I thrifted if something happens (running, chewing, accident) than if I paid a fortune for it. I also want them in the house with me and sitting by me in the evening, etc. We are those people. 

6. We also have always had a lot of people in and out of our house and I want everyone to be relaxed and have a good time. I don't want anyone to feel like they can't put their feet up or get comfy on a throw pillow. I don't want to be an uptight hostess.

7. I like that I can feel guilt-free about "trading" something in if I find something I like better. #fickle  
If I paid top dollar for a decorating item or piece of furniture 
I would need to live with it for a loooong time. 
Not so if I've thrifted something for a good price. I can change it up guilt free.

details here 

I'll be sharing my thrifting tips, thoughts and more in the next few posts!
 Stay tuned!