Sunday, July 18, 2010

What is a Thirft Store Convention?

I wish a thrift store convention were a gathering of stores and followers for a week at some swank hotel in San Diego on the harbor. Apron Thrift Girl and I toss that idea about. For certain there’d be fantastic forums, featuring, How to buy quality clothing – it’s not all in the brand or Product Re-purposing to accompany the urban crafts movement. I’d love to host a forum on Snake Eyes. We could design programs to become a Thrift Master.

Imagine the consumer enlightenment. It could bolster in a new age, a revolution turning away from our current Economy of Crap, an economy saturated with stuff we don’t really need, stuff that's only purpose is to meet quarterly projections. It’s kind of like an Economy of Nothing but comes with a heavy cost in dollars and carbon.

Thrift conventions are posts demonstrating the various paths to incorporate reuse into a consumer’s life. In short, these conventions feature items you need not buy new so you need not waste money, resources and energy. You can live a little lighter.

There have been many posts on the conventions of thrift. Unless there is an accompanying story, we delete the original post and add the photos (which have more meaning) with captions into to the slide shows on the left bar of this blog featuring: Clothing & accessories, Home & Entertaining, Kitchen and Children. Photo captions tell the story.

Take some time to view these slide shows. You’ll see beautiful completely outfitted place settings for under $5, fine jewelry for a few dollars, new clothing for 5% the retail cost…

Below is sampling of what you'll find in the growing slide shows. Enjoy.


Mel said...

You are preaching to the choir!
Where can I sign up for the convention? :)

Popcorn Served Daily said...

Here here! I'm with you on this one for sure! I am a HUGE fan of Goodwill and frequent the stores weekly and furnish my home with thier wares. I can never figure out how I can find a Pier One pillow, complete with tags in GW one day and see it on display in the store the next! What is it up with that?


Kate said...

I think the only clothing I've bought new in the last five years has been underwear ... there are so many great thrift stores in our area! And yes, I work in a downtown office and must comply with a business/professional dress code. But where else would I have found a brand-new, store-tag-still-on London Fog microfibre trench coat, in my size and the perfect colour (dusty sage green), for $3.00 ?

Elizabeth B said...

OMG, I would so sign up for an actual Thrift Convention! :D

Did I see your beautiful cat staring at the pretty birds? (Doubtless thinking, Mmm, dinner...)

KentuckyGal said...

Thrifting with attitude...I love it! My best buy remains the floor length red velvet skirt that I repurposed into a HOT strapless cocktail dress that cost $1.

Megan said...

I always love your posts. I think it's great when someone asks where I got something, & I can tell them Goodwill or another local thrift store I visit. Wonderful feeling knowing that I'm getting something for a great price & helping people find jobs (skills) or supporting missions.

Found a great lamp base for $6 at Goodwill & saw the same one in Wal-Mart for $20!

Another great thrift store went out of business, but I got a great coat (I didn't own one since I live in FL, but I was pretty cold this year!!) for 75% off. Spent less than $8, it has a zip out lining & everyone loved cost more to get it dry cleaned.

I don't think I've bought a new book in years and I love to read. I also buy books at the library when they have their sales...great deals there too.

Anonymous said...

Great reminders and examples for the yet-to-be-convinced. I inventory what I'm wearing daily--outfit, shoes, and accessories--to see how much is thrifted. It's rare that I'm not wearing at least one item, and some days (depending on the occasion), I may be completely thrifted (except my underwear). Ditto my home decor, kitchen and gardening resources, etc. My children, have followed suit and when they're not shopping my house, rely on thrifts for their wardrobes, etc. As they establish homes, they'll save thousands and still be able to afford pretty much anything they want for their families.

tickledpink.nicole said...

I am a recent thrift store convert. THANK YOU for all the inspiration!

Yesterday I went to some of my favorite "cheap" haunts (like Target and Marshall's) and I was in sticker shock. I've learned that it might take me awhile to find something I'm looking for, and that I might need to put in some work, but I can find what I'm looking for much, much less.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Hey, I'm game for organizing our convention. I'm sure someone would come to it :-)

Michelle M. said...

So, so, SO true!! I am very glad that my 17-year old daughter sees this as well and will make wise (financially and socially sound) choices when she entered the consumer fray in a few years. Loved the post!

Anonymous said...

I love the table settings featured in your blog. I bought a red and organge table cloth from my Goodwill a while back. It makes my dishes and food look and taste yummy. Keep up the good work!

GoodyGirlRed said...

Great post--I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks.

Anonymous said...

You would be hard pressed to come into my home and find something that did not have a previous owner - including the pets. Actually, even the man. And the vehicles. We do buy toilet paper, milk and laundry soap frequently (new.)
All the appliances and most of the clothing, every last dish and glass were either thrifted or received for volunteering for events/causes.
Even our vacations are pretty much cost free except for the gas to get somewhere. We need to switch to one of those used veggie oil vehicles.

savvysavingbytes said...

Thanks for your great photos showing all your terrific thrift store finds. I have been a fan of thrifts (Goodwill especially) for many years. One of my best buys there was a Tiffany glass heart box designed by Elsa Peretti that only cost a couple of dollars and that made an impressive Christmas gift.
My post on NYC thrifts:

Anonymous said...

So funny about the singing fish! I saw one in Goodwill recently, and I thought...who'd pay money for that new, or even have it for free? :-p I'll be glad to register for the thrift store convention. I don't always find what I'm looking for, but I always find something wonderful that they just don't make anymore, or make like *that* anymore. However, I'm now beginning to acquire things I have no use for, e.g., a complete vintage child's china tea set made in Japan (who could resist?), a fancy Prince Charming doll never out of its box (who could resist?)...etc. I need to check myself periodically and recall the whole purpose of thrifting. It takes time. It's a re-conditioning process. :0/ I'm hoping I can re-sell some things in the church bazaar and at least the money will go to a good purpose twice.

Daisy said...

I've purchased my son's jeans at thrift stores for years. He has very low muscle tone and has trouble with new snaps and zippers. Used ones are much better. Thrift it is!

Saver Queen said...

I love this post!! I think it's a great list. I cringe when I see friends and family buying things that I see at thrift stores all the time - like cast iron frying pans, bakeware, vintage-style jewelry, etc.

And here's another thought: I've been getting lots of wedding invitations lately. I look at the prices on the registry for things that crop up at thrift stores all the time and I'm appalled! It actually hurts to think about how much money we has guests spend on "new" but cheaply made items, when we could find sturdier, older models in great condition at thrift stores for just a few bucks.

Anonymous said...

I agree heartily about shopping thrift first, but I have to caveat my comment: every location is different, and the types of thrifted treasures vary with location.

For example, I could drive 40 miles to the nearest Goodwill, and probably find craft supplies. But, in my community, craft supplies get snapped up in a heartbeat.

Costume jewelry gets claimed even faster. Now, that might be because the prices are so low that everyone is willing to buy what's there, in hopes of finding a gem. (I once bought 5 costume-jewelry pins/brooches. $1 for all 5. But, if I hadn't been there at exactly that moment, someone else would have snagged them. And, if the high-charging woman had been running the register, it would have been $10 for all 5!)

And the volunteers who run the thrift get first dibs, so they buy a lot of the REALLY GOOD STUFF. I would not expect that a complete 8-piece table setting would make it to the floor.

But, y'know, I don't mind -- I'm not about to volunteer hours of my time in hopes of spotting a Le Cruset pot. Or a genuine Prada purse (lots of counterfeits out there).

Also there still are PLENTY of good-quality clothes, purses, books, and linens out on the floor. PLENTY.

For example, I am a Size 2X -- a little hard to find clothes in that size in the thrift. And I recently paid $3 for a dress by "Two Potatoes of Laguna Beach." Retails for about $100. I bought an Orvis shirt for $2. Here's a similar one:

Yep, take a look at Orvis prices.

I bought a Fieldcrest set of sheets two weeks ago -- Queen size, fitted sheet + flat sheet + two pillowcases, 100% cotton, fully elasticized bottom sheet. My price: $3.00 (Of course, if the high-charging volunteer had been working the register, it would have cost me $5.00.)

So, despite the discouragement of quickly-gone craft supplies and cashiers with random pricing strategies, it is DEFINITELY worth while to shop thrift.


Anonymous said...

About the high-charging woman: She would have charged me $5 for the sheet set, certainly a fair price. But the LOWEST-charging woman would have charged $1.

I got very lucky the day I got the pins. I would have gladly paid $1 or $2 apiece.


Shopping Golightly said...


As you know, handmade jewelry is a big buisness. Where do people who make this jewelry get they're materials from? Hmm. They could go to a chain craft store and buy mass produced items made in China, or they could go to a thrift store, pay a third - if even that - the price and find many unique, one of a kind items.

Reuse, re-purpose. It just makes sense!

Fashion Suits said...

Sweet and fashionable gal! i like your modeling skills,,, can you make more post?