Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wow! This is a thrift store?

Today, I want to talk a little bit about thrifting.  Are you a thrifter?  Do you have a favorite thrift stores you visit regularly?  Oh, let me tell you friend, if you are not a thrifter, allow me to convert you and change your foolish, foolish ways of paying retail.

I know what some of you may be thinking when it comes to thrift stores.  Yuck!  They only sell junk; they sell your neighbor's trash.  The stores smell funny!  They only have used and abused items...yada yada.....

For years, I never stepped foot in a thrift store.  I wasn't necessarily a thrift store snob, I just figured that if someone gave something away, then why would someone else want it.  Was there anything really worth buying in thrift stores?

Oh, how naive I was. So, so, naive.
So what changed in my life that I now include thrifting on a regular basis?  Let's see- budget, kids, staying home, blogging, moving, budget, necessity, budget, etc.  Did I mention budget?  So how does a girl who likes modern style and respectable but contemporary fashion find goods at a thrift store?  The answer is to find the RIGHT thrift store.

Not all thrift stores are created equal.  Some have great furniture pieces but lack in the clothes area.  Some have great clothes but lack in the furniture department.  Others are just ridiculously overpriced.  Yes, there are thrift stores that are overpriced. The key to good thrifting is to find one (or two or three) that fits what you're looking for on a regular basis.  For me it's furniture since I love DIYing, but then.....I was introduced to this place.  Cue heavenly angelic music now!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine  told me about this AMAZING  thrift store in downtown Denver. The perks- a basement full of furniture, clean, organized, and clothes I would not only buy, but love!  She knows me so well!  I love finding little treasures (and big treasures)at thrift stores, bringing them home and spit shining them all up to make them pretty again!

The thing is, I don't usually buy clothes at thrift stores.  Hardly ever.  I don't have the patience to go through racks and racks of clothes to find that ONE piece I would wear, then maybe it will fit right, but then I'd have to go try it on.  Ugh, this does not sound fun to me. If I had several outfits to choose from, then maybe?  I'm more of the, "let's see those ugly pieces of furniture you've got!"  But I was assured by my friend that I would not only find great clothes, but my beloved ugly furniture I can gussy up as well.  REALLY?

So this last week when my mom was in town, I had to twist her arm (not really) to go check out the validity of my friends statements.  I was on a truth finding mission you see.  We had to take a little trip to this so called AMAZING thrift store and test it's worthiness.  And the verdict?  Well,  let me just say, WOW!



Here's the book area, completely organized with tables to sit at while you read.  Very casual and yes, you can bring in your coffee to sit and relax.


High, vaulted, ornate ceilings with great lighting.  Umm, not your average thrift store.  This is the housewares department- very dangerous for me!  My son found a surf board clock for our beach themed bathroom makeover as soon as we got there. That's where the trouble all started for us because then we just had to check EVERYTHING else out.  LOVE IT!


Pendent lighting down the middle of the store with cans throughout the rest.  This side of the store is women's clothing.  The stairs go down to the basement where I found a room full of furniture.

Shoes?  Yes, Please!  I found a great pair of dressy sandals.
All the clothes are clean, organized by season/type, and sized.  I wanted to find capri pants and casual blouses, so I went right to that section and found "several" things to try on.  When it comes to finding clothes at a good thrift store, I grab "everything" that I like, and kind of like, and maybe it'll fit?  The more clothes to try on, the better my chances of finding something I'll buy.  I'm always surprised at what looks good and what doesn't.  And I only buy if I really like it on me.  What's the point of shopping at a thrift store if I buy something, even for cheap, take it home and never wear it. It's just money wasted, right?

When I went shopping at this Goodwill, I tried on at least 20 pair of pants and half as many blouses.  They had a lot of name brand, gently used clothes. Anything that looked good on the hanger, I put in my basket to try on.   I've learned to change quickly and make a yes, no, and maybe I'll buy pile.  To my surprise, I had a lot in my yes pile and had to narrow a few things down.  Luckily, mom was with me and bought me an outfit- complete with my Donna Karan shoes!  Woohoo!  Thanks, Mom!
 
On top of my thrift gift from mom, I bought 3 pair of pants by Calvin Klein, Gap, and Ann Taylor (I'm not a name brand girl, but some people like to know these things) and two blouses for about $27.  That's$9 an outfit!  YES! PLEASE! and THANK YOU!


Downstairs was full of great pieces.  I prefer to buy solid, real wood pieces, but this store's furniture prices were a little too high for me to purchase right then and there. Never fear!  All thrift stores have a 50% off sale during some point each month.  Find out when your thrift store has their sale and get there early to grab your pieces.  This great wood dresser has a few bumps and bruises with a price tag of $70.  Not bad, but two more days and it will be $35- if it's still there.  It's a risk I'm willing to take.

This wasn't a perfect thrift store though.  It didn't have very many kids clothes or toys, but my munchkins still managed to find their one thing they could take home.   We spent 3 hours on this first trip and laughed most of the time as we ooh and ahh-ed  with each section.  So fun!

So lessons learned when it comes to thrifting:
1.  Find a "good" thrift store
2.  Be patient when looking at clothes and grab everything that's a possibility for you.
3.  Shop with a friend that likes thrifting as much as you.do.
4.  Only buy what you'll use.
5.  Inspect everything carefully.  Check drawers and pulls on furniture.  Check for stains on clothing
6.  Go back often!

Hope you all have a blessed day!  I'm off to introduce Mr. Lewisville to my new favorite thrift store.

Blessings,
Lisa

39 comments:

  1. I live on the Western Slope, west of Grand Junction. We have several thrift stores but I've found most of them have ridiculous prices, our fairly new Goodwill store and the Habitat store. I went to the Habitat store yesterday looking for cabinet doors and some drawer pulls, handles. The furniture used to be priced decently but is now at extremely close to new prices. Why that is I don't know but won't go back, too far a trip for us.
    I'm sure glad you were able to find good bargains on clothes at your Denver Goodwill.
    We do have a thrift store in small town just east of us, Fruita, but the prices there have gone up on furniture also. A really rickety small hall table was $6. Whoa, way too much. I go in there looking for picture frames to redo but they've gone way up also. Come on "thrift stores",people will buy alot more if the prices are kept at thrift store level. Getting greedy? It's kinda upsetting to see this happening all too often. When you live out as far as we do and make the trip to thrift store only to be met with "new prices" it's kinda frustrating.
    Ah well, the hunt is the fun and will keep trying to find some good stuff or stick to yard sales.

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  2. Now where is that little gem? I usually frequent the ARC in Broomfield but this may be worth a trip downtown! And yes, like srpprcrftr said above, thrift store prices have definitely risen but I guess that is just due to all us thrifty/crafty people making it so popular! Still, there are bargains to be had!!!
    Thanks for the post and the new locale!

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    1. ooh, I'll have to try the ARC in Broomfield. Is it a good one? This one is at 21 Broadway in Denver! Hope you find some good stuff!

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  3. HOLY MOLY! I LOVE thrift stores... but have never, ever been to one like this. Wish it were near me........

    Blessings,
    Spencer

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  4. I've always been a thrifter but I really enjoyed this post. I've always wanted to convert my friends to thrifting but some things in life are easier said than done. Thanks for sharing a great thrift experience!

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  5. I use to feel that if I told someone I was frequenting thrift stores that they would look at me kind of weird. But I got over that when they saw the things that I can do with the stuff that I got, and told them that yes, designers, do go to thrift stores all the time. Now they drool over my new makeovers.....lol

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  6. I would have thought that was a retail store, I would go nuts for the book area. I mostly go to thrift stores to look for vintage children's books, and that store looks awesome. I find that the thrift stores are great for name brands that I couldn't afford otherwise. I don't care about the name as much as I love how well made they are compared to the cheaper brands. Thanks for sharing on my link party!

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  7. What an amazing thrift store! I live in a small town and the thrift shops are very small too but I do love shopping them. Thanks for the good tips.

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  8. I love thrift store shopping, and yes, it is all about finding the right store!

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  9. Oh my gosh that store looks fantastic! Thrift store shopping is my favorite and most of my projects include something I thrifted. You are right that stores differ and you need to search for one that has great prices and merchandise. I just discovered your blog and I'm your newest follower.

    Have a great day!

    Angela

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  10. that's your goodwill? ridiculous! super jealous, over here. you are so right, not all are created equal. my favorite is this tiny little one, where i've found some of the best stuff!

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  11. Wow! That is an amazing thrift store! I'm jelly! he he!

    You gave some really good tips here! The only thing I would add...GO OFTEN! New stuff is put out all of the time. Great post!

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  12. Oh yes...thrift stores are my favorite. I am there often!
    Thank you for sharing this week at the Creative Inspirations party at Embracing Change!
    Stacey :o)

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  13. The best thrift store in my area is a good 90 minute drive up the interstate. We go a couple times a year. I found a pair of Stuart Weitzman sandals for $17 with the tags from SAKS still on them. Retail $269! You bet those babies came home with me ;) Someone with a Stuart Weitzman habit in my size donates regularly, but their taste is hit and miss :P

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  14. Yeah, they are definitely not created equally. Even the Goodwills are different from each other. I have one by my house with better prices than another nearby one. That one and the Habitat restore often have nearly new prices for old stuff. It's just ridiculous. I did find furniture I wanted at both today, they had decent prices, but I'm taking a chance and waiting for another markdown as well. Not expecting them to last though. They were both great deals. I also went to a thrift store I'd never been to today and it was horrible. It did stink and the only thing that caught my eye was a metal light fixture (nothing special that I could tell) and they wanted $30 for it. What!? I will be heading to the garage sales tomorrow. Around here you can score big at garage sales if you stick with it each week.

    Good luck with your thrifting!
    Liz

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  15. These are some great tips. It's easy to get carried away with the deals and come home with things you either don't need or should have inspected more closely.

    I would love it if you would share this at the Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    http://theprudentpantryblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/prudent-project-smart-solutions-linky.html

    Have a great day!

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  16. Stopping by from Nifty Thrifty! Wow I don't have any thrift stores like this in my area - I would be at this store EVERY single day! Your right each thrift store has it's own things they are good at. My fingers are crossed you’ll share your creative inspiration tonight with Sunday’s Best – sharing is a good thing!

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  17. I LOVE thrift shopping. This GW store looks amazing! Go back every couple weeks and you're sure to find something awesome each time =) Thanks for linking up to our "Pretty Things" party! Hope to see you back here next week.

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  18. I also LOVE thrifting - or treasure hunting as I call it. I am in Canada in a town of about 100 thousand ppl and we have a couple really good thrift stores. People are always amazed with the things I find and the prices I spend. I'm bad because I will honestly hmm & haw over $1 item ... lol ... I wish I had a store like the one you featured here though! :)

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  19. Tickled you shared with us, and I so wish I loved near by so I could shop! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

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  20. I am a Thrift Store nut and my latest post shows some of the great buys that I bought last week at 2 different Thrift Stores!! I am off now to my favorite one, Volunteer;s of America for their half price Tuesday.
    The one you showcased here looks fantastic....

    Hugs,
    Deb

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    Replies
    1. I always get into trouble when it comes to dishes too, but I did manage to find 72 pieces of my china for just $15. Love your collection!

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  21. Hi - I just found your site and love it. I am your newest follower. This post is so true. I travel all over for different thrift stores - each has a unique "specialty" that causes me to travel. Feel free to stop on by TheStuffofSuccess and say hello. Have a great week. Athena

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  22. So.... I need some thrifting advice! I need something to put my China in... FORMAL China! We do not have a separate dining room so something "formal" would not look right in our dining area. Maybe I just need to do some searches for others who've done similar projects but I don't even know where to start!

    My dad does woodwork so I was really thinking if I found a great piece that would work for this and that would look great with some work, it would be perfect. I just have NO CLUE what I'm looking for? Was thinking maybe I need to start with measuring my space where it will go?

    Got any great advice or tips for me from you experience with this? :)

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    1. Yes, definitely measure the space you want your hutch to go, and when you go shopping take your measuring tape with you to measure potential pieces. We all love our formal china, but if you find a "china cabinet" that's scratched up, don't be afraid to take it home, reface it or even it paint it. Your china may be formal, but your hutch doesn't have to be. Make it your style in your colors.

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  23. Featured you!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  24. Hi Lisa: What a fun thrifting post this was, and really helpful list of tips at the end--I enjoyed reading it! I have a couple of Goodwills that I visit when I can, and enjoy poking around--never know what you're going to find!

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  25. Lisa,

    I wear better name brands when I shop at the thrift store than anywhere else. And I love it when I get compliments on my clothes. I always tell them where I got it (the Thrift Store), so maybe I'll inspire someone else to shop there too :) Visiting from Be Not Weary via Women Living Well.

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  26. Wow! GReat Goodwill store -- so nice and roomy and airy looking! Great tips, too. Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

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  27. It's party time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog and you're invited! Please come by and link up any post(s) related to making your home a better space. I hope you'll join us for Making Space Mondays. Hope to see you there! -Tabitha

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  28. Hi, I'm Kammy, and I'm a recovering thrift store addict.... Great post! :)

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  29. p.s. it was the most viewed link last week so you know what that means... congrats!

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  30. I am in shock and awe!!!! That is a GOODWILL? It looks like a boutique. Ours is the typical GW box store with junk piled on junk. They are working hard to make it look nice, but I might just have to link them up to THIS post so they can see how sad out local stores are.

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  31. This is crazy. Wish that I lived near that. I LOVE thrift stores. It think your site is great and nominated you for the Liebster award. You can check it out here:
    http://smalltownsmallbudget.blogspot.com/2012/08/liebster-liebster-whos-your-peepster.html
    thanks!
    Amanda

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