Sometimes I list things in the store and wish deep down inside that they don't actually sell, so I can keep it for myself. On occasion, I have unlisted items so they can be all mine. More often than not, the items I want end up getting sold and it is such a bittersweet experience.
Here is a look at some of the things I wish I still had.
At least I still have my Pee Wee Herman lunch box.
I had no idea that there was a National Day for thrift stores! I told myself I wasn't going to go shopping today, because I just got a lot of 20 dresses that I haven't even posted to the shop yet. Now that I know it's National Thrift Store Day, I must go. I think it would be blasphemous if I didn't.
In addition to shopping for myself in celebration, I will also be offering discounts at my etsy store. Today only, I am offering a 30% discount on all items in the shop. Use coupon code: MONSTER.
Below are some pics to give you a little sampling of what you can find there. Click on the pics to direct you to the shop!
It is estimated that Americans throw away 68lbs of clothing and textiles per person per year! According to the Unites States Census Bureau, the population of America as of August 9th, 2012 is roughly 314,124,798! That's a lot of people. So, let's do the math. At 68 lbs. per person, that comes to a whopping 21,360,486,264 lbs of clothing and textiles wasted! That is just around 10 tons. It's hard to determine exactly how much space that would take up, considering the many different weights of fabrics, but holy shit that is a big number.
And that is just in America, I didn't even factor in all the other countries of the world... but, according to some of my research, we are in the top 5 most wasteful countries in the world.
So, what do we do to reduce this waste?
I will tell you.
I made a list.
Tell all your friends.
Donate to Goodwill/ Salvation Army/ St Vincent de Paul's or any other charitable organization. duh. This one should be a no-brainer. Even if it is stained or ripped, someone out there might be able to fix or use it in some way. Give those things some sort of chance at a renewed life.
Stained or ripped clothing/ bed linens/ towels/ curtains/ etc...
hem that shit- don't be lazy
put a patch on it or put a bird on it, i don't care. cover up the flaw and it might even make it way more cool.
Dye it a different color. A lot of the time, dying a garment will hide a stain.
Make a long sleeve shirt a short sleeve; a long skirt a short skirt, pants into shorts, etc... If you can cut away the flaw and still be able to wear your favorite shirt or whatever, than why not do it?
Dust cloths- this is another no brainer. If your textiles are damaged beyond repair, cut em up and use them to dust your house. duh.
When in doubt, DON'T THROW IT OUT- you may not be crafty enough to do some of the things on the list, but I bet you know someone who is. Give them your stuff. Crafty people love stuff, especially free stuff.
This list could seriously go on and on and on. Get creative. Just do your best to try to reduce this type of waste and maybe next year we can see that scary statistic go down.
According to Wikipedia, "buyers remorse" is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.
This is all true, however, when it comes to shopping at thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales, buyers remorse is usually defined differently. It is usually regret for having NOT purchased a certain item. In a market where everything is truly one of a kind, there is more often than not, no turning back to buy said item if you change your mind about it. It's not like the thrift store racks are stocked with multiples of a certain dress or shoe. If you do go back to buy something you passed up, you will be lucky if it is still there.
Maybe we should call it thrifter's remorse. I don't know. All I do know, is that I'm feeling it bad right now. Recently, I passed up a large stack of about a dozen road maps from all over the U.S., an owl painting, a tweed suitcase and two pairs of gold shoes. What was I thinking?
This is my blog.
It is intended to go along with my vintage store to show new items and to give tips and information about what I have learned about thrifting over the years.
I used to have another blog set up for this purpose, but after years of never posting and generally ignoring it, it died like a neglected houseplant.
Also, I have a new found motivation for the store, so I wanted to have a fresh start with the blog.
Part of this fresh start includes re-naming my store from "The Thrift Monster" to "Chappell Ave" in honor of my amazing, late Grandma Nickel. She lived on Chappell Avenue and I spent a large chunk of my childhood and part of my adult life in that house. Some of my fondest memories of her are at that house. One day, I would love to open up the thrift store there. It would be a dream. And I could eat Maid Rite's for lunch everyday, because it is just across the street.
That's baby me and Grandma Nickel at the house on Chappell Aveue.
About the store:
First of all, I'm not going to bore you and tell you what every single thrift store owner says, "I have always loved thrifting! It is my passion!" I honestly believe that most people who say that are completely full of shit. I can say that I have always shopped at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets for as long as I can remember. Except, I haven't always loved it. In fact, there was a part of my life that I completely hated it. We had to shop for clothes at thrift stores as a necessity. Growing up we couldn't always afford to buy things brand new. From around 3rd grade to 6th grade, most of my wardrobe was second hand stuff and at the time, I thought it was the worst.
Those were the adolescent years when image meant a lot. It meant the difference between being popular or being an outcast. While girls were wearing the latest fashions, I was wearing their last seasons throw aways that they donated to the Goodwill. I even remember, very clearly, one girl telling me that I was wearing her old shirt and I was completely mortified. One other fond memory is of pulling up to one of the "popular girls" yard sales and I would not get out of the car. My mom still bought some of her old clothes for me and I'm pretty sure the girl saw me and made fun of me to her other "popular" friends at school. She was (and probably still is) a total bitch. I absolutely hated thrifting then.
Luckily for me, around mid-junior high, the grunge look slowly started becoming popular and I realized I was a little bit ahead of the trend. I had countless flannels and cool, old t-shirts at my fingertips in the thrift stores and most kids still wouldn't have been caught dead shopping there at that time. I might have to thank Kurt Cobain for this game-changer.
So, it was around then, that I started to realize the benefits of thrift shopping. I began second-hand shopping more and more. Once I really figured out how to dig around for stuff, I was amazed at some of the things I discovered. I started with the clothes and then found myself scouring shelves for old typewriters and telephones. Each trip to the thrift store would transport me to another time in history and I would lose myself in these stores for hours. Suddenly, I wasn't thinking about the popular kids at school or worrying about money problems that the family had. Suddenly, I was a pirate searching for treasure. It was an adventure. It was an escape.
It was then that it became a passion that would last my lifetime... at least to this point, anyway. It brought me closer to both of my grandmas. My interest in clothes from different eras allowed my Grandma Nickel to share her closet with me and tell me stories about her favorite pair of saddle shoes and dancing in her flapper dress. My Grandma Roark showed me how to find the really old stuff and taught me about the value of antiques. They both showed me a whole different world in items from the past. I still call my Grandma Roark today to ask her about the value of certain items that I find. Her knowledge of antiques is immense. If I live as long as her, I still don't know if I will be as educated as her on this topic.
I'm naming this store in honor of my amazing, late Grandma Nickel, but it is also an ode to my Grandma Roark and to my Mom. Grandma Nickel and Chappell Avenue are both very dear to all of our hearts. I'm thankful to my Grandma Roark for showing me the value of thrifted items and I'm thankful to my Mom for dragging me out to thrift stores even when I didn't want to go. If it wasn't for the three of them, I wouldn't have this "escape" in my life at all.
Thank you, ladies.
I love you all.
Mom and Grandma Roark
*side note* - My Mom is actually one of the treasure hunters for the store. She learned from my Grandma Roark, who, as I said before, has a vast knowledge of antiques. She has found some really great items. You should go have a look.
Update: After much careful consideration and advice from friends, I have decided to keep the store name as
The Thrift Monster.
If I ever open a physical store, I will call that Chappell Avenue and the blog will still be Chappell Avenue.