Monday, July 30, 2012

This Week's Loot

New in the store this week

United States shaped cake pan by Nordic ware

Tensor desk lamp with adjustable arm

Spartus digital alarm clock. These babies are going to be the next big trend in home decor. mark my words.

American Tourister travel bag. Baby not included.

The classic vintage Mickey Mouse ringer tee. The fabric is aged to perfected softness. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Welcome to the Avenue

My name is Tania.
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.

visit the store

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.