Is My Thrift Store Better Than Yours?
This is just about the only hard hitting piece of investigative journaling that you will see from me this year. And by investigative I mean, I hit up a thrift store in Salt Lake while I was there last weekend.
So its bound to be fantastic.
Lets start this discussion the way that I feel most comfortable.
Hi, My name is Mandi and I am an addict.
I am addicted to thrifting. There is something just so exciting about the thrill of the hunt and not knowing what treasures you may (or may not) find. Like this brass and glass table I swiped up last week for $15.00.
I frequently instagram/FB/blog (when I get around to it) my thrift store scores. And without fail, someone always says something along the lines of “MANDI. That is IT, I am moving to St. George. Your DI has THE BEST STUFF!!” I dont want you guys to get the impression that the DI in St. George is this treasure trove of amazing furniture and just quirky enough to get your hipster juices flowing figurines.
I am actually here to let you in on a little secret. I believe (for the most part) that thrift stores are created equal. Now, I am sure that this is not true everywhere, but if we are looking at the broad scope of things, like my fellow investigative journalists do, for the most part I think this is pretty accurate.
I know what you are thinking. “ Dude, she is such a liar, she just doesn’t want everyone stealing all the good crap before she gets to it.” And while this may be true, I have a secret to tell you…
I go to the DI almost every day. Now, before you schedule an intervention, you should know that it is LITERALLY right up the street from my house. And I pass it every time I go anywhere. So to stop is not a huge deal. I have a route. I can be in and out in under 5 minutes. Hmmm. maybe I do need an intervention…but back to the point.
8.5 out of 10 times I am there I find nothing.
When I do find something most often its a small tchotcky, every once in a while I find something a little better (like my awesome industrial lamp) and every once in a blue moon I find a piece of furniture that I lick to stake my claim on. Just kidding, I don’t do that…(as far as you know.)
Rarely when you are thrifting do you find something that you instantly love. Most often the first thought I have (or words I say if I am with someone) is “Well, I don’t hate it.” Then like a beautiful friendship that morphs into a lifelong love, this thing that I initially didn’t hate turns into something that I have to have.
So just for fun, and to show you that the DI is no better than your Goodwill, I brought my camera along for the ride with me today.
This is the indoor furniture section. Lots and lots of particle board.
Your thrift store has over priced semi wooden dressers? Mine does too.
Oooh oooh!! How about sofas that would NEVER work in this decade? (please note that the light blue one would look pretty fab with a navy velvet on it but that is the only piece that could be resurrected.)
How about a bad lamp or 13?
This is the point of my route that we head through the swinging double doors you see on your left. This area is known as The Yard.
This is where most of the tables, chairs, art, doors, bikes, luggage, etc. are.
After I walk past the chairs I check out the art. There was an ESPECIALLY special piece in there today that I just had to share with you.
Now its time to head back inside, to the housewares.
A quick glance in the small pictures/frames and we spot these lovely beauties. (side note: When I was younger I ALWAYS wanted a picture like this. I mean, the artist captured her nose shine just so.)
Then we round the isle to the glass/ceramics. This is where I always find my sweet figurines like the Pomeranian statue that I spray painted in Sierra’s guest room.
Today it was full of green dragons. I literally don’t know how ANYONE could part with a collection like this. It must have been harder than giving birth.
The one item that I didn’t hate (but didn’t love enough to buy) was this little bird statue.
Then its on to the wood.
Unfortunately today there were no wooden bowls, only horrifying tole painted elfin creatures wearing lederhosen and a polar bear (or is it Frosty?) riding a burro.. YEEEE HAW! LOVE that bandana Frosty!! Please note the outhouse wind chime that is thankfully still in its package.
Actually I lied. There was this little fellow that would be great a bright solid color…
You know how they say things were built better in days gone by? I can attest to the fact that furniture was indeed stronger back in the vintage. Oh and don’t forget about cars. But what about pantyhose? Don’t you let that worry you for one more second. You can compare the run test between today’s new fangled control tops to the wonderful firm-hold of yesteryear.
Now in all seriousness I actually really did love these books, I just might head back over there tomorrow and get them. Wouldn’t they be so perfect in my house?! The Handyman Do It Yourself Encyclopedia series. I am sure that there is a thing or two I could learn in there.
Can you believe that with all of those treasures I left empty handed? Shocking.
Do I find great crap at my local thrift store? You bet I do. Do I find awesome crap at other peoples thrift stores? Yep. In fact over the weekend I stopped by the DI in West Jordan UT and found these brass deer statues.
So if you are feeling like you never find anything good at your thrift store, there is a good chance you aren’t as big of an addict as I am.
And that may just be a blessing and a curse.
Oh and because I love you, here are a few posts I have written on HOW I shop at a thrift store: