While talking to a good friend of mine the other day, we got on the topic of going to the thrift store. She is a very new friend, one that I met by chance during a luncheon put on by a great friend that I know who consigns antiques with me. We have since formed a little group, there are six of us, and we get together once every month or so for lunch. The fun thing about this group is that a common love of antiques and treasure hunting got us together. We don't go "out" for lunch, but rather rotate lunch at each other's homes. This way we get to ooh and ahh over our found treasures and share a wonderful afternoon together. Lots of laughs and creative decorating ideas come our way and I look forward to each afternoon we share.
While talking to Marci, one of the luncheon gals, (her house is all done up in French style and what style it is!), we got around to sharing our experiences of going to the thrift store. Boy, did we have a laugh or two! Here in Utah we have smaller thrift stores that are not chains, as well as Savers, but the most predominant chain of thrift stores in our area is Deseret Industries. There are numerous stores throughout Utah as well as a few in other surrounding states. The "D.I". as it is affectionately known here is owned by the LDS Church and they are my favorite stores to hit for new and vintage treasures. And no, just because I live in Utah doesn't mean I'm Mormon. LOL! I sure get asked that question alot it seems! (*_*)
After talking to Marci, I realized that many of my experiences at the D.I. were the same as hers. Does your heart get pumping the minute you pull into the parking lot? Mine does...I can't wait to get inside to see what I'm going to find. As all of the D.I.'s have the same basic layout, I have a route that I go. First I beetle on out to the "yard" area to see if there is anything out there. This is an outside section that is under a roof, but is still fenced in within the store. There are larger items out here such as desks, large pictures, lamps, stuffed animals, household and yard stuff...it's a mixed bag of goodies. Then I go back inside and head straight to the "Collectibles" section. This is a section where they have "nicer" items, sometimes antiques, and most of them are under lock and key inside a case. There is an employee there who opens the case and lets you see the item. If you buy something from this section, they write you a ticket and you have to pay for it, bring back the receipt and then collect your item. Abit of a pain, but they have a reason. They found that too many people were taking the items from this section, tearing off the price tags and replacing them with lower priced tags. Good grief! The funny thing about this section is that sometimes a lot of the items are pieces of junk...in my opinion. It makes me wonder who is in the back deciding what goes in this "higher end" section of the store. (*_*)
Then I wander through the books to see if there are any nice decorating books or magazines or new paperbacks. I get most of my reading material here. There are a lot of new books in these stores it seems and it sure saves on the Barnes & Nobles bill! Then it is up and down the aisles to see what treasures I might find and then finally, if I am brave enough and yes I will admit it, on to the clothing section. I have purchased a lot of my clothes here and I will tell you, I have gotten fab brand name clothing here for a fraction of the price sometimes with the tags still on. I know, some of you say yuck, but the stuff I've found is amazing and like I always say "once you wash it, it's yours!" Some things I steer clear of...underwear (that doesn't need explaining) and shoes...yeah, not really digging that either. If you saw the shoes that I have seen, you would understand! LOL!
Now onto my next point...Cart Envy! Okay, you know who you are! How many of you have had it? I know that I certainly have, but I am slowing learning to "let it go"...you know, breathe in and out and count to 10! I have walked through the D.I. so many times and have seen something breathtaking in someone else's cart and thought "now why wasn't I here just 10 minutes earlier"! It used to make me so mad! I have since learned not to be so greedy. After all, there will be another treasure on another day and I know that the new owner of this or that treasure will probably be enjoying it just as much as I would!
This now brings me to my next point...Cart Stalking! Have you ever been a stalker? A thrift store stalker that is! I am raising my hand here, yes ladies, I am guilty! Have you ever followed someone around and around the store to see if they are really going to take that treasure in their cart?, especially if you see someone being wishy washy about it! They pick it up and examine it and think and think and put it back, then they pick it up and walk on and...ohhh....I am guilty! I have followed many a person around, just lingering a few steps behind trying to look nonchalant! Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't! But I'll tell you this, if they put it down and walk away, I swoop in for the kill! (*_*) Hey, all is fair in love and thrift store shopping!
One thing I have never done is gone up to a person and asked if they really want that treasure and if they wouldn't mind giving it up to me. I know people who have and the thing that I hear over and over again is this...they may not want it, but now that YOU want it, they REALLY want it and won't give it up for anything. After all, if you want it, it must be something really good right?
All in all, I love going to thrift stores! I have found some of the most amazing pieces in these places. What have you found in your travels that is your best find yet? Do tell! ~Stacy~