Did you know that you can find really fabulous things and not break the bank!? Well, I didn't know that until a couple years back. I've recently discovered my love for "thrifting" which pretty much means going to different thrift stores to find specific items or stumbling across a treasure that you didn't necessarily come in to look for. I have more of a interest in finding houseware/furniture items versus clothing because I love finding things to decorate my home. But if I'm in the mood, I enjoy doing both just as equally. I am a former employee of Goodwill, a well-known retailer that sells second hand items. My daily routine while working consisted of going into various stores in my area and interviewing candidates for hire. During my visits in these stores, I would run across ALOT of Fabulous Finds! Because I was working majority of the time, I was not in the position to shop but I can definitely encourage some of you who haven't thought about going to a thrift store to find things that you may be looking for before going to a department store. I don't know about anyone else but my budget just doesn't allow me to buy everything at retail price but it does allow me to find things at a lower price and spend a little extra time to clean it up, polish it and make it a great fit for me.
Over the years of working at Goodwill, I participated in a few events that allowed me the opportunity find the beauty in mechandising and finding great treasures. I've coordinated a couple fashion shows and pop-up shops where myself and other team members had to create over 30 looks for women, men and children with the clothes and accessories that were being sold in our Goodwill stores. Additionally, we had to merchandise our pop-up shop that sold items as well. The fashion show was amazing and the customers at the show were buying up everything that was for sell and modeled during the show! Our imaginations with merchandising those items, created endless possibilities for what the customers could do with those items at home. Also, last year I was asked to be a "Fabulous Finds" fashion consultant at one of our store openings. I was there to help customers find items that were on trend for the fall season and search for items that would go along with what they had already found. I loved doing that! I'm not a professional thrift shopper but I can offer up some key pointers for beginner thrift store shoppers:
1. Be open-minded- Be open-minded with even going to a thrift store. I know that it isn't your typical Target store but it has some great items inside and without the Target price-tag. Some people may think that they will never find anything if they go. If you keep that frame of mind, you aren't even allowing yourself to see the possibilities in the items that you come across.
2. Know the Demographics- Go to the stores in the areas where the people who could possibly be donating your desired items may reside. For example, if I'm specifically looking for furniture and houseware items, I usually go to the stores that are located close to the most affluent neighborhoods in the region. A lot of times, those families donate items as they are re-decorating, moving or spring-cleaning their homes. If I'm looking for trendy and fashionable clothes, I will go to the stores that are in the area where young professional people may reside such as near college campuses, malls and major shopping centers. A lot of times, they may donate clothing as they are making room for newer items in their closets.
3. Get Crafty- Sometimes, you may come across items that you would like to take home but they don't necessarily look the best. Ever thought about making it a DIY (Do It Yourself) project? It can save you tons of money and you'll feel so proud after you're done. There have been a couple items that I've bought but I had to add a little paint or glam to them. The end result is that they look great and fabulous once complete!
4. Don't Give Up- The first time you go into a store to look for a specific item, you may not even find it. But you could on the second or third visit. I am a living testimony of that. I bought a vanity set over the weekend. I've been wanting one for so long and having been looking for one every time I go into a thrift store. I had been very unsuccessful with my search. Well...as I was casually strolling through the aisles of Goodwill, I found one! The very same one that I had been pricing online. Sure it was dusty and the glass looked dirty but I saw the possibilities in it. I snatched up that price-tag and basically ran to the register! I got it home, cleaned it up good and VOILA! A beautiful vanity set for me to apply my makeup on.
I hope that some of these tips can help or encourage you to shop a couple thrift stores in your region. As a Goodwill shopper, I also feel good to know that my money is going to a great cause- helping people with finding job opportunities, career development and training. If you like giving to great causes and contributing to fundraisers, shopping at a non-profit store could help with that passion as well. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions make sure to leave a comment below.
As I continue shop for Fabulous Finds in my leisure, I will be sure to add them to my blog! Don't Forget to Subscribe with your email address to receive updates!
Take a look at a couple Fabulous Finds below:
Found this Vanity Table and Mirror at Goodwill for $18.25. The retail price online is at $107.00
Found this Butterfly Chair, brand new in the box from Kohl's, for $15.25 at Goodwill. The retail price at Kohl's is $49.95.
Happy Fab Finding!