Thursday, October 8, 2009

7 Things I Love About Thrifting

1. The Adventure

Sadly, this Thrift Store no longer exists. It was an old favorite. I wrote about it here.
Thrifting is like playing pirate and seeking treasure- X Marks the Spot. That spot happens to be a thrift store; treasure within is nearly guaranteed. Finding the rare, distinguished item is a challenge. Your quarry is hidden beneath layers of dust, ugly 80s posters, and dated electronics. Yet finding a valuable trinket at a low price makes the treasure hunt worthwhile.

2. Soul: Finding our Unique Identity

My Pimpin' coelacanth lamp once sat on my desk at work
Mass produced items are intrinsically devoid of originality. Anyone can own art prints from Wal-Mart . The ubiquity of these products is soul-crushing. Mass produced items don’t have a unique identity. When you shop in thrift stores you’ll find hard crafted chairs, odd bottles from different continents, fishing nets from Brazil, garish lamps and paintings, and mysterious pastel portraits by unknown artists. You find unique items, pieces with soul.

3. Art: Pattern, Texture, Color

The beauty of records from the now defunct thrift store.

Giant machines shooting hot plastic pellets into a mold to form thousands of smooth, bland items is the status quo. Texture, unique patterns, and exceptional colors are rare- but thrift stores have this in abundance. Unique items from the thrift store often have admirable pattern, texture, or color.

4. Craft

Our old Art Market Booth, most things made from thrifted/vintage Fabrics.

Thrift inspires craft, which forces us to rekindle innate human abilities. Sometimes you find the perfect chair, “if only.” The “if only” forces some creativity on your part to create the perfect item. Suddenly you remember how to sand, paint, and use the saw. You’re a creator again.

More thrifty craft creations.
5. Connections with the past

My old Bedroom, filled with thrifty goodness. Detailed Cuttlefish Anatomy Poster from the 60s, Mexican Star Lamp. 4 Bookshelves in bedroom alone!

Thrifting is a lot like an archeological excavation. Some compare thrift stores to trash heaps, but trash heaps can hold the most valuable data on past civilizations. Thrift shopping can lend a lot of historical details about a region.

6. Budget

A thrifty used book/antique store. Books for $5 that are worth hundreds, helps the budget.

Luckily for thrift hobbyists, thrifting is an addition that doesn’t hurt the budget. You can buy much-needed furniture and clothing pieces for a substantial discount, literally pennies on the dollar.

7. Pleasure

Thrifted "Morpheus" chair and my free record player. Art Prints $5 each from the artist herself.
Finding a long sought-after item for under a dollar is exhilarating! Bringing it home and using it is a pleasure. Admiring different, unique items is a pleasure. Thrifting can be a truly enjoyable experience that satisfies the human need to hunt and gather. Get started, and you might just get addicted.


  1. I love you. Please come to Gainesville and come thrifting with me? How about sometime in November?

  2. Gayla- It's the Pimp of all fish lamps, and it's huge in real life! Fun find.

    Shoni- YES, we must have a Gainesville thrifting adventure, hopefully ASAP, let me know when you're free. My weekends are clear for now.

  3. Hey Van, You won a prize in the contest but I accidentally deleted your comment from my inbox. Can you email me your mailing address so I can pop it in the mail?


  4. Thank you!

    I just sent my mailing address through your contact form on the blog.

  5. I love this list of what you love about thrifting. It will certainly speak to anyone who loves thrifting and hopefully influence some non-thrifters into our passion. Beautifully written and great photos to go along with the post.

  6. Thank you! This post is the personalized version of a first column for a writing job I abandoned. I put a little thought to why I love thrifting and the rest came surprisingly quickly and naturally.

  7. Awesome! I'm right with you on this.. and I LOVE your coelacanth lamp! I WANT one!!

  8. The coealcanth lamp is truly wonderful. I agree that the reason for thrifting is uniqueness - those true one of a kind finds - and the aventure and story that always accompany them. Great post and great blog!

  9. The Quigily House Thrift store isn't closed! It moved further down Blanding. It's after the WalMart but before Ridgeview High. And it's still super awesome! :)

  10. RachelP: With this blog I have discovered a lost treasure, the Quigily House Thrift Store. I will go visit it as soon as I can, I miss it!

  11. you're something i can't really explain but inspirational enough to make myself better in arts. much thanks to you! you're way too cool ;)

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