Friday, December 30, 2011

Dream Big for the New Year: A Story of Success. Never Give Up!

27 comments
2011 has been the most eventful year of my life. I traveled to exotic destinations, tested my limits, experienced crippling heartbreaks and soaring triumphs. This year...

Photographs from my favorite flea market taken the week I left my day job.

My boyfriend of four years cheated on me with my best friend... I was crushed, but emerged stronger and inspired to be a more generous person. (Alluded to in my Risk post.)

While living alone again and adjusting... I accomplished many difficult tasks flying solo. Each heavy box or piece of furniture lifted, a diminutive victory. My home is truly my own.

I visited Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Key West, and Okinawa, Japan for the first time... and returned home each time revitalized and ready to create-up a storm.

I took a risk and left a full time job as a marketer... and haven't looked back! The freedom of making my own schedule was necessary to grow as an individual and a professional.  (Announced + How to Tell You're Ready to Quit Your Day Job)

I Bought Nothing New For One Year... I learned a lot, and enjoyed the challenge!

I announced I was going to start my own vintage boutique here in Jacksonville, Florida... and a longtime follower of my work boldly offered a large cash donation to help me start the shop! 


Heartbreaks, financial troubles, personal failures, they collaborate to drag us down. My heart was shattered this year, but I never stopped working, growing, and creating. It's paying off. Every time I check my inbox I have a new opportunity, I'm building a trailblazing brick and mortar shop with artists I've admired for years, and I've made a soul-to-soul connection with you, my reader!

The sleepless nights you put into your dreams will pay off. It doesn't happen overnight, but success always comes to those who never stop putting every ounce of their energy into reaching their goals. Things get better when you never give up. I promise.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Antique Store Wisdom: Goals + Actions Steps for 2012 Sales

12 comments

It's been both fun and exhausting, to occupy my own clandestine cubbyhole in Jacksonville, Florida's popular Southern Crossing Antique Mall this year. I've exhaustively documented my progress, sales, and the lessons this space has taught me along the way.

Goals for my Antique Store Space in 2012: Bigger, Badder, Better!


I don't have my final sales tally for the antique mall yet, but you can in past posts (below) that sales were on the low side. I wasn't able to dedicate more than a few hours per week to the space this year. Now with a flexible schedule, I'm going to dedicate more time and effort to my little corner of southern crossing. This year I'm going to:

1. Re-Brand the Space; Make it More Thirft Core: I'm going to complete a sign, change the look of my space, and work on curating the merchandise to tell the Thrift Core "story."

2. New Merchandise Schedule: I'm going to exchange all of the merchandise bi-weekly and switch the vintage goodies around weekly to keep the booth fresh.

3. Become More Analytical: I'm going to document what I spent on merchandise and critically analyze sales trends.


I'm looking forward to spending more time in the antique store in 2012. I may not continue to share every single sale, but I will continue to share my findings and helpful tips for success every month. I'll fill you in with how the changes above work for me, too.

All 2011 Antique Store Wisdom Posts:

[2/02/2011] Don't Underprice Your Items
[2/10/2011] Should You Rent a Booth at the Antique Store?
[2/16/2011] Stage Your Booth Like a Pro and Increase Sales 
[3/03/2011] The Answers to Your Antique Store Booth Questions
[5/03/2011] The Four Month Update (A Candid look at my Sales)
[5/11/2011] Finding the Best Antique Store
[6/02/2011] The Vintage Cabin's Expert Reselling Tips
[6/09/2011] 10 Action Steps to Improve Booth Sales, NOW!  
[6/07/2011] Antique Store Wisdom: The 6 Month Update
[7/14/2011]
A Frank Look at the Sales Numbers
[7/21/2011] Sales Trends and Surprises
[8/10/2011]
A Bigger Booth and Increasing Sales
[8/23/2011] A Late August Check-in
[9/15/2011] The August Sales Report

[10/13/2011] The September Sales Update
[12/15/2011] What I've Learned 11 Months in...


So tell me, what are your goals to improve reselling efforts for 2012?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tag, You're It: What Are Your New Years Goals?

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Tag, You're It: I tagged you last year, and now I'm inviting you to share your Top 3 Goals for 2012 yet again. Use the button/code below on your blog to join in.



Copy + Paste the code below into your blog post to display the button.

1) List your top goals for the New Year. Keep it realistic!
2) Write real action steps to achieve your goals!

1. Better Business Sense

I will pedantically track every cent I spend and earn.

2. Buy Nothing New and BUY LESS

I will ONLY buy 2nd hand. (With obvious exceptions, like food.) I'll only buy the best vintage finds.

3. Organization and Home Balance

If I buy one new thing, one old thing goes out! I'll contiue to sell & donate items at home, too.

Goals, lists, to-dos, I constantly write them. I have so much more than these three to accomplish this year, but these are the big ones I will stick to. (By the way, I've accomplished nearly everything on my 12 Before 2012 list, too! I'll update with photos this Thursday.)

Join the fun: What are your New Years Goals? Comment with a link to your New Years resolution posts, let's inspire each other! I always look forward to a New Year and the proverbial fresh slate it offers.

What are YOUR New Years Goals?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Giveaway Winner: Kawaii Japanese Organization Goodies

The Random.org number generator has spoken! This time the Kawaii Giveaway winner is Commenter #39, saavylistener. I've sent you an e-mail! Thank you everyone for entering and for providing the valuable feedback. There will be another giveaway up next week.

Wanna Sponsor Thrift Core? It's time to plan for the new year! I'm accepting sponsors for January 2012. If you want to place an ad on Thrift Core or host a giveaway simply drop me a line.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thrift Haul: Attack From Outerspace! And Other Retro Goodies.

24 comments
I managed to fit in a little thrifting on Christmas Eve between organizing the house and gatherings with friends and family. I'm holding out on thrift stores until the New Years Sales (and you should too!) so I searched through the flea market to yield the following finds:


I paid $1.00 for two Horror Movie Poster novelty plates. I love how the Attack From Outer Space retro space monster looks like the robot from The Iron Giant, an underrated animated classic.


I'm going to put them in my antique store booth soon, but I wouldn't mind keeping them. Too bad I can't pair them up with fun retro tin robots. I've never found an authentic vintage robot toy in all of my explorations!


I paid 50 cents for this book, part of a set I've been slowly collecting. These books have gorgeous illustrations and photography, I'll have to document them further in a future post.


And another fifty cent find was this huge vintage Mercury suitcase. The inside is pristine, but the outside will need a lot of cleaning up before I put it in the shop.

So what did you get for Christmas? My friends and family know me so well. I received...


Two transformers shirts, one from mom and one from my friend Ruth. I'm a huge fan of the generation one transformers and the '86 animated movie. But not that new crap the kids watch! I also got a planner, pens and...


a couple more goodies from Puerto Rico! My dad bought me back a carnival mask from the city where he's from, Ponce, and my aunt bought me the colorful top pictured. The mask appears to be Yuko-kitty-approved!

What did you find this weekend?

Linked to: [Thrift Share Monday] [The Penny Worthy Project] [Flea Market Finds].
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Very Thrift Core Christmas: Robots, Dinosaurs, and Toys. Oh my!


I carved a truly Thrift Core-style Holiday tableau in my living room. The whimsical Christmas trees and shining lights were free, with the red tree being a trash-find. The string lights cast a soothing glow in the room, tempting me to curl up with a book and a glass of beer (you keep your wine, I'll have beer!) while I work on my organizing goals late into the night.

My Holiday Favorites: 1) The glow of Christmas lights. 2) Succulent Holiday Feasts! I have fond memories of preparing and devouring traditional Mexican tamales and bunuelos with my family. 3) Family and friends are my third favorite element of Christmas. Close to food but not surpassing it. I jest. :)

Happy Holidays! What are your holiday traditions? Other than wrapping up last second gifts? I can never escape that one! This will be the year I finally embrace it!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thrift Core's Favorite Dumpster Finds: The Top 3 of 2011

17 comments
As a shameless Dumpster Diver and curbside hunter, many people ask me if I have any favorite dumpster finds. That's honestly hard to answer because I love them all; they were free. I love free. But if forced to choose, here are my favorite bits rescued from dumpsters this year:


1) This vintage Risk game board still holds a special place in my heart. One of my favorite blog posts from this year is about this piece: My Favorite Dumpster Find and a Story of Risk.


2) I was shocked to find this adorable suitcase in a dumpster behind a thrift store. It's brazenly cute, and the cryptic kid's writing scrawled on the inside only added to it's charm.


3) I Cheated: This entire haul of dumpster dived books is my third favorite. Three books from the Guerrilla Marketing set were in this one haul! They were in the paper recycling bin behind a thrift store.

Need Dumpster Diving Tips & Inspiration? Check these posts: 1) Dumpster Diving Tips for the Uninitiated and Helplessly Cheap 2) Let's Pick Trash my Comrades: Live on, Picker Revolution! 3) Dumpster Diving Updates: Inspiring You to Keep Digging

Another question I'm often asked is how frequently I dumpster dive. Very rarely. I've probably only checked the dumpsters about a dozen times this whole year, if that. I'm trying to downsize what I own, not become a hoarder! First, I want to work on organizing what I own. Once that's done, I'll get back to bringing home a selective amount of goodies.

Dumpster Divers, Remember: Take what you want, but use what you find! Happy Hunting!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Gift Wrapping DIY: There's Still Time!

16 comments

I like to keep my gift wrapping simple. Most times it's as pictured above. I typically use a gift bag I inherited and saved or a brown lunch bag sealed with cute tape. Sometimes I get my stamps involved on the bags or tags and then I stuff the gifts inside, securely wrapped in white tissue paper. Simple and inexpensive. (Packs of brown lunch bags are near the sandwich bags at your grocery store.)

Here are some more quick and easy last-second gift wrapping ideas:


I shared a gift wrapping DIY inspired by packaging I saw in Japan last week. I liked how it came out with the packages wrapped in newspaper. It's a  new spin on the thrifty classic that doesn't take much longer than hunting down a newspaper in your house.


I was doing product photography for my pals at Old Skool Junk last week and loved these jewelry sets they made. You too could creatively wrap gifts for your friends this way. The boxes were constructed from paper and filled with crinkly paper. Simple enough!


Old Skool Junk also made these vintage gift baskets for their booth near mine at Southern Crossing Antique Mall. I like the idea of filling vintage baskets with goodies the recipient will love. I didn't get a photo since it sold so fast, but the Old Skool Junk team made a "PBR" basket with ties in PBR colors and cans of beer. Choose a theme and get creative!


More Thrifty Ideas: 1) I adore The Elegant Thrifter's Hooch Bags! Filling vintage bags with monopoly money, candy cigarettes, they're equal parts old Hollywood class, thrifty-vintage fun, and kitsch! 2) One of my thrifty Twitter followers @camicoquin said she thrifts for wallets, fills the slots with gift cards, and gives them as gifts. Brilliant!

Get creative with your gift wrapping! What are your methods?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Giveaway: Kawaii Japanese Organization Goodies for the New Year

45 comments

Behold, another chance to win a plethora of goodies for Japan. Up for gabs this time is what I call Japanese Organization Goodies. This prize pack includes:
 
1) Being Happy Time Notebook. This has a zipper pouch in the back that would be perfect for holding checks, cash, or miscellenious goods. I see it as a perfect household planner or grocery list book, where you can keep track of what you buy and keep your money budget in the back while shopping.

2) Retro Animal Notebook: Another cute lined notebook for writing your goals or new years resolutions

3) Russian Nesting Doll 2012 Mini Calendar: A tiny, slim calendar, perfect for bags, pockets, or tiny clutches.

4) Scented Animal Erasers: They're bright, cute, and smell like strawberries.

5) Surprise goodies from Japan!


How to Win Kawaii Kitchen Goodies From Japan:
 

Leave a comment on this post and tell me: What is your favorite post on Thrift Core  or Your favorite type of post on Thrift Core? (Like Thrift Jobs, Thrifters Around the World, DIY, Blog Tips, Thrift Hauls, etc. You can see a lot of the different types of posts I do here)

Include your e-mail in the comment so I can contact you if you win!


For Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each action performed):
  • Follow Thrift Core (Blog)
  • Follow Thrift Core on Facebook
  • Follow Thrift Core on Twitter
  • Stumble this blog post
  • Tweet about this Giveaway

Winning Announcement: The contest winner will be announced Tuesday December 27, 2011 here on Thrift Core.

Last week's giveaway winner is commenter #28, Wiilykherr! Thank you, I've sent you an e-mail!

Disclosure + Sponsor Thrift Core: Contact me if you'd like to sponsor and/or host a giveaway on Thrift Core.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thrift Haul: A Busy Hunting and Yard Sale Weekend

9 comments

'Twas a busy weekend of errand running, stock organizing, and last-minute gift shopping. I'm working very hard on completing my Twelve Before 2012 list, the tight deadline is keeping me going strong. Here's what I scored this weekend:

Photo 1) Vintage globe and two mushroom candles
Photo 2) Vintage McCoy Pottery pitcher and Antique Japanese Plates
Photo 3) The Cutest Japanese Bunny-on-Rocket Fabric You Ever Saw
Photo 4) Necklaces and charms
Photo 5) Warming up after hosting a long yard sale with udon soup :)

And now I'm off to the hideous shopping mall! I held off until the last second but couldn't find local, hand-crafted, or thrifted gifts for a couple of people on my list. I loved the conversation we had last week about whether it's okay to buy thrifted gifts for the holidays. We agree: any gift that won't be utilized or appreciated is junk whether it's new or thrifted. Thinking of the recipient is paramount. Even if we have to endure the mall to give them something special.

What did you find this weekend?

Linked to: [Thrift Share Monday] [The Penny Worthy Project] [Flea Market Finds].
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Still Christmas Shopping? Here's a Discount...

Still doing some last-minute Christmas shopping? You're not alone, I'm about to leave the house to pick up a few last minute things right now! (We all are!) If you want to scoop up unique vintage goodies for the holidays from the Thrift Core Store use the code "ROBOTEXPLOSIONS" for 10% off your entire order from now until the end of the year. I'll be adding new items throughout the week. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

Enjoy! And have a nice weekend.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thrifty Gift Wrap Ideas: Creative Ideas for Holiday Gifting

15 comments

If you're like me, you still have a few more gifts to buy and presents that need wrapping are piling up. No matter how early you start, it's hard to stay ahead during the holiday season! Here are a few thrifty gift wrapping ideas. I used supplies I had on-hand; you likely have these supplies hiding somewhere in your home, too!


This year my gift wrapping was inspired by all of the beautiful packaging I witnessed while visiting Japan. After wrapping, add a band of paper around the middle. I used brown packing paper, you can use white copy paper, construction paper, or contrasting wrapping paper. For the traditional look, finish by tying it with string, rope, or twine. ( The white and gold paper was purchased at a 100-yen store. )


Don't limit yourself to wrapping paper. Think outside the gift box. Last year I even used pasta and cracker boxes and brown paper bags. This time I used pages from free shopping catalogs I scooped up in Okinawa.

You can use: vintage maps, fabric, magazine pages, retail catalogs, children's book pages, music note pages, construction paper, old calendar pages, school notes, vintages purses/suitcases, or colorful vintage scarves. This year I used vintage playing cards as gift cards!


With the exception of the wrapping paper from the 100 yen store, I had everything to wrap these gifts on-and in the house. I used Japanese magazines, brown packing paper, newspaper, and leftover wrapping paper. What are your thrifty gift wrapping ideas? I'd love to share them in the next holiday-themed post! (Along with a link to your site.)
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Antique Store Wisdom: What I've Learned 11 Months In...

40 comments

It's getting close to one year since I started selling antiques in a small space I rent at the Southern Crossing Antique Mall. The rent is low, there's a dedicated customer base, and foot traffic is high. It's been a wonderful place to sell vintage and experiment with what customers will respond to when I have a shop of my own one day soon.

Here are the top things I've learned this year selling at the Southern Crossing Antique Mall:

1. You have to add more merchandise FOREVER and FOR-ALWAYS.

Your hunt never ends. You always have to be on the prowl for fresh new merch to sell. Add weekly thrift hunts to your schedule and make time to add it to your booth as soon as possible.

2. Keep your space fresh, rearrange stock frequently.

Creatively rearranging you booth at least a couple of times a week is important. Look to magazines and retail stores your admire for inspiration. (I have a post on this:)



3. Experiment: You don't what will sell until you try it.

Add items that aren't vintage. Handmade soaps and crafts can sell very well at antique stores. Additionally, add vintage items you thought wouldn't sell, it just might.

4. Small ticket merchandise is your bread and butter.

Earrings, small knickknacks, and other small ticket merchandise add up big time. I always strive to create fresh small ticket merch to keep sales going and keep the booth interesting.

5. Customers and sales can be unpredictable.

I have to admit, I've been too busy to rearrange and add new stock to my booth as much as I would like. But even when you keep on top of things, customers are unpredictable. Brace yourself, there will be highs and lows!



Before I left for vacation I filled my booth with plenty of small ticket merchandise, fresh new items, and additional lighting to brighten up the area. I can't wait to come back and continue to rebrand and restage the space. I'll update with a sales report and let you know if all this extra work really helped in the end!

How are Your Reselling Efforts Going?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is It Okay to Give Thrifted Gifts for the Holidays?

43 comments

A Get Rich Slowly post sparked controversy last year when readers were asked: "Is it Okay to Buy a Christmas Gift from the Thrift Store?" Yes! We cry, naturally! But consumers that stigmatize thrift stores had a different reaction. Here's feedback from people who would hate to receive a gift from the thrift store:

“Eww. No.”

"I think I would be slightly offended by a thrift store gift..."
"One word. Bedbugs. They’re back in a big way. I do not get anything from thrift, vintage stores that can’t be properly sanitized. Purses fall into that catagory so I wouldn’t be happy with a used handbag no matter how nice."
"i guess i’m spoiled but i would be horrified if someone gave me used thrift-shop purses and would probably spend the rest of the day crying (i get a little too upset over poorly-chosen gifts sometimes). my first thought would be if money is that tight that you’re gift shopping in thrift stores instead of proper stores, why couldn’t you have gotten something less expensive but new?"
I love to give and receive gifts from the thrift store. Who wants an ordinary item anyone can get from a retail chain when you can have something unique and thoughtful from the thrift? It came with extra effort, someone had to ambitiously hunt down that item for you!


Presentation is key...when you give a gift from the thrift, think of presentation. Don't gift an item with unflattering chips or dents. Display it nicely; details count. Think a vintage tin with homemade cookies inside, wrapped in a velvet bow, or a vintage planter filled with poinsettia flowers.

With beguiling presentation, even die-hard thrift store haters will overlook the gift's humble, inexpensive origins. And if your friends are mad that you didn't spend enough on them, find new friends!


Do This: Check out The Elegant Thrifter for gift-giving inspiration. His Gift of Thrift posts display creative presentation ideas and remarkable thoughtfulness! Then check The Non-Consumer Advocate. Katy gives thrifted gifts and thrifty gift ideas, Viva La RĂ©sistance!

Bonus: Last year I wrote up an Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide of thrifty and useful gifts.

Is it okay to buy gifts from the thrift store? Where do you draw the line?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Special Giveaway: Win Kawaii Kitchen Goodies from Japan

151 comments

Behold, a plethora of colorful cuteness from Japan, and you could win it all! This is the first giveaway featuring cute goodies I scooped up while exploring Japan, I'll host another Kawaii Goodies from Japan Giveaway next week. This kitchen-themed prize pack includes:


Two Russian nesting doll glasses, one in pink and one in blue.


The frog print is for lining your kitchen shelves and drawers. The raindrop print material acts as a protective back splash; stick behind your stove to protect the walls from grease and smoke. I'm sure you could find creative uses for this outside of the kitchen, too!


These cute little "snack-sized" bento boxes are perfect for keeping goodies to graze on in your purse, like broccoli or baby tomatoes and hummus. 


And don't forget your cute frog cloth to wrap up your bento box securely!

How to Win Kawaii Kitchen Goodies From Japan:
 

Leave a comment on this post and tell me: What content would you like to see more of on Thrift Core? More DIYS? Skin care? Informative posts? Thrifting tips? Blog tips? Thrifty interior design? Recipes? Saving-Money tips? Video content? Outfits posts? ALL things thrifty? I'm planning content for the new year and I need your help, so please be honest!

Include your e-mail in the comment so I can contact you if you win!

For Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each action performed):
  • Follow Thrift Core (Blog)
  • Follow Thrift Core on Facebook
  • Follow Thrift Core on Twitter
  • Stumble this blog post
  • Tweet about this Giveaway

Winning Announcement:
The contest winner will be announced Tuesday December 20, 2011 here on Thrift Core.

Last week's giveaway winner is commenter #12, Traci! Thank you, I've sent you an e-mail!

Disclosure + Sponsor Thrift Core: Contact me if you'd like to sponsor and/or host a giveaway on Thrift Core.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thrift Haul: Selective Thrifting, Hunting With Care at the Flea Market

11 comments

To get back into work-mode, the first thing I did when I arrived in Florida was hit the thrifts. Well, after accidentally sleeping through all of Saturday and waking up at 5PM thinking it was 5AM; jet lag! I'm serious about downsizing and accomplishing my Twelve Before 2012 list, so I purchased a mere two items at two dollars each; kitschy kitty art on wood and a cherry red American Tourister suitcase.



The cute maneki neko figurine is from a 100 yen store. Speaking of 100 yen stores, I have a few more finds to show. I scooped up these two banners for my kitchen. I remember seeing ones simular to these at an anime con so I was happy to purchase these straight from the source for less.


This is one of my few purchases outside of the 100 yen store. These ubiquitous bags, featuring art from the popular manga One Piece, were purchased by many tourists to carry souvenirs. The 2nd most popular bag I saw tourists toting featured Hello Kitty in Shisha (Okinawan dragon-dog) costumes.


The bag will be my go-to flea market shopping bag. I love One Piece and it's a sturdy bag, it's carried a lot of weight for me across the globe already! I'm surprised the bag hasn't ripped to shreds by now.


Finally, I bought some cute tanuki reliquaries for friends and kept one of them to hold my leftover yen. I keep it on my desk to remind me to religiously save up for the next trip to Japan and research ways to get there thriftily. Anyone have any leads to share on that? ;)

By the way, don't forget to enter my Maiden Voyage giveaway, the prize is gorgeous! I'll announce the Maiden Voyage giveaway winner and have a special new giveaway up tomorrow.

What did you find this weekend?
Linked to: [Thrift Share Monday] [The Penny Worthy Project] [Flea Market Finds].
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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