Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Thrift Core? My Thrift Story.

I'm often asked why I started Thrift Core. I started Thrift Core because I was writing for the web full time and wanted a blog of my own to vent on. Choosing the subject came naturally. I have varied interests, but thrift is in my blood.


My grandparents moved from Mexico to California and bought a culture of thrift with them. They had fruit trees, chickens, rabbits, and a vegetable garden. Mom raised me and my brothers the way she was raised, thriftily.

My thrifting influences were environmental, too. I lived in Naples, Italy for four years. Families used heirlooms instead of new department store items, money was spent on good food rather than new Stuff, and food was fresh. If there was chicken for dinner you can guarantee the poor bastard was alive and thrashing for its life only a few hours beforehand.


No matter where we lived, I grew up crafting, making and selling piƱatas, thrifting, planting seeds, and reading countless craft and science books. Thanks to a thrifty upbringing and some innate abilities I always had a talent for stretching a buck. I continued to thrift as a teen and young adult, but it wasn’t until I started blogging on Thrift Core that I began thrifting weekly and evolved into a reseller.

Thrift Core encourages me take frugality and creativity to the next level. In 2011 I Bought Nothing New, ate from the trash, and left my day job as a marketer to live my dream. Best of all, I get to encourage and educate hundreds of people to be as thrifty as possible while I’m at it. 2012 will be even better.

I used to flounder, wondering if I'd ever find my calling. I accomplished one dream by getting paid to write (see: writing career confession), but it didn't light me up inside. I'm continuing to evolve in the right direction. I love teaching and inspiring people to be thrifty, industrious, and creative. I'm sincerely glad you're here with me on the journey.
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25 comments:

  1. Ate from the trash? I have to go read that. I consider that taking Freegan to a level I am not prepared for.

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    1. Freeganism IS eating from the trash. When you see from the photos that we only took the best produce and unexpired products, it doesn't seem unappealing at all.

      It's all about how it's worded. I like to gauge people's reactions, many people picture us eating rotting food or something.

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  2. If i knew where to go and was braver id def try freeganism. great post and heres to a thrifty 2012.

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    1. I basically only tried Freeganism for one month and don't really Dumpster Dive anymore due to lack of time and space- but recommend anyone who wants to try it to go for it.

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  3. You've had a very interesting life. Got to give you credit for getting me started on my New Year's resolution to start a blog. I took the first step after you wrote me back (a gentle nudge). I bought the Blogging for Dummies book and I'm on chapter 3. I owe you a big thanks. Your blog just oozes creativity and coolness. I think at this point in my life I'm about as creative as "white bread" so thanks for the inspiration to get the creativity rolling again.

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    1. Like any other muscle in your body, creativity must be regularly exercised to become stronger. Keep writing and making and you naturally become more creative; you'll overflow with ideas.

      Thank you for the kind words Aileen!

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  4. I love reading about your adventures in thrifting and life in general, thanks for sharing!

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  5. Hi, this touches something in me, as I'm trying to figure out what my calling is. I suspect it's involving both thrifting and writing, two things I love to do. I guess I do both- thrift, and write (a blog so far), but just on my spare time. I wish I could do it full time! We'll see, thanks for an inspring post.

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    1. I know of many thrifters/bloggers that have become full time writers, movie set and restaurant designers, boutique owners, stylists & more. The opportunities are out there, waiting for us.

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  6. Great post! Who is the woman on the left in the Rome pic? She is so gorgeous and stylish!

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    1. That's my mom :) The twin boys are my brothers and the man in the picture to the right is my dad.

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  7. I recently discovered your blog and I love it. It's interesting and fun!

    Btw, I'm Italian though I live in the North and here it's quite different from Naples, i guess. Chickens usually come from the supermarket (too bad).

    Hey, I wonder if any Fringe fan comments on the fact that you live in Jacksonville . I sure would :-))

    Raf

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    1. Well that was in the 90s, too. Things have probably changed in the part of Naples I grew up in by now ;) But I saw many a chicken get beheaded.

      Thanks for reading and for the comment- I do have Jacksonville, Florida readers comment and send me emails occasionally. And I've run into a couple of readers at thrift stores, too.

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  8. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your thrifty and frugal backstory. I wish I had a rich cultural backdrop for my interest in the thrift. While some other members of my family enjoy buying secondhand, it wasn't passed to me in a monumental way. The only early secondhand experience I can muster is from garage sales with the family...as the sellers. Seeing our old things go to new owners for cheap prices, dividing up the money and going out for burgers after the event ended. Other than that I was introduced to flea markets as a buyer and thrifting for goodies through friends. And I've never looked back! Here's to a happy and thriftily fruitful 2012.
    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

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    1. Many of us started by thrifting or garage sale hunting with the family. Ah, fun memories...

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  9. I was lol'ing a little on the "Freeganism" because it reminded me of an episode of dumpster diving I recently watched on Portlandia. Funny stuff and I grew up in the Portland, OR area so I especially enjoy it!

    I also grew up with thrifting in my blood and frugality being a center piece (not to mention a life line) in my upbringing. I wish I had received the chance to try out different countries the way that you did, though we have very similar taste and from what I gather, personalities.
    It's funny--my degree is in language arts and I write like crazy (publishing for the web since it's existence and other forms of media) and teach. I also considered a path in marketing per the advice of some of my copywriting and advertising professors, but it just wasn't organic enough for me.
    My path has been so parallel to yours but I can't seem to find my "reselling" niche in terms of what I thrift (though our tastes are so similiar--as evidenced by the things I own that pop up in your blog regularly, lol!)
    I've been deeply considering the antique booth but I'm too scared to take the plunge, so I've opened my own little online boutique based on the blog. I have a feeling I'd do much better selling in person, though, with thrifted items and such variety in terms of fabric, sizing, etc.

    Sigh. I need help with that Van. :)

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    1. My friends shared that Portlandia episode with me. ;) That show's a bit annoying to watch, it's a little TOO accurate. Selling in an antique store is easier than online reselling. No shipping bothers, stock is in the store instead of in your house, and when you choose the right store there's more traffic and sales.

      I wrote an article on choosing the right antique store that might help: http://www.thriftcore.com/2011/05/antique-store-wisdom-finding-best.html

      And answers to common booth renting questions: http://www.thriftcore.com/2011/03/answers-to-your-antique-store-booth.html

      It's a small, "safe" risk that's worth trying. An online shop requires much more marketing and constant upkeep, but I love both options.

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    3. hanks for the links! I will definitely check them out! :)
      I agree--Portlandia is dead on, lol. I had to delete my first reply to you because I mentioned I had grew up there and...duh...said that in my first post. HAHA! No coffee yet this morning.

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  10. Hi, I own a thrift store and would like to put articles, blogs on our website. I think I have thrifters block.
    Email me at watertowncommunitythrift@yahoo.com
    or www.communitythriftofwatertown.com

    Thanks
    Jim

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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