Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thrifters Around the World: Natasha's Thrift Journey Across the USA

Thrifters have dreams, and embarking on a thrift road trip across the USA is high on the list! Work and daily life stops you from renting a van and hitting the open road, so let's travel vicariously through adorable Natasha. She's an avid thrifter and owner of the groovy Halmoni Vintage. (@halmonivintage)

Natasha has thrifted in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois Hawai'i, Washington, Oregon and New York! She's also thrifted abroad in London! It's a feat so amazing I had to map the adventure. There's a screaming star on every state she's thrifted in. Follow along class, there's a quiz later!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Natasha.

My name is Natasha Harden and I was born and raised in the Boogie Down Bronx. I have a brick and mortar vintage boutique in Oakland, CA, named HALMONI. I created my "Dream Job" so that I can fuel my love of vintage and addiction to thrifting.

2. When did you start thrifting?

I was trained to thrift when I was in 5th or 6th grade by my best friend's older sister would let us tag along with her on thrifting adventures. She showed us all the spots and taught us everything.

3. You tell me you've thrifted in London, what was that like?

It was amazing thrifting in London. It was the first time I traveled outside of the country and I went with really good friends who were super into thrifting too. Our whole trip consists of shopping at thrift stores, vintage boutiques and outdoor flea markets.

4. You've thrifted all across the United States too, what were your thrift stops? List each state you've thrifted in again for the lovely readers?

I recently went on a road trip across the country to my hometown in the Bronx from Oakland, CA. Along the way I thrifted in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and New York. I've also made some weekend trips to Oregon and Washington. I lived in Hawai'i for a few years and thrifted there extensively.

5. Hot Damn! I'm envious, envious I tell you! Which were your favorite states to thrift in?

California is my favorite place to thrift right now because I have a new obsession with old California based department stores that are no longer. Since I am a vintage boutique owner I come across something new all the time so I am constantly learning. I think that I just appreciate living on the west coast because it has such a different history then the east coast.

6. Which states yielded the most vintage goodies?

Believe it or not anywhere I go yields the most vintage goodies. I think I have a different point of view on vintage so I think it just depends on what you are looking for.

7. NYC is your hometown, what do you like best about thrifting in the big apple?

NYC is also my favorite place to thrift. I think part of it is because it is my hometown but the other part is that NYC is one of the fashion meccas of the world so there is lots to be discovered.

8. What did you like the most about thrifitng in Iowa?

Iowa seemed like a dream. I don't know if it was just good timing but it felt like I was in the thrift stores alone, low traffic with prices that seemed unreal. 

9. You find the most AMAZING vintage in your shop. Don't hold out on us, top three vintage hunting tips. Go!

1. Look through everything! EVERYTHING! You never know what you will pass up being all rushy rush.
2. Make sure you don't let the excitement of what you find blind you. Look for stains and holes! Thrift stores don't usually have the best lighting.
3. Don't be afraid to pile your shopping cart up to the sky just edit yourself. I usually go through the clothes at least 3 times to make sure I love them.(Humans work at thrift stores so remember to be courteous and put everything back and not just shoved in any aisle. They appreciate it, A LOT!)

10. And finally, vintage owls versus groovy mushrooms, battle to the death, who will win?!

Owls EAT mushrooms, THE END!

* Photo Credit: First photo of Natasha by DRKRZ.

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  If you would like to be featured in Thrifters Around the World, shoot me an e-mail.  I would love to interview you and chat about thrifting where you live.

Past Thrifters Around The World Interviews:
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  1. Wow what a dream job!!! And what an awesome road trip idea. I'm gearing up for the 127 yard sale this August. Great Read- Thanks :)

  2. Oh God! This interview is so cool. I LOVE reading info about thrifting in other places. I get a little envious though because of the island thing... you know I can't just get in my car and find other states to thrift at. Anyways, I feel happy that I've found really cool stuff here even if it means digging through massive amounts of stuff. Keep these interviews coming!

    1. I've only visited islands, but I can imagine getting a little stir crazy and wishing for more places to thrift in. At least Puerto Rico has lots of hidden beach and mountain spots to explore!

  3. this is my dream holiday - to thrift my way across canada. i'd love to go with a film crew and create a tv show about thrift shopping across the country. wouldn't that be fun?

    1. I keep talking to so many people who'd love to do the same ;) Myself included...

  4. When I win Lotto Max I'm buying a 1950's trailer, hitching it up & thrifting across the USA! My boyfriend wants to go to the Bahamas, PFFFFFFFTTT, what he smokin'?

    1. Bahamas are touristy and overrated. Travel the US&A- a diverse landscape and plethora of junking awaits!

  5. Excellent interview! Ah, a real thrift trip...I'm so green right now. I am practically emerald with jealousy. My current experience with a thrift trip includes touring the suburbs outside Philadelphia and Bensalem, ha ha.

    That's it...when I get famous or win the lottery, or find a sack of money that fell from the sky...I'm planning a thrifty road trip across the country!

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

  6. Course she's right, owls eat mushrooms, yeah! I have to figure out how to obtain that thrift job, beats what I'm doing now by a mile. So glad to hear that thrifty envy is normal since I will often look wistfully at some of the great items that are found in California and in the mid-west. Fun interview, thanks.


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