Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Find Thrift Stores Around the World While You're on Vacation


I'm frequently asked where to find the best thrift stores in the world- all over the world. I'd love to help, but I don't even know all the thrift stores in my own city (Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the USA landwise. We have dozens of Thrift Stores, and I love it!) I don't have encyclopedic knowledge of all the thrift stores in the world, but I know exactly how to find them!

Here are the tools you can use to find thrift stores and places to hunt for vintage while you're on vacation, too:

Google: Simply google "thrift stores" plus your city's name to yield plenty of results.

Phone Map/GPS: Type in "thrift store" for easy cruising to your nearest stop. search for "Thrift Stores", read reviews to find highly rated ones. Just type the zip code to find thrift stores in the area. map out a yard sale itinerary wherever you are!

Craigslist: Search for yard and estate sales in the city your visiting.

Asking Locals: Ask around, most are willing to share their favorite local thrifts.

Next time your on vacation, use the handy websites above to check out the thrifts in the area. And of course, always keep your eyes peeled for good flea markets and thrift stores as you drive along. That's what I always do!

What aps, websites, or tools do you use to find thrift stores near you or thrift stores when you're on vacation?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Creative Business Tip: Your First Instinct is Right. Follow Your Heart.


If you're like me, you might tend to second guess yourself. You get obsessed running your business the "best" way to succeed and you start researching and taking advice from others for all of the details of  your business.

I'm learning that your first instinct is almost always right when it comes to small decision making for your business.

For months my sales were slumping at Southern Crossing Antique mall. I took a step back and analyzed, sales had to increase! I was doing better my fist months at the store, when I wasn't trying too hard. When I was doing it all my way and not the way I'm "supposed" to. I stopped following advise and rearranged merchandise  the way I knew would work and sales increased immediately.

It's too exhausting to run your business the way everyone else expects you to. Follow your first instinct and your heart, do things your way! Your enthusiasm for work and your success will be boundless!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thrift Haul: The Grooviest Mushrooms and Owls You Ever Saw

I was a busy hunter this week, searching the aisles of the antique stores I rent from while switching out merchandise and stopping by Thrift Stores while out and about at every chance. I skipped the flea market this week, but I'm very pleased with each find in this small haul!

I found a brown painted version of the white owl bookends from a past flea market haul. I'm willing to let this beauty go for $9.50.

This Brownie Friendship Book is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Love the groovy font, crazy eyes, odd hat, and owl's camera!

This book has 23 pages of cuteness. If no one buys it at $12.00 soon I'm going to keep it for myself to use as a back-up phone book.

A fellow vendor at Treasure House set these cups aside for me, she said they looked like my style and she called it! I'm selling the set of four for $20.00.

Speaking of mushrooms, this purse still had the original plastic wrapping on it when I found it. It's brand spanking new and gorgeous! I'm selling it for $12.00.

And I found this cute playboy bunny handbag. I don't normally buy accessories like this to sell but something about this one appealed to me. I'm selling it for $10.00.

I've decided to finally let go of my ample nerd t-shirt collection! My Southern Crossing Antique Mall space has a little suitcase with my nostalgic and colorful comic book, anime, and video game shirts for fellow geeks to buy and love. It inspired me to get in the market of selling nostalgic clothing, so I had to scoop up this Fraggle shirt when I saw it at the thrift store.

I neglected to photograph this little square table in it's original form. I'm always on the look-out for small sturdy pieces to play with. I knew this one would get the comic book decoupage treatment as soon as I saw it. (Decoupage DIY post here.)

It looks even better with tabletop resin poured over it! I love how it came out, and I have it for sale in front of Southern Crossing Antique mall for $25.00. I can't wait to work on more furniture pieces.

I found these similar vintage travel bags at different days of the week at different stores. The Samsonite one will be sold for $15.00 and the non-branded one for $12.50. These bags last forever and accommodate so much! Just one of these is all I need for a two week trip.

I fell in love this this tidy chest of drawers at Goodwill and miraculously negotiated to get the price lowered for this one, an increasingly difficult feat. The cashier's flirtatiousness might have helped, but I'll pretend it was my negotiating skills that saved the day. I am Batman.

As you can see, it cleaned up nicely! I used an off-brand magic eraser and ample elbow grease to restore it to it's former clean glory. I also scooped up the brown and black suitcases at the same goodwill. Pictured above is my practice set-up for my Southern Crossing antique store booth. I've been obsessed with working lately! I missed my addictive creative impulses. Now I'm off to take advantage of them to finish (and share) more fun and thrifty DIY projects!

Remember: Everything I list on these posts are for sale. E-mail me if you're interested in anything you see! I also host daily deals this blog (the haul post prices are lower than normal) and on Facebook and Twitter.

What did you find this weekend?

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thrifted Table DIY: Comic Book Decoupage Coffee Table


Decoupage is my favorite way to revitalize a thrifted piece of furniture. In an hour or so you can have a fresh new colorful piece for your home or to sell. There are many ways to go about decoupaging furniture, this is a quick and easy method I used today:

Supplies: I used 3M Spray Mount and Krylon Spray-On Varnish this time. You can use elmer's white glue (watered down) or mod podge for both the adhesive and top coats. You'll need a comic book you don't mind damaging to glue to your furniture piece.

1) I chose a water-damaged, dumpster-dived Calvin and Hobbes comic for this project.
2) Cut out the panels I wanted to use.
3) Arranged the pieces on my table, making sure to keep the design balanced.
4) Applied Spray Mount to pages, stuck them down, and smoothed out bumps.
5) Coated the table with Kamar Varnish, waiting a few minutes between coats.

This is one of many methods I've tried to decoupage furniture. I try something a little different each time. Since I intend to sell this piece I'm going to top it with pour-on table resin. That's a tricky process (and slightly expensive) that I'll visit in a future DIY post!

How do you make over your thrifted or dived furniture? Paint? Sand? Restore? So many options...
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Best. Deodorant. Ever! Thrifty DIY Peppermint Deodorant.

You're taught to slather on the store-bought deodorant sticks at puberty. Neglect the ritual and you'll be ostracized for eternity; doomed to life in musty caves with your fellow pungent trolls. Fear not, this stuff works!

This Deodorant Will Save Your Life! Conventional deodorants contain aluminum and other highly carcinogenic substances easily absorbed by your underarm skin, and they don't last long. My easy, thrifty peppermint deodorant does! It's effective 24/7 on men and women of all activity levels.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon organic aluminum-free baking soda, 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch, 1 tablespoon 100% natural shea butter, peppermint essential oil, a small glass jar. (Jar pictured was $1.13 at Hobby Lobby, but you can up-cycle small food jars.)

1) Add the cornstarch and baking soda to your mixing bowl. I chose to mix mine in the jar, funneling the powders in to reduce mess. 2) Add the shea butter. 3) Add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil. I like to use rosemary and peppermint essential oils; experiment! 4) Mix. It will seem like you don't have enough shea butter at first. You'll know you're done mixing when a velvety, whipped texture is achieved.

To Use: Dip your finger in the jar to retrieve a minute portion. A little bit goes a long way, small amounts to start and see what works for you. Apply a thin layer to the needed area and enjoy the cooling tingle from the menthol in the peppermint oil.

This deodorant smells better than a peppermint patty and one tiny jar could last you all year! You only need a tiny amount to keep your feet and underarms dry and odor free all day and night! Perfect for hot summer months when you tend to wear shoes without socks. Try it, your body and the people around you will thank you ;)

Update: Shea butter can be replaced with coconut oil.

Got a favorite natural deodorant brand or DIY deodorant to share? What hippie concoctions do you like to mix up?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things I Didn't Buy at the Thrift Store: Tampa, Florida Style

Recently I drove my friend Greg four hours south to Tampa, Florida so he could attend an important meeting. I was easily bribed; the short trip meant I could check out local vegan eats and thrift stores! Win Win!

I only came home with one find, but at least I got to stay in a cozy retro-styled hotel and explore a little of the city. Here's what I didn't buy:

The first stop was a massive local thrift store. You'd think a store this size would be a treasure trove. This store was surprisingly vintage-free and a bit junky. If there were vintage items (a couple of suitcases and chipped knick-knacks) they were too high-priced.

The aisles were wide, the shelving sturdy and the lighting bright...but I don't think I've encountered a thrift store this junky. This is coming from an experienced thrifter, flea marketer shopper, and dumpster diver!

A quick peek through a nearby Salvation Army provided more tempting bits. I have a couple of friends who would have killed to have this collector's Sanrio Clock, but I resisted and left this one behind. There's too much junk in my house and it was a bit too worn to give away as a gift.

I might regret leaving these behind already. I just already have so many sexy little tumblers like this to sell and I couldn't ID this set.

Dann my cup fetish! I pined for this pair as well, but walked away without them.

This gorgeous mod hutch was in perfect shape and had a price that reflected it! I can't bring myself to pay over $100 for used furniture these days. Not like I could fit this beauty in my car and four hours north back to Jacksonville anyway.

This would have been a gorgeous TV stand. Too bad about that price (about $150). And that it was sold. And that it wouldn't fit in my tiny car...

I'm looking forward to more Florida road trip adventures, stopping to explore good eats and thrifts along the way.

So Tell Me: What beauties have tempted you at the thrift store? What do you have trouble leaving behind?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thrift Haul: Playful, Colorful Goodies from a Sunday Flea Market Stroll

I love a quick stroll through the flea market on a Sunday morning. It doesn't have to take up a lot of my busy day and I can zip through and still come home with a bundle of low-priced treasures.

I took a risk on the funny dinos and loved the odd "watermelon" neon green and pink of the Peanuts comic book. I've loved the odd bright color schemes of the peanuts books released in the 70s since childhood. Selling the bag for $15, the dinos for $7 each and the little book for $3.

I found another wood grain vintage mushroom planter. I've been having good luck with anima figuirnes lately so I scooped up the cute unicorn (selling for $5), Owl ($6), and Deer on a shoe ($6).

I like to think of the mini beer mugs as shot glasses, they would be perfect on a vintage style bar, man room, or even a viking lodge! You know me, can't resist mugs or guy-stuff. The golf shoe planter was a fun find I can't wait to fill with a plant. I'm selling the little mugs for $9, big mug for $5, and the shoe planter for $7.

For a non-smoker I sure love my ash trays. This one with a vintage car was too cute to leave behind as well. I'm selling it on the blog for $7.

This cool firetruck would look nice on a shelf or desk. It's made entirely out of wood. I love my carved owl piece, too. Selling the truck and owl for $8.00 each.

And now I must get back to work, cleaning and pricing lots of vintage and switching out items in my three antique store booths!

Remember: Everything I list on these posts are for sale. E-mail me if you're interested in anything you see! I also host daily deals this blog (the haul post prices are lower than normal) and on Facebook and Twitter.

What did you find this weekend?

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

10 Easy Ways to Get Shipping Supplies for Free- Or Close To It!


Presentation is paramount for a small business. I want my customer's purchase to feel like a special gift. Each vintage treasure is carefully packaged and customized using ample protective packaging to keep finds reaching their destination intact. Shipping supplies can be prohibitively expensive, so I've found ways to cut corners and save money while providing customers with the best experience possible. Here are my 10 tips for getting shipping supplies for free- or close to it!

1) Ask: friends/store owners if they have packaging to spare
2) Createa system where nearby stores set boxes/supplies aside for you
3) Assault: dumpsters behind grocery stores for boxes, peanuts, and bubble wrap
4) Estate Sales: sometimes have office/packing supplies for low prices
5) Save: boxes and packing supplies you receive in the mail and re-use them
6) Pillage: your workplace, use supplies they're going to toss
7) Cut: existing boxes into the shape you need; then tape it up!
8) Use: what you have around the house, be creative
9) Exploit: coupons for supply stores like Staples, Joanne's, and Michael's 
10) Customize: utilitarian up-cycled packaging with stickers and stamps

A fellow reseller friend of mine does shipping and receiving at a local organic food store. He provides me with boxes of all sizes and high quality bubble wrap that the company would otherwise throw away. This helps me ship my wares to customers around the world while keeping prices as low as possible. I'm brainstorming on more professional, attractive, and inexpensive packaging ideas, but this environmentally (and wallet!) friendly way works for now.

Where do you order your packing supplies? How do you get supplies for free or close to it? Do share in the comments!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Five Points Antiques: Thrift Core's Third Antique Store Space


I am now the lucky renter of three antique store "booths." This third space located in the trendy, bohemian shopping and bar district that is Five Points is nostalgic for me. As a broke teen I'd browse the stores for inspiration, buying the "smalls" I could afford in pricey shops. Now I'm providing the small for them to buy. Full Circle! :)

This is my hasty set-up. I ran out of time yesterday after hours of tagging and filled in what I could. I'll definitely re-arrange and perfect my roomy four shelves soon. Someone bought an item I've been trying to sell off for months while I was walking into the store, definitely feels like a good sign!

Five Points Antiques is the former "Rainbows & Stars," a gay pride an apparel store. I love that they've kept some of the merchandise in the store and continue to support the community. This really feels like the perfect location for me, my funky colorful mod finds appeal to the Five Points Demographic. I'll follow-up soon and keep you posted on my progress.

How are you doing with your reselling and thrifting goals? Let's discuss in the comments!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thrift Haul: Proud to Present Robots, Mushrooms, and Groovy Galore


I really scored at the flea market this weekend! Everything was low-priced, unique, bright, and quirky: my favorite type of finds! I'd venture to say some of my favorite finds ever are in this batch. Let's take a look...

This is the cutest lamp I've ever discovered, what a treasure! I was shocked to find something this unique and fragile in perfect shape and working condition.

The cute matching skunk figurine inside is removable! I don't know how that stayed intact over the years, but I love the cutesy woodland look going on here. I'd be willing to let it go for $25.00 if you'd like it, it's perfect for a kid's room or nursery.

I love this "Plak Kard it's a bit larger (9x5) than the average post card and a thicker, foamy texture. If no one buys it for the low price of $5.00 I'm going to hang it in my kitchen above a mini-bar.

And here's the back. Very fun find!

And I love the perfect mod Don Draper desk lamp I found. Shocked to find it's in perfect working condition. Willing to sell this beauty to you for $15.00. It's a gorgeous, industrial piece.

This cute little Japanese jewelry box matches a gorgeous vintage lamp from Kyoto I keep in my bedroom. I'm tempted to keep this one next to it, but it's going in the shop for $6.50.

I like the wood grain and groovy type on this big plaque for the home.

And this lamp! I love this style of lamp and have never seen one with an owl. Does anyone know what this type of vintage lamp is called? I'll be selling this one for $20.00 on the blog once it's cleaned up.

I took a risk on this train. I love the vintage look, bright colors, and feel it will look nice sitting on a shelf as a display piece. I'm selling it for $6.50.

And speaking of toys, I got my robot fix. I've been wanting this Space Giant children's rolling luggage since I saw it at the store. Now it's mine! I'm willing to sell it for $20.00 but until someone buys it, it's going to be my personal rolling luggage for traveling. I love the two retro robots I found. The red one came with batteries and runs along the floor. Fun!

I couldn't resist the good deals and bright colors on these guys. The coloring book cover is hilarious!

I rarely find these fuzzy vintage figurines. I may do a before/after on the Koala, he needs some work. They could all use a little cleaning, too. I'm selling these all for $5.00 each if any appeal to you.

And even more figurines! There was a big sale at one of the flea market tables so I filled up on cute retro goodies. I like how the poodle is furry and the little gray raccoon has a suspect, stealthy look.

And I scooped up these rather-large owl bookends, love 'em! Yet again tempted to keep these for my huge book hoard but I'm selling them for $12.00. I may spray paint them a bright color, what do you think? Kind of nice that they came in white like this, though.

Holy hell, dogs of all sizes! The mug is standard sized to give you an idea of the size of these little guys. I'm selling the large one for $5.00 and the rest for $4.00.

Can't go wrong with a couple of cute Eagle patriotic mugs. I'm selling the pair for $6.00 on the blog.

I've never seen anything like this sword plaque. It reminds me of something a Dungeons and Dragons fan would like somehow. I'm selling it for $6.00. I have a feeling it will sell quickly int he antique mall. 

And a final favorite find is this trio of animal cross stitched yarn art. I love everything about them, the extremely retina-blasting saturated color blitz, extreme expressions, the brown background, everything! My favorite is the hippo, neon orange-red is my favorite color! These are perfect for a nursery. I'm selling the set for $30.00 on the blog. These are rather large, measuring about 16 x 16 each.

Remember: Everything I list on these posts are for sale. E-mail me if you're interested in anything you see! I also host daily deals this blog (the haul post prices are lower than normal) and on Facebook and Twitter.

What did you find this weekend?

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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