Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I Didn't Buy, Estate Sale Style: Accidental Theft, Guns, and Musing

This estate sale has kick started a new addiction, I can't wait to schedule in more of them. It was fun to peruse the house, admire the organization, and day dream about the home's possibilities or what the owner must have been liked based on  the legacy her items presented.

Whoever she was, she loved her kitchenware! There was a beautiful assortment of teapots and more to behold.

You might sucker punch me through the screen for leaving this beautiful clay owl teapot behind (perfect shape!) but I couldn't make myself pay $12.00 for it. I couldn't get my phone to work in the home to find out if it was vintage, it had no markings.

I worked through the pins to amass this collection of beautiful floral ones and one gold whale that I really wanted to sell as a haul (oh the whale! I love my sea beasts) but they were $6.00 EACH! No! Cannot! Compute! To at least double my profit I'd have to sell the set for $72.00!

Another beautiful tease. I own one a bit newer than this that my mom passed down to me.

I admired the organization at this sale. Likes were grouped together. A pantry closet was lined with Cambell's collectibles. And a cabinet in the living room artfully displayed costume jewelry with a petrified wood collection. Interesting tableauxs abound, like the perhaps unintentional but attractive pairing of red heels with silver.

Then I spied the gun in the corner of the cabinet! Likely not a real one but a cop would still shoot you on sight for carrying that heat around in this city. What the hellz, is that normal at an Estate Sale?!

This neon 60s frock assaulted my eyes and I loved it, so very bright! I chose to leave it behind even though I got it down to $5.00, it's shapeless and to the floor not unlike a nightgown and seems like something that'd be tricky to sell. And there was a tiny stain on the front that may not have come out.

I loved this trio of 1960s prints but $8.00 each was again, a bit much for me. This estate sale was a bit pricey overall.

The traditional China arranged in the living room reminded me of my mom, very much her style.

I took this shot of items I was considering buying in the bedroom. When I got home and saw that I realized I accidentally took home that cookbook without paying! When I got back no one was there so I left it out front in a bag. Quite embarrassing , I hope it was safely recovered! I don't want to be known as that greedy bitch stealing from estate sales! My cryptic humiliation was posted on Instagram. But I digress...

The style of this space was simple, welcoming, warm, and traditional and that's how I'll paint my vision of the owner. You gotta believe a person who'd make her guest bedrooms as cozy as a Historic Inn had a kind heart.

What temptations have you left behind on the hunt recently? Are estate sale prices normally like this? I hear of friends getting steals at them but I'm rarely so lucky.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thrift Haul: Groovy Estate Sale Kitchenware Too Good to Leave Behind


Last week I encountered a freshly opened Estate Sale. The historical home was already packed with curious shoppers like Walmart during a Black Friday afternoon, it was fun to experience an estate sale in full swing for the first time. I walked around for at least an hour, picked up and put back a lot, and ended up with the goodies below:

I rarely find a full coffee pot set like this in good condition without any chips or crazing. The clean mod shapes won me over. The gorgeous green coffee pot below wouldn't be left behind either. --->> On Etsy

I picked it up and put it back many times but it ended up coming home with me despite a higher-than-I'd-normally-pay price. I've paired it with a set of cornell cups I found at the flea market on Etsy. --->> On Etsy

These food trays were the least expensive find. Not in perfect condition, but the graphic designs and bold colors demanded to be documented. I love the designated placements for your meal, nice big spot for the salad there! --->> On Etsy

A mighty golden Eagle! I sold a recent piece like this guy and decided this one had to come with me, too. Very iconic piece right here to sexify your home inside or outside. I love to see them hanging in front of the classic American homes in my neighborhood --->> On Etsy

So tell me, what did you score at the thrifts? If you like any piece you see, e-mail me, it's all for sale! Check out all the items above and more on Etsy.

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thrift Core Preview + Promoting Your Website/Blog and Increasing Sales

May is around the corner, so soon!? I've been working behind the scenes on plenty of exciting posts on thrifting, blogging, reselling, personal small business tips, healthy recipes, frugal tips, fun uses for everyday household items, and more. I'm plotting some fun collaborations. I'd love for you to be part of it. Let me know if you'd like to Advertise on Thrift Core for May and June- perfect for Mother's and Father's day and a great way to get exposure before the summer's sales slump.

Let's work hard and hit the goals. All Thrift Core advertisers get a free ad design if needed AND a website/shop marketing evaluation with plenty of action step to guide you in the right direction. E-mail me if you have any questions at all!

See you on Monday with some goods I couldn't resist from an Estate Sale. Time for tea...lots of tea...
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

10 Secret Second-Hand Treasure Hunting Tactics: For The Shameless Collector


Last week we discussed the unfortunate reality that a supply of second-hand, desirable housewares/necessities (vintage or otherwise) is not universally ample at thrift stores. I don't rely on Thrift Stores for my stock and I never run out of suppliers. Here are 10 unconventional tactics I've learned for finding my desired thrifty quarry:

1. Get Numbers: Notice someone has what you want at a sale? Get their number so you can buy more later.
2. Post Ads: Post ads about buying vintage on street corners, craigslist, and shop bulletins. Everywhere!
3. Curbsides: Always keep one eye on the curb, you never know what you'll find!
4. Dumpsters: Dumpsters require balls of adamantium, time, and patience, but can be fruitful.
5. Friends & Family: Ask friends and family if they have stuff they don't want. Go clean 'em out!
6. Antique Malls: Many antique mall prices are low and competitive these days.
7. Attend Auctions: Bid on lots of goodies, great way to get quality vintage/antiques as a reseller.
8. Yard/Church Sales: A classic, VERY low-cost way to yield housewares.
9. Estate Sales: Look up the ads online and in papers, go early, and attack!
10. Home Cleaning Service: Advertise a home clearing/cleaning service, keep what they're tossing. Ask to buy if there's something you want they don't seem to be using.

It pays to be a brazen crazy soul when you're on the hunt. The thrift store front may seem uncertain and other rural areas may have very few to choose from, these tactics will help you think outside the thrift when hunting to be successful.

What other ways to you hunt for merchandise to sell, second-hand housewares, and necessities?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Only in Florida: The Pink Flamingo. A Kitsch Filled Antique Mall Stop


The Pink Flamingo is an antique mall I pass on the way to my favorite flea markets and thrift stores. It's a retina-searing bright blur in my peripheral vision, and I wishfully mistook it for an ordinary thrift store. The bubblegum exterior, as cloying as a cute kitten, pulled the strings of kitsch-craving heart. I finally stopped to explore it when I spied a sexy set of orange chairs out front.

I wish it could be tackier, I wish those bushes out front were made of plastic and the grass was AstroTurf  Then I'd really be walking into a life-size replica of Barbie's Dream House.

The door and window trims are painted in my favorite shade of pink. Nintendo's Kirby Pink, Mr. Bubble Pink. It's an eye-grabbing hue that's bold enough for a Man, strong enough for a Woman. I'm getting ridiculous now, let's look inside.

The shop is divided up like an antique mall with different vendors renting spaces. I recognize a vendor that once had a space near me at Treasure House. 

The space is clear and clean with mostly high quality retro pieces scattered throughout, more curated than other antique malls I've sold in. No DVDs or dollar store cast-offs in sight.

The prices are pretty fair for a nicely curated collection of quality retro goods. I see a lot of things I admire, like the cookies jar collection above, but the prices are too high for a reseller.

All arranged in a cozy way that recalls going through your quirky aunt's house. I'd know, I'm a quirky aunt. In short, it's a fun detour for a collector. If you're a local hunter you might bring home a treasure or two if you're not a cheap-ass, penny-pinching hunter like me.

What's the weirdest second-hand hunting spot you've explored? I do recall a creeper-van with a 1970s beaded curtain for a door at the flea market that used to sell porn flicks...
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are Thrift Stores Running out of "Good Things" to Buy? The End of an Era?


We've debated Goodwill's controversial decision to hire eBay coordinators to sell their more valuable donations online. With more media dedicated to reselling than ever before and hundreds of people joining in, can supply keep up with demand? I get a lot of questions about this via e-mail and Twitter. Here's one from fellow toy-nerd @williambwest: (read it from the bottom up)

My Answer: HELL NO, absolutely not. We are not running out of stuff to buy or sell as resellers. There is still plenty go around for others who thrift as collectors or for household essentials.

Practice & Experiment: Thrift Stores are not the only places to get merchandise or satisfy household needs for less. Remember curbsides? Yard sales? I just got a haul of goodies for free! I'll follow-up with creative ways to find merchandise/essentials.

Blah to Competition: I don't approach reselling competitively.I'm curating a collection, I have a brand and a mission that's unique and purely Me, no one else can bring that to the table. I evolve and update. I'm too busy worrying about my own quality to think about what others are finding that I'm not. Let others in on the game, there's plenty to go around and everyone deserves a chance to make a living.

Anyone Can Do it? Some resellers have an elitist attitude toward others who haven't been reselling as long or don't have as much knowledge or skill at it. I think anyone can be a reseller, their own way. If you're following your own path with it and being successful without hurting anyone else, I don't see the harm.

I'd love to discuss regional difference in the comments. I live in North Florida and the picking is PLENTIFUL in this state. I could go out right now and fill my car to the brim with excellent goods to sell if I wanted to. I realize other locations don't have as many thrift stores, yard sales, or good things/vintage things to sell.

Do you feel like supply will run out where you live? What's thrifting like in your area?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thrifty, Easy 100% Natural Cleaning Routine. How Do You Get Clean?

I'm testing the products above, the ones listed below are my favorites. The TheraNeem products above were kindly provided as free samples.

I've been experimenting for two years (remember my hippie confession?) to find and create the best quality and inexpensive 100% natural skin/body care products. I'm confident in my data and ready to share favorites you can buy and make AND tips/tricks I've learned during my journey. My favorite products are concentrated so they last forever and give you the best bang for your buck:

1) Alaffia African Black Soap: Moisturizing, effective and inexpensive. One bottle lasts for months as body wash, face wash, shampoo, and shaving/hand soap. Buy here.

2) Glossy Locks Smooth & Moisture Balm: I use a tiny amount of this leave-in to tame frizz for my naturally curly, dry hair. Two ounces has lasted me for over a year! Love their shampoo/conditioner, too. Buy here.

3) TheraNeem Balancing Therape Facial Oil Serum: I apply a couple of drops to my face at night after showering. I arise with dewy, even-textured skin that I don't have to wash or apply foundation to. Buy here.

4) Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: 100% Bentonite clay powder (this has no fillers) is magnetic and absorbs positively charged substances like heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, and chemical waste. I mix one tablespoon clay powder with one tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar, one $5.29 container can last 6 months to a year! You can even use it for internal detoxing, I use it to prevent or cure time-of-the-month breakouts. Buy here.

5) Kiss My Face Whitening Toothpaste: This doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate like most toothpastes. I love that they use a lot of mint oil, it's mintier than conventional toothpaste. Not sure it if whitens, I buy this one because it's the tastiest from their line. Buy here

6) Zambeezi Organic Beeswax Lip Balm, Tangerine: All-natural, tasty, and inexpensive. Buy here.

Note: I don't use shampoo or conditioner for now. I used coconut oil for body lotion but I'm testing Alaffia
and TheraNeem lotions right now. Both are awesome. The TheraNeem folks sent me seven samples and tons of information about their product two days after I e-mailed them about writing this article. They really care about their brand and the quality is excellent.

I'll follow-up next week with my favorite DIY cleansers and conditioners. I could get by with baking soda and coconut oil for everything cleansing/conditioning/hygiene related but I like to treat myself to my staple favorites in this post. Remember that your skin reflects your health, and products won't be as effective if you're not healthy from the inside-out. Nothing's made a bigger difference than eating as many antioxidant and vitamin rich plant-based foods as possible. (Read: Raw Food FAQ & Journey.)

If you're struggling, I have a menu here that quickly and completely cleared up a stubborn break-out during my early twenties. I also love juicing, my skin is always radiant the next day when I have a green juice the night before. (Related: No Soap Challenge and Clear Skin with Food)

What do you use to keep clean from the inside out? Any DIY skincare or favorite all natural products to share? I'd love to read 'em! BTW, not paid to endorse anything in this post.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thrift Hauls: 100% Free Retro, Toy, and Fun Second Hand & Curbside Finds


My break from the thrift stores is still in-affect. Lately I've been looking for free finds or finds that are as close to free as possible while I go through the process of photographing hundreds of photos for Etsy. The mailbox above was purchased by me at a flea market years ago, I forgot about it until I rediscovered it at my mom's house.

There's an open slot in the back that would have made it perfect in theme and usage to keep for my reselling station, but I put it in my Southern Crossing booth where it promptly sold.

These letters were a free gift from a reseller I met while curbside shopping amid the grand houses a few minutes away from me, close to the St. John's river. The large "C" already sold.

I love finding giant letters, fun for crafts and home decor and they typically sell well.

She kindly gave me this red sign as well as lots of buckets of paint and spray paint she wasn't using!

The wooden shelf was rediscovered along with the toy post office box at my mom. I bought it when I moved into my first apartment at 20, it used to hold spices right above the stove. 'Twas an ancient, odd, ghetto little place to live but we had a lot of fun. Brings back memories! The cowboy bear above was another free find, a gift from a former reseller friend a while back. I'm not above selling my past so the shelf is in my Southern Crossing space waiting for a new owner.

So tell me, what did you score at the thrifts? If you like any piece you see, e-mail me, it's all for sale!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Simplify Your Life in 5 Steps: For Thrifters, Creatives, Busy People, and YOU!


Clear counters, peace of mind, it's a miracle! I've worked hard to simplify my life and it's really paid off. I live and work in an apartment shared with my best friend and the steps below keep us both sane and happy. Here are the steps I took to make every day tasks less painful and keep my house clear even during the busy times.

1.) Purge  Donate everything you don't use or can't sell. Do it in small batches, shelf-by-shelf, drawer-by-drawer so you're not overwhelmed.

2.) Stash  Wash and put away dishes, art supplies, clothes, etc. as soon as you're finished.

3.) Banish   Rent storage or ask friends/family if you can rent/use space at their houses for merchandise. I was so stressed before my BF generously offered his sunroom for storage.

4.) Schedule  I schedule my blog posts, reselling tasks, housework, and now my food menu for 1-2 months ahead of time. I always know what to keep on hand for food/craft/work supplies. I can order in bulk and save. It just keeps life sane in general.

5.) Station  I have a blending, tea brewing, product photography, crafting/art-making, and blogging/writing stations in my apartment. There's a home for everything and it speeds up production immensely. Have the items for your daily tasks accessible to speed up time.

Bonus, Back-Ups: Cooking ahead of time and freezing the meals, buying items in bulk when you find them for cheap or on sale, and other back-up maneuvers like making more product or components of your product when sales are slow for the busy times is a HUGE life simplifier.

What steps to do you take to simplify your life? I'd love more hints and tricks, this is always a process of trying new things to improve productivity and work/life balance. This convo was inspired by Thrift Shopper for Peace. I'll be chatting about it more soon.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Retail Vouyer: Tip for Curating Vintage, Handmade, Art- Window Shop!


I'm a shameless window shopper, I don't do it often, but I love to drink in the displays for inspiration. It helps me envision changes to my antique mall spaces at Southern Crossing (and hopefully a retail space beyond that!) and reinforces the importance of display and branding when curating vintage or creating an art line. Here are a few favorite photos from my last big window shopping indulgence and a look at favorite display styles.

Looking at these photos you'll notice a three popular trends:

1) Grouping Likes
2) Using the unexpected as displays (love the vintage fridge door below!) and
3) Effective Lighting. 

These are all things I like to play with and continue to try and incorporate into my antique mall spaces and branding, it helps shoppers pick efficiently and tells your brand's story. Another plus with window shopping, it can help you realize what's being done to death so you approach your brand with fresh ideas.

All Photos of Earth Bound Traders, The Closet, and Fringe  in St. Augustine, Florida were snapped with my phone's camera.

Another trend of note for the window shopper and indie business owner is the way big chains (Earth Bound Traders in this post) are closely reproducing the look of legit independent boutiques, like The Closet (pink-filled store pictured)
 and Fringe (kitsch filled store pictured). It's nothing new, but something to think about as we continue to grow our brands. There's plenty to bring to it, especially that genuine handmade touch and personality, that will ensure we always stand out.

Do you window shop for inspiration, too?  I'll be writing more about business inspiration into the future and how to keep inspired, expect many more photos from walks in my neighborhood, travels, and explorations. What do you do for a creative boost when you've tapped the well of innovation dry?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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