When I was growing up in India, no one in their right mind bought used things. If one did, they certainly kept it quiet and hoped that no one ever found out about it.
Then, I moved to North Carolina and discovered thrift stores and learned about the thrill of a hunt. The entire concept of “it’s vintage” blew my mind! I couldn’t believe that you could walk in a store full of nothing but old things, and find “treasures” that you could brag about later.
Before I had children who now eat up all my free time, I’d often visit thrift stores whenever I had nothing to do. I loved walking down the messy aisles piled with other people’s rejects. There was always a smell. The smell of old things. I’d imagine what homes they came from and what kind of lives those people lived.
The best days were when I’d find a real gem. Something so totally absurd that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Of the many reasons I love my husband, one of them was his ability to quietly walk away when I’d drag home another “treasure”. ( I speak in the past tense for a reason).
Often times, I’d paint it, use that thing for a bit, and then sell it on Craigslists to make a nice little profit. The last time I did such a flip was when I purchased a vanity for $15 or $20 and then sold it for $70 (you can see the before and after tranformation in this blog post). The idea wasn’t to make money of course, but just so that I could make room to bring home something else.
One of the things that I miss dearly during our new normal thanks to COVID-19, is visiting thrift stores. I haven’t even looked to see what’s open because 1. I just want to stay hunkered down. 2. A thrift store visit with kids is not my ideal. But man, of all the things I look forward to when life is normal, visiting a thrift store is probably top 3. Did I just admit that?
I never know how other people will react when I say that something they just admired came from a thrift store. I take real pleasure in throwing people off like that. And let’s just say that I get extra excited when I meet a fellow thrifter who understands the compulsion to go on a scavenger hunt no matter how much money you have in the bank.
Alright, so it’s only fair that I end this post by sharing some of my treasures with you!
Top to bottom: Framed wooden print of a boy with a play horse, A tiny dish with lovers. A pretty chair with the perfect curves.
Alright, so indulge me please! Are you a thrifter like me, always on the hunt for the weird? If so, what treasures have you found?
Featured image of old bicycles: Kiwihug via Unsplash