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Decorating with Thrifted Finds

September 24, 2013
Toiletry Storage via HGTV
Knobs as hooks via Pinterest
Vintage books via Pinterest

Whenever I’m looking for a quick way to spruce up a room, the first place I turn to is vintage shopping. Most of the time vintage and thrift finds are timeless and affordable, which is perfect when you are looking to make a small change to a room.

I think these toiletry draws and knobs are a fun way to add some extra storage to a room, while I love the ombre effect you can add to a bookcase with old, vintage books.

How do you decorate with vintage and thrift finds?

AllisonPlatteAllison Platte is a Charlotte, NC blogger & internet marketing specialist that writes a lifestyle and fashion blog, In the Queen City.

Sneak Peek at our New Monroe Store

September 20, 2013

Our Monroe retail store has moved and we are excited to celebrate the grand opening of the new location tomorrow, September 21. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m., the public is invited to shop the store beginning at 9:00 a.m. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the great fall merchandise ready to be scooped up.


If you prefer to browse for the best shopping deals, here are our suggestions of the top five items to look for this weekend:

  • Halloween costumes – Let your imagination run wild this Halloween. Goodwill offers unique, gently used items that can help you put together the perfect costume without breaking the bank.
  • Boots – Whether you like chunky heels or sleek silhouettes, our wide selection of boots and shoes will complement any fall wardrobe.
  • Sporting equipment – Fall sports have started and now is the best time to stock up on sporting equipment and athletic gear that can carry over into spring.
  • Books – What better way to curl up on a chilly fall day than with a good book and a cozy blanket?
  • Seasonal décor – Make your house the most festive on the block by decorating with seasonal items like jack-o’-lanterns, spooky scarecrows, Thanksgiving turkeys and much more.
Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

What are you excited for this fall?

Making Small Rooms Look and Feel Bigger

September 17, 2013

Dreaming of ways to escape the cramped feeling of your pocket-sized living space? Dealing with a dark family room? Is your tiny bedroom being eaten alive by your oversized bed? Relax. You can make the most of your compact quarters by following these creative ways to redesign your rooms.

small apartment1Cool Colors

When choosing a shade to paint your room, opt for a lighter color. Dark colors tend to make an already small space feel even smaller. Choosing a bright color makes a room feel more open.

Putting Together the Pieces

Furnish your room with items that are in line, proportionally speaking, with your living space and avoid extremes. Large pieces can overpower an area, but too-small furnishings can clutter it. For example, a full size bed is a better option for a small room than a queen size. From coffee tables to armoires, there are several options to consider to when searching for pieces to fill and balance your rooms. Visit your local Goodwill retail store to check the hidden gems they have waiting for you!

Choose a few large accent pieces instead of many small items. Look for pieces with large, bold patterns. Smaller patterns can appear too busy and detract from the room’s overall look and feel.

Rearrange your room so that there is space between your furniture and the wall.  The space between the furniture and walls gives the appearance that there is more space in a room.

Everything is Illuminated

Provide an ample amount of light in a small room. A well-lit room can do wonders in helping to open up an area. Whether coming from a lamp or natural sunlight, various sources of light create a pleasant effect. To save space, consider mounting sconces on your walls. Any amount of space that you can save will benefit you in the long run.

small apartment2Up and Out

The space offered by empty walls can be beneficial for both decoration and storage. Adding a shelf to your walls creates a convenient place to display any special keepsake items for which there would otherwise be no space. Best of all, it’s an inexpensive, easy and fun DIY project!

Mirrors are helpful in creating an optical illusion to virtually enlarge a small space. When a window is present in a room, it can also work hand-in-hand with a mirror to add a spacious feel to any room.

Following these tips when updating rooms in your home will serve as a great inspiration to create space in tight areas. It may surprise you to see how much these small adjustments can change the look and feel of a room. And remember, when moving into your smaller “home sweet home,” make sure that all the stuff that didn’t make the move is given a second life by donating them to your local Goodwill.

Jennifer prof picJennifer Parker is a handy woman to have around the house. She manages a home improvement blog in the living, design, and decor niches and also writes for HomeAdvisor and Floor and Decor. Jennifer’s work can be found on various interior design and remodeling blogs around the web.

Our Monroe Store is Moving

September 10, 2013

IMG_6095Thrifters, mark your calendars! We are excited to announce the relocation and grand re-opening of our Goodwill retail store and donation center in Monroe on Saturday, September 21. Make plans to join us that day at our new location at 4109 West Highway 74 to take advantage of great deals on fall clothing, Halloween costumes and seasonal décor. A temporary Attended Donation Center has been placed at the new store to accept gently-used donations Monday – Saturday now until September 20.

The new 12,000-square-foot store will feature aesthetic upgrades such as an improved layout, new fixtures to better display merchandise and ease of access for the public to drop off donations. Shoppers at this store will now experience a more modern and customer-focused environment as they take advantage of high-quality, low-cost shopping for the entire family.

The new store and donation center hours of operation are Monday – Thursday 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; and Sunday 12:00-7:00 p.m. Goodwill’s existing retail store in Monroe (located at 1213-B Roosevelt Blvd.) will continue to operate through Tuesday, September 17. This location will be closed once the new store opens; however, Goodwill will continue to operate an Attended Donation Center at this site.

To calculate the positive impact of your Goodwill donations, use our donation impact calculator.

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

What deals are you shopping for this fall?

Workplace Attire: Bold Colors

September 6, 2013

bold1I am a firm believer that corporate attire can be professional without being boring. Men in particular tend to think that any colors falling outside of basic black, navy or grey don’t work in the office. I’m here to dispel that myth!

Shades of purple, green, blue and orange are perfect for fall. A splash of bright, bold color conveys authority, and can be great for managerial positions. Wondering how to pull off a bold look like the one featured here? Keep in mind the following tips:

  • When choosing a bold shirt, pair it with dark, neutral-colored pants to add a pop of color without overpowering your entire outfit. In the workplace, you want to be remembered for your skills and contributions, not your fashion choices.
  • The key is in the fit. A sloppy shirt in a bold color draws the wrong type of attention.
  • Keep the look formal by adding a coordinating tie, belt and shoes.
  • Choose either a bold print or color, but not both at the same time.

Men, tell us how your incorporate color into your work wardrobe!

nakishaNakisha Ann Hall (pen name Ann Bouvier) is a makeup artist, corporate wardrobe stylist and trainer who travels across the country engaging audiences on various beauty and career topics. Follow her style via her blog

Compartmentalize your Life with Journals

September 3, 2013
Journaling offers many benefits.

Journaling offers many benefits.

There are many life lessons learned in school that are often discarded.  One of the most important lessons that I learned as a junior high student was to compartmentalize my life. You may be asking: how is something that was learned in junior high school going to help me? The secret lies in organizing your life.

Think back to when you formally transitioned from elementary school to junior high school. You were in a much larger place and were faced with a growing number of teachers who taught different subjects—English, History, Science, Algebra and Latin—each of which required a separate notebook. I learned early in my academic career that I could master these subjects if I applied myself and kept organized. Everything was always (for the most part, anyway) well-organized.

As an adult, I have learned that this same concept can be applied to my existing world. Although my life no longer consists of formal classes, it does consist of unique areas that demand my attention and passion, such as my career, spirituality, family, poetry and finances. As a result, I have transferred this organizational principle from notebooks to journals.

During my trips to Goodwill stores, I have been fortunate to find excellent, inexpensive leather-bound journals, in which I can record successes, as well as failures, to document how I learn and grow from my experiences. I thoroughly enjoy the journals’ rich leather bindings and acid-free parchment paper that receives the ink from fountain pens so well. All of these things cause me to look forward to my time spent journaling.

Visit Goodwill today to find some journals and compartmentalize your life!

books - EGlenn2 (2)Eric Glenn, Sr. is a volunteer with Goodwill. To learn more about available volunteer opportunities, contact Community Engagement Manager Kilby Watson at or (704) 332-0316.

Success Story: Yolanda

August 30, 2013

cropped IMG_7733Breaking into a male-dominated industry is no small feat for a woman due to challenges such as gender bias and lack of specialized training. But for Yolanda Payne, a graduate of Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program, opportunities to excel and win recognition in the workplace are always available, regardless of sex.

“I had always been interested in construction,” said Yolanda. “But I had concerns that it may be a difficult fit because it is such a heavily male-dominated industry.” Yolanda first heard about the Construction Skills Training program from a Goodwill team member while she was on medical leave from her job. While the program captured her interest, six months passed before she decided to take the plunge and enroll. “I was at a point in my life where I decided that if things were going to happen, I needed to go ahead and do them,” she said.

She entered the seven-week program as one of only two women in the class. “At the beginning, I felt a little defensive because of the gender disparity,” she noted. “But I soon realized that if you could do all of the work, there was plenty of opportunity to prove your value.”

And prove her value she did. Yolanda was awarded the Craftsmanship Award at graduation, due to her passion for creating things with her hands. “I can’t sit still,” she laughs. “I like repurposing old materials into new, functional items.”

Participating in the class also linked Yolanda to new educational opportunities. She is currently completing coursework towards her Associate’s degree in Construction Management Technologies at Central Piedmont Community College, and plans to pursue a Construction Management degree from UNC-Charlotte in the future. She credits her Goodwill experience for helping her focus on new career goals.

“It’s been a long time since I felt so motivated and excited about working towards a goal,” said Yolanda. “This has been a great opportunity to come along for me.”

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

Have you ever pursued a job in a nontraditional industry? What lessons did you learn?


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