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Guest Post: The Joy of Thrifting

May 17, 2010

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming guest blogger and Goodwill shopper Rachel Sutherland of Rachel Sutherland Communications and If the Shoe Fits! Rachel will be stopping by regularly to share her insights on thrifting and style.


I feel like I’m channeling Maria from Sound of Music when I talk about Goodwill. But instead of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, it’s vintage Pyrex, castoff costume jewelry and killer children’s clothes that top the list of my favorite things.

There is little that I don’t love about thrifting. I can embrace my inner frustrated archeologist (everyone knows you can’t find the good stuff unless you’re willing to dig). I exercise my flair for drama by concocting elaborate tales of how that beaded cardigan found its way to a Goodwill store: who wore it, when and where.

But most of all, I adore that someone else’s castoffs have the power to ignite my creativity. The centerpiece of my retro blue kitchen (chosen to compliment the fruit design on a long-lost set of vintage tablecloth curtains) is an accidental wall of tourist plates.

Accidental in the sense that I have a tendency to collect items without specific purpose, especially textiles. Hordes of vintage linens are easy enough to hide from prying eyes, but stacks of random dishes are a bit harder to conceal.

So when I stumbled upon a Yellowstone National Park plate for 79 cents at a Goodwill in the Midwest, it became the gateway piece for my kitchen in North Carolina years later.

I love a good story, and there’s a little bit of my history on that kitchen wall. Those plates are a map of my experiences. I spent a summer working in Yellowstone. I’ve visited Toronto. My hometown is Detroit. I grew up in Michigan.

There are countless stories inside every Goodwill store. What’s your favorite?

-Rachel Sutherland

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky permalink
    May 17, 2010 8:04 pm

    I have also found many great pieces at Goodwill… the price is right and I love the hunt!

  2. May 18, 2010 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Becky! We’d love to see your Goodwill finds…if you want to share, you can always post them to our Facebook page or our flickr group!

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/goodwillsp

    Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/goodwillhunting/

  3. Lelia King permalink
    May 26, 2010 2:35 pm

    I need to share a photo of a beautiful beaded necklace I got at the Goodwill thrift store last week!

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