How to Break A Thrifting Slump

If there’s one thing that’s true about this thrifting game, is that there’s not a whole lot of consistency. This can be good for some of us (me! me!) that get bored quickly and don’t do well with routines.
The finds are either feast or famine and the sales seem to go that way too.

IMG_6402I’ve told you about my future plans and my (half-hearted) attempt at slowing down the acquisition end of this business. But I’ve come to a very important conclusion.

I *NEED* to thrift!!

Thrift store

News flash! lol. No, I’m serious. I’ve determined that it’s the thrifting that keeps me going. It’s a reward system if you will. The excitement of the hunt and the find (yay!) carries over to the listing process. That excitement makes me want to get my finds out there and shared!! And hopefully sold!

Without that treasure hunt…I slow down in every other aspect of this business. I lose my mojo.

What I’ve found is also important…is finding GOOD stuff.

In the last few months I haven’t strayed much from my regular thrifting routine. There’s a Goodwill next to my grocery store…so that gets hit at least once a week. Also once a week, I run down a few towns over to my closest Value Village…which also has a Goodwill across the street. That’s generally what I have time for each week. And I love me my Value Village.
There’s one more Goodwill that’s about 1/2 hour away in another direction. It used to be my favorite, but it’s been pretty disappointing lately so I generally only go out there every 2 weeks…or sometimes just once a month.

But I’ve been SO BORED!

Believe me, I manage to find some things. But nothing super exciting. Nothing to get your heart pounding as you approach the shelf or bag wall. I know I can’t have home runs every week…but I was getting tired of seeing the same stuff every week.

I knew I needed to thrift out of my ZONE and see some fresh merchandise. I was plotting and planning and trying to figure out how to get out of town….lol…when the perfect opportunity came up!

We went up north about 3 hours to the area we’d like to move to and spent the afternoon house hunting. But in the MORNING…while the boys were running errands with Hubby…I got to hit another Value Village. I spent about 2 hours there and it was so satisfying. One more Goodwill in the evening and I was flying high. I called it research for moving. Ahem, yes, research.
Just to know that everything in the store was stuff you hadn’t seen before…and had potential…was so much fun.

I can’t say I had any huge home runs…but I managed to find a few things in my main niches.

Jewelry
This Value Village had TONS of jewelry. And most of it was out and available…not locked in the case.
DSC_0102Here’s what I found. A few of the names: Monet, Samuel Huang (the totem looking earrings…not the best buy…my memory failed me on that one…but you win some you lose some) Mizpah, Jorgen Jensen (the cuff links!), Bergere, Deauville, some 80s wonders. The bow shaped earrings inside the red Monet necklace are marked KJL: Kenneth Jay Lane. And the heart earrings just below that are Givenchy believe it or not.

Sewing Patterns

DSC_0024
Again, nothing super exciting. Some bread and butters. This was the thrift store that I found the Simplicity Jedi costume pattern that sold for $145.

Sigh. The moments we live for.

So. Nothing so exciting this time but we live ON these types of finds and sales.

Flatware

DSC_0025
Yay! I found flatware. My thrifts have been fairly dry in this department…not that I NEED more flatware to list…but again…I need the thrill to get me listing flatware again! I found one nice biggish bag that has some Oneida Twin Star flatware pieces and some good Ikea pieces. (Not all Ikea is great to sell…but there’s one pattern I keep my eyes out for and this bag has a few).
What I’m planning on doing in my next post is unbagging these flatware finds and letting you see exactly what’s there and how I’ll probably list them. Sound like a plan?

So as you can see, I did stay in my niches for the most part…Here are 2 of the outside-the-niche items…but the fabric can nicely get added to the bins of fabric I procrastinate on listing and the cheeky Starbucks mug is a super easy list.

DSC_0107

Oh and I almost forgot! I found this necktie. It’s from the late 1930s and it’s practically already sold through a Facebook group. Isn’t it lovely?

DSC_0030So how about you? How is the thrifting in your area? Do you hit slumps?
How do you handle them? Ever do a thrifting road trip? Comment below!

Friday Finds ~ To the Vintage Hunter Goes the Spoil

(This post contains affiliate links)
Let me start where I left off in the last post. So just about the same moments that I was putting my thoughts down in notes on paper for that post….my blog was receiving a message. The message was from a reader, Jebra, from www.jebra.com (she blogs about calming stress…something I think I need to investigate!). Here is part of what she said:

“Hello! I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your blog over the years. You’ve inspired me to try my hand at this whole vintage adventure trip. (I’ll use your Etsy link to sign up, of course!) I’ve always loved your stories about thrifting and your finds, especially the Scandi stuff……Keep up the good work and if you ever come up with a product to sell, like a guide to flipping flatware, I would be the first one to hit “Buy!””

I just have to say…it was just what I needed to hear…on exactly that day. I had made the decision to continue…and got some instant feedback. (Hint: a guide to flatware flipping is definitely on the radar! Shh…)

Now let’s get down to what we came here for! The finds!
neapolitanI will admit the finds have been pretty slim lately. I don’t know. I still go weekly to my local thrifts but as you can imagine I’ve scaled down. The items have to fit one of my small-item niches (jewelry for Mod Cat Treasures, sewing patterns for Pish Posh Notions or flatware for both Ebay and Etsy.)
These types of items, even though I already have a backlog of them, don’t take up a lot of space and I will list them eventually.
I’m trying to stay away from bigger items that sell slowly…because I actually have enough of those, lol.
But here are a few items from the last couple months that don’t fit those niches but I couldn’t say no.

DSC_0038Fornasetti ceramic liquor label coasters.

Ugh. I still need to get these listed. Hopefully this weekend. These coasters are by Fornasetti and seem to be really popular. Piero Fornasetti was an Italian artist and if you search his designs on Etsy, he was quite prolific! These are marked “Vini E Liquori” on the back. I think there should be 8 to a full set but I’ll do well with these.
I found these in a bag on the wall at the thrift store…don’t skip those baggies!!

DSC_0016Butterfly trinket box by metal artist Jan Barboglio

This little iron box caught my eye at the thrift and I could see that the front had a name on the little circle. A quick search with my phone and I realized it was a good buy. I wasn’t sure of the age of it, since Jan Barboglio is still making metalware…so I popped it on Ebay. It gathered watchers right away, so I’m sure it will sell.

DSC_0003Starbucks Headquarters Coffee Mug

Living in the PNW, I find my fair share of Starbucks mugs and merchandise. Every thrift store has at least 3 or more mugs at any given time. All Starbucks stuff does not sell equally. Not sure how high the demand is for this one, but it’s one I haven’t thrifted before and it was kind of cool.

DSC_0054Dimensions Gold Collection Cross Stitch Kit.

Okay, so craft kits and items are kind of another area that mileage varies. Some kits do really well and some don’t. I don’t end up buying many because my thrifts around here tend to mark them pretty high. I usually check them on the Amazon App though just to be sure.
This was at a smaller, hospital thrift. I knew the Gold Collection ones usually sold for more money so I just bought it without really checking.
I realized as I went to list it that it was a really good one.
I listed it and sold it overnight for $115 to a buyer in Russia. It made it there quickly and I got great feedback! Don’t be afraid of shipping internationally!!

I feel like I’m kind of in a slump with my thrift stores lately. Curbing my shopping is not quite as much fun but a temporary necessity. It makes me realize that I’m due for an out of town thrifting trip.
Fortunately we are headed up to Bellingham next weekend to start house hunting and there should be time to hit some thrifts!
I have never failed to find good things up there….plus it’s just nice to get out of your local area and see some new stuff! I’m getting antsy!

Have you found anything fun lately?
Also…just a quick survey. I’m thinking of changing the look of my blog. What do you think? Is the grey background too boring?

Nothing a Trip to the Ocean Won’t Fix….Fighting Analysis Paralysis

There has been SO much going on my little noggin the last couple months. I couldn’t figure out how to sit down and at least get some of it out and into the blog…so I just didn’t. I convinced myself that I needed to list, or clean, or do a hundred other things…

But I realized I just needed to take a break from it all…(this is where the trip to the ocean comes in) and then just come back and start with baby steps. A “finds” post is always an fairly fun and easy one…so here we are.

There was a yearly Antiques and Collectibles show out at the little ocean town that we like to visit. Love when we hit it on the right weekend! I didn’t spend as much time there as I could have…I know you understand. But I was shopping with guys and they were done sooner than me. 🙂

What I did find was pretty nice. Honestly…I am REALLY trying to get away from breakables and bigger items and stick with a few niches. We are planning a move this summer and I need to SELL that stuff…not move it with me. So I dug around in the jewelry. I’ve been happy with this new niche of mine and my Mod Cat Treasures shop on Etsy has had some modest success. I’m sure if I listed more, I’d sell more of course.

Shopping a show like this is a bit different than regular thrifting. I wish I had taken pictures. It’s a small show…not intimidating at all. Some vendors had retail prices on their jewelry…others had bins with things in baggies and priced at $3, $5, $7 and higher. Honestly, not much more than Value Village actually. Plus here you can bargain and ask for better prices like at a flea market or yard sale.

I found this fun atomic wood and copper brooch.

DSC_0022 (1)

Boomerang Copper and Wood Brooch

Also, these super cute coffee cup earrings. I was surprised they were by Sarah Coventry. They’re called Coffee Break and I sold them very quickly to a collector in a Facebook group.

DSC_0038But here are my two major scores. I paid a bit more for them…but I could tell they were something!

DSC_0065 (2)
So the one on the left caught my eye first as amazingly awesome (lol, that’s the official designation) but it is unsigned. The one on the right was from the same seller and I could see a tiny copyright symbol and a name. Hubby was able to make out “Napier” by snapping a picture with his phone and enlarging it.
That told me enough. I asked the prices….then asked for a deal if I bought both.
They agreed and these fabulous pieces were mine!
DSC_0063I started on the Napier one and used its Egyptian appearance to quickly find out that this necklace was part of Napier’s “Egyptian Collection” from 1971. The designer was Eugene Bertolli. It really is massive. I found comps that had sold from $265-$425.

Still need to do some research on it before I list it, but it will be up for sale soon. I’m also hunting down the other unsigned one. I don’t expect to find a maker…but I am working on figuring out good keywords for it.


See, writing that wasn’t so hard. I had more to say but this is long enough. I’ll make a separate post soon about a new sourcing spot I found. Take care and thanks for your patience!

 

My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2017

Well, it’s that time again! Feels like I was just writing the post for My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2016, and now it’s time to sum up this year as well. I know I had some good finds…when I was thinking about writing this post, I was trying to think of some highlights from the year. A few items popped to mind right away.
For me, it’s not always so much about the monetary value of the finds…although it’s always nice to hit one out of the park.

My Top 5Vintage Finds (2)Sometimes it’s just how certain items give you a thrill when you find them…or you listen to your gut on a certain item and then you get home and do research and are blown away.
The first items on my list totally fall into that last category. Let’s get started. (This post may have affiliate links)

1. Peter Shire for Acme brooches.
2017-12-26So here’s the story. I don’t/didn’t know much about Memphis Style anything. But I was at a yard sale early last year and was poking around in the costume jewelry they had. It was an interesting sale and the jewelry was reasonably priced. I was new to costume jewelry and so it took me awhile to make my decisions and I was taking my time.

I saw these brooches and couldn’t read the signature on the back. Just that they were signed and said Los Angeles. And let’s face it…they were unique enough to be *something*.  My gut was talking to me. I bought one.

I was running low on cash and was still uncertain in my buying.
I got home and was finally able to make out the signature and started my research. Oh my.
Peter Shire was one of the artists that was instrumental in starting the whole Memphis style…More about that later. (Join me in Selling Vintage A to Z…..we’ll cover this at the letter M 😉 )
He was an artist for Acme Studio and they put out a line of jewelry called Melrose Emblematic of which these 2 brooches are a part.
They recently re-released the line in limited quantities and the larger brooch up top is for sale by them for $850.
That day I had found comps in the $200-300 range so you better believe I hotfooted my way back to that yard sale to buy the other brooch!

In my typical procrastinating fashion..no they are not listed yet. I get a mental block to listing things when they are really special!! See this post here and no it’s not listed yet!!) (and on another side note, I just realized that the designer of that typewriter was also part of Acme Studios with Peter Shire! Weird!)

I do have photos of them and they are on my to-do list for this week. I will update the post with links when I’m ready.

So that really piqued my interest in vintage costume jewelry. I opened Mod Cat Treasures this year and this new niche has been fun fun. The next items are also in this niche and they were something I was more familiar with.

2. Bakelite Jewelry
2017-07-02Okay, so this was not a new thought for me. I love Bakelite. I’ve sold Bakelite handled flatware and Bakelite buttons. I wrote a blog post awhile back on how to identify Bakelite. And I’ve sold a few pieces of Bakelite jewelry here and there when I’ve come across it. Now, though, I’m actively searching out jewelry and I’m surprised at how many pieces I’ve come across.
Here are a few from this year up above.

3. Dansk Odin vintage flatware 
DSC_0020A top finds list of mine cannot be complete without some flatware. I snagged this bag of flatware at Goodwill. I had one of those *thrills* as I was reaching for it…I just knew it would be good! Here was the listing on Etsy. It sold pretty quickly.

4. Diane Von Furstenberg iconic wrap dress pattern by Vogue
DSC_0055Figured I should throw one out there from my other niche, vintage sewing patterns. This made my heart stop a bit…I was finding lots of good, vintage patterns one day at the thrift store (same day and store as the Levi’s Big E jacket from a few posts ago) and then I saw this one.
This is not THE Vogue pattern (1548 or 1549..prices may have actually dropped a bit on these) that is such a BOLO (be on the look out)…but it is a similar one and sells pretty well.

5. Vintage chalkware blue birds
DSC_0059And I’ll just finish up with just a fun vintage piece. Not super high end..but attractive and got a lot of attention on social media. They took a bit longer to sell than I expected but they were nice to have in the shop while they lasted. The listing can be found here.
It was nice to find these, especially since I had already done the blog article Selling Vintage A to Z…..C is for Chalkware and so they probably especially caught my eye at the yard sale because of that. See what a vintage education can do!?

So that was my year! It was fun. Lots of bread and butter type stuff…and of course, I also had some non-vintage scores as well. How about you? How was your year? What was your top find? Share in the comments below!

 

A Vintage Glimpse ~ Fad of the Month Club

DSC_0136

But first, an apology. I disappeared! I shouldn’t just disappear like that. I always tend to think I need to do a big, beautiful blog post and if I don’t have time, I just stay silent. But I should have at least touched base.

Now, you know we had our epic 5 week road trip. Then we got back right before school started. My 5 year old started kindergarten. So I have both boys in school full days now. I should have more time, right? Not so far, lol. I also upped my involvement in some volunteer work and many days I’m out of the house the same hours my kids are. Then when I’m home, it’s housework, homework, cooking, laundry, etc…and then of course…listing! So the blog was on the back burner a bit.

As of yesterday at 10pm…2 hours before the deadline…I finished my taxes for 2016 that I had filed an extension on. Woot! Procrastinators unite! So now I am rewarding myself by writing a blog post and reconnecting with y’all!

Okay..onward and upward!

Today’s Vintage Glimpse is about a new-to-me club called the Fad of the Month Club. This was one of my MIL’s thrifting finds that she graciously let me have.

DSC_0138
Even the envelope is gorgeous! The date on this is 1963. From what I gather, you would subscribe to this club and every month they would send you a small craft to complete. You could pay in advance or pay month by month ($1 per month).

DSC_0139This particular one I found was from January of 1963 and was a “Garden Party” apron. Inside the envelope were instructions and material to complete the apron.

DSC_0141-001There was also an order form to re-order past months’ Fads as well as some bonus kits for the current month that were generally less than $1. Here’s a picture of what was available in February 1963.

DSC_0144Members were encouraged to sign up other members and doing so could earn them prizes.

DSC_0143

I looked at other Fad of the Month Club listings on Etsy and some were much bigger and involved. Looks like fun!

What about you? Have you heard of the Fad of the Month Club? Do you remember it? Were you in it? Feel free to leave a comment below!

This Fad of the Month club Garden Party apron kit is listed now in my Pish Posh Notions Etsy shop!