On my drive home from my mini-retreat along the ocean, my route took me past my neighborhood thrift store so naturally (despite feeling grubby and tired) I had to pop in for a few minutes. The store was hopping but I ended up finding four things! And the juxtaposition of shopping in four boutique thrift stores and finding only one thing to buy and then finding four things in my little Goodwill was not lost on me. Of course I am also reminded that I do leave empty handed here too and my success is due in part to frequent visits–at least three times a week.
Here’s what I bought…
I think this Sol’Arts Ceramiche (Vietri, Italy) fishy platter was my best find. It’s bold, quirky, Italian and in beautiful condition. The eyeballs are raised bumps!
I keep an eye out for Italian ceramics, particularly pieces that are either bold, quirky, mid-century modern, signed or a combination thereof!
Handmade pottery pieces are always on my “be on the lookout” list. They sell for me, though some of the odder pieces do take a while!! But I don’t think this fabulous little dish will take long. It’s intricately painted with interesting symbolism. I think the snake and moon refer to immortality.
The signature/markings on the bottom are also interesting. Ideas??
In the handmade pottery category I avoid buying brown ’70s pieces. I see a lot of brown wine goblets and casserole dishes. Nicely made, but no one wants these. Nor do I buy ’80s abstract pieces in pale pink, mauve and baby blue for the same reason.
This vintage made-in-Italy William Adams silverplate condiment holder is one thing I should have left behind! It will need a good cleaning and it is missing its bottles (likely oil and vinegar). Still I thought it a handsome piece and would be fun as a pillar candle holder.
I have a thing for the Wedgwood Beatrix Potter line of dishes and when I find a piece in good condition at a good price I buy it. I’ll set this aside till I find other pieces and create a mini lot.
The next day…
A dear friend and I had a date at Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA. This is such a beautiful spot. We hadn’t chatted in person for at least six weeks and we had a wonderful time wandering around the grounds and then resting on shaded benches to talk. The gardens were phenomenal as usual but it was our time together that was so precious.
And the following day…
I was back in my neighborhood thrift store doing a quick peruse before going to the post office to drop off an order. I was drawn to this odd pottery lady, but she had been decapitated and repaired. Not even sure if she was worth anything, but that damage made it a definite “no go.”
This little compote pottery bowl had a cool mid-century vibe to me. I was happy to put it in my basket.
The signature was a strange one. Turns out it’s Dun Caoin, a piece of Irish studio pottery. A first for me.
I was so excited to find this vintage coral twig necklace. Since most coral harvesting is forbidden (and for good reason!), I feel like these humble vintage necklaces should be all the more treasured.
This is the perfect skinny jeans and white blouse piece of jewelry. I was delighted to find this amazing necklace at the thrift store.
Total paid for both items: $7.38.
A lot of people give you advice, tips and tricks in this biz. Some tips are useful, but some you have to take with a grain of salt. Here’s one I received: a fellow vintage reseller recommended that I not rely so heavily on thrift stores for my inventory. He thought I was limiting myself and should spend more time at estate sales, flea markets, etc.
While I do source from those places too, I don’t need to spend the time/energy/gas driving around all day when a few nearby thrift stores continue to be honey holes for me. After nine years of darkening their doors, I am still finding stellar items at them.
Case in point, of the last eight items that sold in my Etsy store, six were bought from my neighborhood thrift store, including the two sterling silver items and the Paris painting.
So yes, thrift stores will continue to provide 70% of my inventory. If these stores close, or if all their good stuff gets shunted online, I will spend more time in other sourcing venues. But till then, I am happy as is.
Wishing you happy hunting,