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Let’s take a break from clothing for a bit and discuss the heavy stuff. When I looked at the house in the spring I knew right away that the awkward wallpaper was hiding things, as the choice in paper, especially in the basement – didn’t suit the room and looked to have no real purpose. The previous owner chose a very bold black and white damask print, that super thick sticker wallpaper to hide all manner of sins. The house had been professionally painted (except the door frames where you can see the original colours) and behind wall fixtures they suspected would not be removed. The basement was painted a soft khaki beige which didn’t go with the harsh black and white print, but they tried to make the staging look like it was there purposely.
Anyone who has ever worked in customer service knows how awful it can be. Some days the awful overshadows the good. Granted the ratio of good to bad is probably far better good than bad, but what do we tend to remember? Just like travel reviews, we dwell on the worst parts of the holiday and not the positive parts. Something I experience every single day working in a consignment clothing store is verbal abuse, completely unwarranted and without any resolution.
I’ve gone home some nights in tears, unable to sleep over how I was treated or perhaps dreading the eventual retaliation from trying to end the conflict. Of the many names I’ve been called, threats I’ve received, a few gems include “a real piece of work” that I have “no customer service” and that I should not ever “work with the public”. I’ve been attacked by all kinds of consignors and shoppers alike on a regular basis. Friends ask me why I don’t quit. Some days I ask myself that too.
This month a disgruntled consignor who was told she could not use our private bathroom, proceeded to mutter that I could shove her account money “up my ass”. Really? Its just a bathroom, there are 5 other public ones in a single block radius.
October 1st – $0
October 9th – $0
October 16th – $66
October 23rd – $0
October 31st – $0
Total purchases: $66
Total income: $1065
Number of items consigned: 98
Consignment Income $1065 – Spending $66 = Month End Balance $999
I decided only once this month to make a trip to Value Village, and let me tell you I was in and out as fast as I could the Hallowe’en garbage was everywhere as expected but I also forgot they dump piles of shoes all over the store … I can’t imagine how they sell them that way its beyond me. I found a few choice pieces on that trip including a steal of a deal on a large mounted print and Lucky Brand boots!
If you are one of those lucky individuals that is the right height-weight-muscle ratio to fit most tall boots, stop reading this post. If you are me my calves are considered “too big” for the average tall boot width perhaps based on my 5.75 shoe size and 5’3 height. I spent 15 years of my life dancing twice a week so the muscle is certainly there hiding underneath. I hear it at the store all day long, women asking “who did they make these to fit?” then you see a tall slender woman walk by with minimal meat on her legs and the light bulb goes off.
Most are made to fit models so that it looks flattering in the magazine and on the website. It also depends on where the company is based, what their general sizing is. These Fly London boots came into the store, much more worn than what we would typically accept but I knew I was buying them regardless of the wear and tear. The issue came instantly when I realized I couldn’t get the boot on without an alteration thanks to my curvy calves.
I popped over to Fabricland and bought a thick black elastic that I hopefully could insert down the back of the boot. Fortunately the seam is straight centered down the back of the boot which made it easier to open up and insert the elastic. I stitched the elastic in place by hand and tied the laces back up. They would look better with a longer elastic so I could do up all the grommets but that’ll be for another day.
I tried them out (along with my new hairstyle) yesterday at the store and to be honest that’s the first day I didn’t have sore feet. Apparently two insoles and thick socks did the trick!
I would like to talk a little bit about my awkward excursion to Value Village last week where I discovered this enchanting work of art, a print if you will by Michelle Armas. I was actually looking for boots which I discovered (see my post Boot Lust) when across the store I could see this fascinating not to mention huge piece of art along the back wall. All of my favourite colours pulled me in from afar. I managed to get this 48×36 frame down off the wall to my delight it was only $24.99… naturally I had a coupon too so less than $20 by the end of it.
Getting it into my new car was a feat I must say. The Tucson was certainly the most spacious ride I had for thrifting, it made my life easy. Now the Civic Si shows off my bold personality but does not compare in regards to trunk room! Sports cars not good for large scale thrift adventures! I managed to wedge the frame into the trunk and slowly made my way about 2 minutes down the road to work to unload. Once inside I was able to look at it closer and found a sticker on the back of the frame with Michelle’s logo and Etsy website.
After scrolling through the most beautiful artwork on her page I came across “Elka Three Print” for $60. This beautiful print was wrapped on a wood frame and now waits in my hallway for the perfect wall to display her.
September 1st – $0
September 8th – $22
September 15th – $48
September 22nd – $0
September 29th – $0
Total purchases: $70
Total income: $830
Number of items consigned: 100
Consignment Income $830 – Spending $70 = Month End Balance $760
I did a little shopping last month which is okay, I still came in under my budget! I seem to go through spurts of having a desire to thrift and then a few weeks where it doesn’t cross my mind at all. Lately my issue with it is Halloween, Value Village is over-run by tacky cheap Halloween garbage which results in the stores being full for months of glittery skulls in a rainbow of colours. Not so fun for those of us that are genuinely wanting to thrift.
Any clothing lover like myself gets beyond excited when they come across a great pair of boots. Recently I have stumbled into three pairs of amazing boots, unique in their own way. Now in the summer I caved and spent considerable money on new Fly Londons, which are great and all but very heavy on my feet and unfortunately don’t allow me to stand the 9 hours I need to without feeling sore. I think that’s just the reality of retail, no one shoe can be comfortable for that long.
I accepted two pairs of worn boots for consignment last week because they were my size, normally they’d be too worn to sell but considering they’d be coming home with me and I will love them regardless! One pair is a brand called MAG which is not really known in Kingston, that has really unique footwear. We’ve had this brand at the store before and it hasn’t really caught on, but this particular pair I thought was really unique and had the laces I require to fit my muscular calves.
Although my tiny feet require several insoles and thick socks to pull them off comfortably, I feel like these bad boys could be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe. The other pair were dark plum coloured Fly London boots which I took home as they were in need of major love. Seeing as I had spent serious cash on the shoe version months prior I thought it’d be worth it to give these taller boots a good home. There is some serious distressing going on around the toe and ankle areas (the previous owner was rough on her boots!) but I thought maybe one day I’d find a polish to touch them up. I also couldn’t get them done up at the back, so I opened them up down the seam and inserted black elastic so they would fit over my calves. Surprisingly it worked out quite well! I will need to find new laces as the ones they came with are too small based on the size I had to expand to.
The third pair of boots I found recently were at Value Village, where lately everything is priced at $15.99 for no apparent reason… these western ankle boots by Lucky Brand however are worth considerably more. I honestly didn’t expect them to be comfortable but they really are.
Some days I miss being in an office! But I was never that “typical” girl in the office, I have always been a vibrant colour palette full of prints and colourful heels. You won’t often find me in a traditional black suit, but if you do there’s going to be a pop of colour to accent it. I enjoy wearing clothing that I would call business casual, some would think its more business professional, but its fun and tasteful. Who said that business and “professional” meant boring?!
For me the brighter the better! I am thrilled by loud prints and vibrant palette. Bold jewellery even more so! I often hear at the store women say “its too loud for me” and they walk out wearing the same neutrals or blacks that they came in in. There are so many amazing dresses out there in so many shapes and styles, but women are so afraid of them! Either you love them or you run the other way. For me they are so easy to style but the fit has to be right. I almost always have to take them up an inch in the shoulders and often the hem as well because below the knee is less flattering on my 5’2 height.
“Normal” shoppers often have the idea that I must be good at thrift shopping, they whine that they never find anything, that there must be a trick to it or I am just lucky. They think I must go every single day in order to “find the good stuff”. Which is completely not true. Its not easy, its not a walk in and walk out type shopping experience. You have to be able to envision the look, it has to fit, and it has to be the right price. You wouldn’t believe how many times I said goodbye to pieces I loved because I thought they were priced ridiculously high for what they are. We all have a price we are willing to pay for things and when it comes to thrifting, my price is low and that’s the truth of it.
I also am not above taking chances or risks. I’m willing to cut open a dress to make it fit better, most would not. I’m willing to chance that the item will fit me when I get home if I don’t feel like trying it on. Thrifting is a gamble, but a financially sound one. People would never believe the price I pay for what I wear every day, they can’t believe they spend $180 on the same type of dress at the mall and only wore it once. If I spend $10 and only wear it once I’m content with that… I see women every day consigning brand new $400 purses that they decided they didn’t like afterward. I have no words.