If you cannot view the above video please check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/AGevrmYEfLA
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.
I have skipped plenty of Value Village half price weekends this year as sometimes thrifting loses its thrill when the price points start creeping up and I don’t see the value in it. Last weekend I decided to spontaneously treat myself to a morning away (as in a two hour drive) to Ottawa to hit up the Value Village circuit for the Super Saver’s half price day. I like to be there for 10:00am when it opens that way I can get a cart and the clothing isn’t absolutely everywhere as per my second stop an hour later.
By the time I get in there are already women rummaging through every row so I get in line as it were and start the plunge. I thrift to resell far easier than I thrift for myself. I know at this stage of the game what will sell the fastest and what the women in Kingston are looking for. Mainly tops, bright prints and clean lines. I spent $180 in the first location I stopped at, which is over $300 in product, roughly $3 per item! The most expensive item I bought was $20, so I paid $10… I flipped this wonderful item at the store within two days to bring home a $40 profit!
I was hoping to turn a profit on a Kathy van Zeeland bag I found for $6… unfortunately even after examining it I realize the shiny finish was completely peeling away. Can’t imagine how I would have missed it in the store as I comb through everything after discovering these items. Sadly not much you can do but shrug your shoulders and toss it.
I have two favourite finds at the end of this haul: a nameless white lace long sleeved mini dress and a vibrant neon print dress by Sandra Angelozzi. I paid $3 for the white number and wore it the next day, I had not expected it to even remotely fit but my gosh its a beauty!
The neon print dress the cashier commented on how she loved it but donated it because the top was too gappy on her – it was on me too always is! So in the early hours of the morning before work I took it up in the shoulders as I so often do and it fits like a dream. After wearing it over the course of a regular busy work day I discovered it is not so good for bending!! I checked out the brand online and Sandra Angelozzi dresses range in the upwards of $200 ballpark! Not bad for $6!
April 14th – $15
April 24th – $20
Total purchases: $35
April 1 through 10th – $206
April 11 through 17th – $195
April 18 through 24th – $349
April 25 through 30th – $94
Total income: $844
Number of items consigned: 105
Consignment Income $844 – Spending $35 = Month End Balance $809
What I have learned recently is that it does pay to save off season thrifted items to consign. A lot of our clients are of the mindset “I’m clearing out, I want it gone now!” Which is fair and understandable. However, it is summer and you are trying to “get rid of” your very nice winter wears, you could simply throw them all into a Rubbermaid bin to store until the proper season and make some cash! When you do consign right (based on the store) you can make a great supplement income with minimal effort involved.
Even a return of $2 on an item is $2 more than you had before. The better the item, the faster it sells, the greater the return value. Some items I can get $18 for, some I get $2… it is a gamble but like I said, its more than you had just throwing it away. Now having said that, sometimes things don’t sell at all and you have to donate it anyway. Nothing lost!
Working in a retail setting that doesn’t follow the mall’s idea of “seasons” where they bring in the summer stock in March and Christmas stock in August… we operate based on the weather so naturally mall shoppers will walk in and assume we are taking inventory for the next season. Our shoppers like to be able to wear the item today, not a few months from now. My greatest peeve all year round is how much people complain about the weather, maybe its just in Canada where our weather fluctuates high and low but that seems to be everyone’s favourite topic. Right now with 5 foot high snowbanks and a record 45″ snow fall this week people are saying things like “well Spring is nearly here!” … sorry to be a realist but if you think Spring is nearly here I would suggest you look outside!
What is tough is following women on Instagram that live in the lower United States, as their seasons seem to look like summer all year round its only their choice of clothing colours that seem to change to define the season. Seems odd to me, if it was sunny and mild all year round you can bet I’d be wearing bright colours all the time!
I am however, loving the pastels right now even though its not a reflection of the season. This week has been horrendous with a snow day, pipes freezing in -30 degree weather and daily snow shoveling is beyond exhausting. I wanted to try out a new look that wasn’t planned using this new scarf I picked up at The Store. I won’t go into another rant about the size the arms are being made on blouses but basically two I picked up recently that were MEDIUM I couldn’t fit my arms into – so the original outfit was spoiled – TWICE. New plan was to use another favourite that does fit.
Now matching the colour in the scarf was tricky because I wanted to wear pants (-19 you know) but black was just too stark. I picked up these jeggings by Mossimo in a mini thrift haul last week that have already been a bit of a challenge. I decided last minute to bring a belt as I haven’t worn them before and not too sure how they will stretch. Sure enough I barely got to work before they were falling down. Funny you know, how you can struggle to get these tight pants on in the morning then twenty minutes later they’re falling off your bum. It seems I just cannot win when it comes to pants. These will be the next pair that need to be taken in at the bum!
If you cannot view the video above please check it out on YouTube:
I consider this thrifting trip to be quite successful however as always some things are better left on the hanger or for another body shape. I was excited for a couple pieces that I do not feel were all that flattering which is completely okay, you don’t have to win them all! I styled up a select few pieces from this haul quickly to show them off but I’ve gone into more detail below as to which are yay’s or nay’s!
Taupe Joe Fresh Skirt ($3.50)
Blush Forever 21 Dress ($6.50)
Pink Dynamite Blazer ($5.00)
Ivory Calvin Klein blouse ($4.50)
Peach Forever 21 top ($3.00)
Grey Emma & Michelle dress ($10.00)
Turquoise Forever 21 dress ($3.00)
Coral Forever 21 skirt ($5.00)
If you cannot view the video above please check it out on YouTube:
On Sunday January 10th during the all-day down pour my sister and I ventured off to nearby town Belleville, Ontario to check out the Value Village there for “Half Price Day”! Now I have mentioned a few times in the past that I believe Kingston has its own idea of appropriate pricing compared to other locations, this trip was no different as I was blown away at the prices of average mall brands (ie: Reitmans, Rickis, Smart Set) for just $5.99 whereas Kingston would start them at $9.99!
Stay tuned for the rest of the haul!
Now this is a story. When you think, yeah I probably shouldn’t go thrifting because I was just there and odds are there is nothing new and definitely nothing I need. Well it was a long day and I needed to unwind! (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) So I popped into the Village and perused the dress rack to discover a gorgeous white dress with a crochet top section, drawstring and beautiful lines. This dress was brand new with the tags still on, a brand Chelsea I believe, if only I had written it down before chopping out all the labels… wasn’t a brand or company I had ever heard of. It was $14.99 which normally I wouldn’t bother with but I thought what the heck, it was completely me I just had to know.
I take a few steps down and wouldn’t you know it, a second dress identical with tags as well in my absolute favourite shade of rich turquoise! I snatched that one up to on the chance that the first one fit. I only have one word to describe these dresses: perfection. Adjustable straps? Check. Crochet details? Check. Shapely design? Check. Favourite two colours? Check. I was blown away I didn’t think again about not having a coupon I was buying these two straight up because I would never find anything so beautiful and so comfortable. To this day they are my favourite, although I haven’t worn the turquoise out yet the white is definitely the easiest dress to accessorize!
*Update: I tried out the turquoise, LOVE IT!
My greatest regret with this dress is that it did not occur to me almost 4 years ago to take a “before” photograph. Although in my mind the original dress I can see clear as day. Big boxy style, long sleeved and bursting with colour. It was the first dress I ever attempted to redesign and to this day, I consider it to be the greatest success.
The strips down the sides of the dress are the original sleeves. As sadly I don’t know what body could have fit into the original dress the top half was massive and the bottom couldn’t fit over my thighs! A few quick snips and insertion into the side seams fixed that problem easy enough, also it adds a little more fun in the design.
The neckline was really unique and I wanted to keep the original base design. Cutting out the sleeves strategically left a really unique arrangement at the neck for structure. The only issue I’ve had with this dress (aside from the fact that its such a light fabric I can only wear it in the dead heat of summer) is that it has loose hanging fabric in the front. Now maybe on some body types it is quite flattering, but on me it just felt awkward. When I first wore the dress a few years back I simply tucked it into my belt… now I finally decided to fix the issue and sew it right down where it was most flattering – but still keeping a similar drape effect.
My favourite way to accessorize this dress is with gold, a micro belt, earrings or a loud necklace perhaps – although honestly the dress speaks for itself and hardly needs enhancement! I did a #tbt Throwback Thursday on Instagram to this dress when it was first redesigned, and decided seeing as the weather was gorgeous I would bring it out of the back of the closet! This time though, it dawned on me that I had left my gold flip flops in Cuba the last time I went on a trip! Ohhhh dear.
It has been decided that my home is a source of work to my family, not often do they come by for a nice visit with a cup of tea and relaxation. It seems to always been that there is a task I need assistance with. While most people have bigger eyes than their stomachs, I have bigger ideas than my hands can create… every now and again.
My latest source of thrifty enjoyment is reupholstering furniture. This most recent project, or series of projects was actually inspired by my sister, who had been inspired by my altering clothing… a lovely creative cycle! She recovered her desk chair with a lovely black and white damask fabric to cover up all the “art” her cat had made with her claws into the original fabric. In her own way she came up with a plan for the pattern, purchased the fabric she wanted to use and completed the recovering using a method of elastic that would hug the fabric to the seat underneath.
When I was sifting through the fabric at Value Village recently with my parents, intending to find some fabric my mother could use to make yoga bags – I found this beautiful celery green fabric – and a lot of it! It dawned on me that maybe I could use this to recover my wingback chair in my living room that I had thrifted for $20 last summer. It seemed as though the more it was used the worst it looked, including the fact that it cannot be cleaned – soap simply makes it an ungodly disaster.
There appeared to be an endless amount of this fabric for $10, first pitching the idea to my mother to see what she thought. It was an instant hit with her as well! Little did I know, this project was a massive 3 day undertaking. I am not sure exactly what I had thought (aside from the giddy childlike oggling of my favourite colour) but seemed to think it would be a one evening stapling type of job. My mother in her own way, a perfectionist and master of the hand stitch. Her plan was a little more realistic.
We planned for a full Saturday of sewing beginning at 9:30am. We decided to do the smart thing and create a pattern out of quilt batting… Followed by laying it out on our fabric a few different ways until finally all the pieces fit, save for the back panel. This is why it is usually better to buy 10 metres of fabric rather than piece together using what you’ve randomly found!
By noon my sister had arrived only to ask if we had just started…! I suppose the chair didn’t look like much after 3 hours but we had done plenty of preparatory work! By the end of the day we had about 2 thirds of the chair completed, my assistance ending roughly around the 1 third mark when my mother switched to her hand sewing art. By day 3 all that remained were a few hand stitched details (her perfectionist ways!) and putting a back on it. Fabricland was having a three day sale conveniently so we picked out a similar fabric that we would do the back panel in seeing as we ran out of fabric!
I must say the chair looks far better than I could have ever imagined. We removed the dust ruffle from the base to expose the wood structure, removed the arm rest openings and gave the whole chair a new modern look!
Week of January 8, 2015 – Total: $20
Week of January 14, 2015 – Total: $5
Week of January 17, 2015 – Total: $6
Week of January 22, 2015 – Total: $20
Week of January 29, 2015 – Total: $31
January Month End Total: $82 | Goal: $80 | Overbudget: $2