Thrift stores are the most magical of all stores.
Often you must wade through a lot of mass-market, cheaply-made and cheaply-bought cast-offs, but once you train you eye and your intuition to see the gems – a thrift store becomes a treasure-trove unlike any other discount store.
Thrift stores and similar venues are places where you can find beautiful things:
old tools, technologies, styles;
handmade art, often sourced from local amateur artists;
well-loved items that tell a story just by looking at them.
The beauty of the thrift store is that all this goodness exists outside of astronomical, speculative price walls (re: Antiques Roadshow); the tragedy is that they are at risk of being trashed or forgotten about forever.
I am driven to find and collect things of beauty so that I can share them and their story with others.
What I find to be beautiful is driven by my as-yet-un-verbalized aesthetic (which is to be examined in more depth as the blog continues and I grow as a person) and the beauty of such things is not measured by their dollar value, at present or prospected. Instead it is based on a feeling, a resonance of love and warmth I have between the item and myself, a wonder and awe at the story behind it. Even if I don’t know their story, old/used/found objects have passed through “life” and are imbued with a feeling unlike any object you buy at Fred Meyer or Target or Amazon. They carry a presence. It is hard to put into words what draws me to certain things, and as this is my second post, I feel it necessary to make this disclaimer:
In so many words, I think this is the goal of every true “creator” – translating ideas and values into a shareable format.
It feels as though there are months of build-up in my brain space and now that I’m finally allowing myself free expression, it will take some time to get it all out clearly. But thank God, (literally Thank You God and sorry for not starting sooner), I am doing it now. As I go, everything will get clearer.
Thrifting – which for me encompasses the act of shopping not only at thrift stores, but also the flea markets, estate sales, etc – is about slow consumption and intentional use of your money. In fact, I wish to redact my use of the word “shopping” in the previous statement and replace it with something like gathering or hunting. To shop, in most modern uses of the word, is to be in a state of mindless consumption, to spend money because the act of spending money is “fun” as is the accumulation of many cheap goods. By limiting my consumption to places like thrift stores –
I am forced to slow down…
For me in this moment, I wish to be surrounded by things that are handmade or homemade, with materials found, gathered, or sourced locally. I want to have things around me that humans spent time creating – it inspires me to do the same – and things that have stories, even if I don’t immediately know them. Like thrifted art – it is not professional but it is full of love and, when there’s an inscription or message on the back, even better!