Thrifting 101: Do you thrift and tell?
We all have our secrets.
We might take credit for a recipe that came from Paula Dean. We may dye our hair in the bathroom sink and claim its gorgeously glossy color as our own. On occasion, we pretend to love the National Geographic channel when we'd much rather curl up with Mob Wives. There are those who swear allegiance to their spouse's favorite football team but really, really, really hate football. And let's not forget the plethora of secrets we keep from nosy neighbors and suffocating in-laws. Those are better left to ourselves.
Amongst thrifters, there's a different kind of secret. It's the hushed voice, the inquisitive glance, the pinkie swear that what is spoken will not be shared. This is the kind of secret many thrifters keep from their best friends and closest relatives -- the most guarded information which they squirrel away in the dark, twisty recesses of their brains.
It's the name of our favorite stores.
I was at a blogging event last spring when I found myself chatting with a fellow thrifting enthusiast. She was wearing the most incredible vintage skirt, and I asked her where she got it. "I'd rather not say," she stated, eyes cutting left and right. "It's my favorite thrift store. You understand." I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to pry the name of the store from her before giving up. I was so baffled by this incident that I wondered if I was committing a grave error by freely sharing the names of my own favorite stores. Would I benefit by refusing to share the stores I shopped at the most? Was I breaking some sort of cardinal rule by inquiring about where acquaintances thrift? Are we thrifters expected to keep our favorite shops a secret?
Since I started my Thrifting 101 series a year ago, I've received a countless number of emails from those both in and outside of Dallas asking where I thrift. I would never consider keeping the names of my favorite stores a secret. Why? First of all, I love being part of the thrifting community. I love sharing my scores with friends, and discussing the best way to remove stains from silk (Oxy Clean Max Force gel stain stick and a gentle spin in the wash...trust me). I love planning group thrifting excursions, and I adore celebrating the special pieces my friends dig up. Part of the joy of being a thrifter is sharing the excitement of a treasured find with a like-minded enthusiast -- someone who loves thrifting and vintage as much as you do. There is a real sense of community among thrifters, and I'm proud to be a part of it.
Secondly, we when thrift, we are all looking for different things and in different sizes. My preference for sequins and 1950's dresses with full skirts might not be yours. Your budget might not be the same as mine either, and our reasons for thrifting could be dramatically different. As a result, we could thrift at the same store and have totally conflicting experiences. Purposely choosing not to share favorite stores transforms a treasure hunt into a competition. And why would we want to do that? There's more than enough thrift fun to go around.
Now I ask you: Do you share the names of your favorite haunts, or keep them to yourselves? Has anyone ever refused to share their best stores with you? Do you keep thrifting secrets?
(P.S: Curious about the ginormous Goodwill pictured above? It's located at 2010 North Graves Street in McKinney, Texas and is one of my favorites!)