Thrifting 101: Shop Talk with Pocketful of Pearls

At the Texas Style Council Conference, I was privileged to speak with three other bloggers on creative consumerism. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure what the term creative consumerism meant. I concluded that it's a philosophy defined by responsible shopping with a nod towards eco-awareness. As I was preparing for the panel, I realized that I could be making much more of an effort to be a responsible consumer. Though my wardrobe is approximately 90% thrifted, I don't pay nearly enough attention to supporting local small businesses. And while my clothes are overwhelmingly secondhand, I am largely uneducated about the impact clothing overproduction, specifically in the "fast fashion" category, has on our environment (a topic I hope to explore in next week's Thrifting 101 post.)

With this in mind, I'm introducing a new feature within my Thrifting 101 series called Shop Talk. I'd like to highlight small businesses that specialize in vintage clothing and accessories, whether based in my local community or on Etsy. If you have a vintage store, or online shop or business that specializes in creating apparel, leather goods or jewelry from secondhand or recycled materials, please contact me - I'd love to feature you and your business!

To kick of Shop Talk, I'd like you to meet a Dallas vintage enthusiast named Michelle, owner of  Pocketful of Pearls. I first met Michelle at the Dallas Flea and was immediately struck by both her amazing personal style and well-curated shop. Pocketful of Pearls has been featured in D Magazine and specializes in offering a wide range of sizes, which is an unusual and welcome feature in a vintage store. Read along and get to know Michelle and her wonderful shop better!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

My name is Michelle Parker and I was born and reared in Arlington, Texas but my cultural/ancestral heritage is of Sierra Leonean decent (West Africa). In 2003, I moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University and have lived here since I graduated. I would describe my personal style as evolving. I like to dress according to my mood that day and I try to incorporate at least one statement piece. I also enjoy mixing vintage and retro pieces, similar to what you will find in my store.

How did you first get introduced to thrifting?

I was first introduced to thrifting in college. I became obsessed with the idea of finding quality, eye-catching clothing and accessories at a fraction of the cost.

When did you become passionate about buying and wearing vintage clothing and accessories?

I've always had an interest in clothing and accessories from different era's but my passion advanced when I began to develop my own personal style. I love the fact that when you shop vintage, you know you are getting a limited, if not one of a kind, item. I also enjoy the thrill of the hunt! I can walk into a store with no expectations and, with a little patience, walk out with a beautiful Victor Costa jacket or a signed Miriam Haskell necklace.

What inspired you to start Pocketful of Pearls?

P.o.P. developed from the excitement of “treasure hunting” and the premise of standing out while saving money. Through conversations, I realized there are lots of people that have this same interest, however they do not have the time or patience. As an online shopper myself, I also felt like there was a void with vintage/retro online boutiques that also carried a full range of sizes.

The P.o.P closet is all about variety and personality. I wanted to create a place for people who want to add eye-catching pieces to their wardrobe and aren't afraid to step out of the box. When you visit the site, you will find an eclectic mix of handpicked vintage and retro. Expect to explore a new way of shopping that is based on your current mood or the mood you would like to convey.

Any current projects you’re working on?

Yes! I’m so excited to be a part of Dallas Flea again on April 21 which is a fun shopping event showcasing several Texas vendors. I will also be a part of a pop-up shopping event hosted by Chastity from The Curvy Girl's Guide to Style in May. The easiest way to find out about future P.o.P events and exclusives is through our Facebook page (

Do you have any helpful hints for those new to thrifting and buying vintage?

If you find one or two favorite thrift stores, find out about their sale days. Some stores have entire days where their inventory is 75% off. Also if you if you have a flexible work schedule, weekdays are a great time to stop by these stores. Most importantly, have fun! Try getting out of your comfort zone and explore new options.

How would you describe thrifting in Dallas? Do you prefer thrifting in smaller charity shops or larger, more corporate-based stores?

Expanding it to DFW, I would say “lots of options”. The good (and sometimes bad) thing about Dallas is that we are so spread out. Thrifting has definitely become more popular in the recent years, however because Dallas has so many options, you still have that feeling of thrill for the hunt. I personally prefer shopping at small charity shops because I like supporting non-profit organizations doing good work.


  1. Excellent article! I am privileged to know Michelle Parker and she is truly passionate about fashion. I love the fact that fashion for Michelle is not just about the clothes but making people love their indivudial styles.

    I am so proud of her :)

  2. It's great to see burgeoning young entrepreneurs showcased. I will definitely continue to follow Michelle and support the business.

  3. I love vintage clothes and fun thrifty finds! POP sounds like a great place to shop, I hear about it all the time glad it's getting some more press!!!

  4. Wow, what a great read to start the morning. I have crossed paths with Pocketful of Pearls a couple times in the Dallas thrifting world. I love that her pieces can appeal to hard core vintage seekers, or someone like me looking for vintage with a modern edge. I defiantly will continue to follow Pocketful of Pearls as it grows to become Dallas’s go to, for your vintage fix.
    Love the outfit in the picture very chic!

  5. Vintage and vivaciousness, oh my! I was so excited to see PoP featured on here. Michelle is a true small business owner that deserves her turn in the spotlight. Her commitment to her business is inspiring as well as her sense of fashion (I mean, look at that picture!) I've ordered online from her shop and was fortunate to hang out with her at a Pop-up shop event.....immediately, you notice she has a passion to make the world a little more sparkley!

  6. Congratulations Michelle and I look forward to visiting your shop just to see how I to stay up with the modern vintage edge.

  7. Its so exciting and refreshing to have a website like this come along! Like Michelle said, when you wear vintage items almost no one will have what you have. I cant wait to check out the site today to buy something fabulous that only I will have.

  8. What a lovely start to your new series! I will certainly be checking out Pocket of Pearls and look forward to learning of new business on forward!

  9. Thanks Elissa & thanks you all for the positive comments :-)


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