Thoughts for Thrifting

• Don’t be afraid of the seedy! Most of the best thrift stores are in the less than ideal parts of town. Thrift stores are dirty and you will have to dig, but isn’t a bargain worth digging for?

• Make nice with the owner/manager! Tell them what you are looking for and they may know where it is or will keep an eye out for you.

• Thrift stores need bags for the customer’s purchases. Your home is likely filled with them, both paper and plastic, so make nice and curry some favor!

• If there is a quantity of an item, but they are priced individually, ask if they can give you a price if you take all of
them. Be prepared to take them (or not) depending on the price. If you ask for a better price on an item (not all do this) be prepared to pay it. The owners get really peeved if you ask continually and never buy it.

• Most thrift stores have a discount schedule (colored dots/tags, sections that are over stocked with items, etc). This is usually posted or announced when you arrive, so look for it or ask. It may make the difference in buying it or leaving it there.

• Think of other uses for your purchases. The shirt with a spot can be fabric for a bag; a wool sweater can be felted. A shirt missing buttons can have a new funkier set. A single earring can become a pendant on a necklace or the center for a brooch. No item is a lost cause unless it is disgusting!

• Craig’s List is a good place to check for shops. They usually post it in the yard/garage sale section.

• Stop in often! They get new merchandise EVERY DAY and ALL DAY! It is not the same store 20 minutes after you leave.

• Google search “thrift shops” and “your town”. You may find ones that you never knew of. Ask a fellow thrift shopper if they found any new or cool shops.

• If your gut tells you that the item is worth something, LISTEN! As you develop and fine tune your thrifting skills it gets better. You can also go home and research it. I buy items at the Goodwill and then take home and research it. They have a return policy for store credit only, so I am not at a loss if I take it back.

• Tell your thrifting buddies what you are looking for. They can help you look for that illusive item.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Cindy Hamlin is a lover of thrift shops and a maker of things. She shares her exploits on her blog, Cindy is Crafty ( and she makes and sells jewelry designs at shops in the Metro Richmond region and her thrift finds on eBay.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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The Virginia Hemophilia Foundation will host the VHF Trick or Trot 5K and Fun Walk will start at 9 a.m. at Robious Landing Park. There will be a 5K course, a quick one mile route and the Monster Dash, a 100-yard fun run for kids 12 and under. Funds raised will go toward fulfilling VHF's mission of supporting the needs of those impacted by a bleeding disorder through education, advocacy, and community. The race is limited to 200 runners. For details, visit Full text

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