By Cindy Hamlin, Special to the Citizen 10/27/11
• 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 (cindyiscrafty.wordpress.com) and she makes and sells jewelry designs at shops in the Metro Richmond region and her thrift finds on eBay.
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
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