There are at least 4 thrift shops (locally known as charity shops) in my area, and I volunteer at the nearest Hospice Charity Shop as part of giving back to my community.
We receive many donations of items from kitchen items to clothes, from medical appliances to wool and fabric, from crafty things to jewelry. Most of my curtains, clothes, and necklaces are from there, and my kitchen is filled with all sorts of interesting and useful things. We always joke that the volunteers there are the best customers. 🙂
I recently found an absolutely gorgeous pink crocheted jersey just in time for the cold weather that has set in. We also always check out the earrings and necklaces (and sometimes the big ugly rings) and one volunteer has many pieces that are vintage and even quite valuable that she has been lucky enough to pick up from there.
The process of sorting and briefly evaluating all items is done by the manageress, and she often calls in experts to make sure to sell all items at a fair price – fair for the buyers, but also fair in terms of making sure she doesn’t sell a gold ring at the same price as a costume jewelry one.
One of my latest finds is a lovely pair of silver earrings with butterflies on them, flying above what I think is a garnet. the silver has a hallmark stamp on it, and I have no idea about the stones, but they are really lovely. Last week I bought a gorgeous string of chunky carnelian stones that I have now been able to restring into a gorgeous piece that I love to wear.
Here is a pic of the lovely earrings I managed to get.
As volunteers, we do things like packing items away for the next season (the winter items are starting to come out and we really do get some fantastic donations). The manageress is really very clever at making sure all items are turned over quickly, thereby always having new stock in the shop to attract customers, pricing items to benefit both the charity and the customers. (There is always a very clever making sure the items are priced to sell and yet are not too cheap as to undercut the purpose which is hospice care for everyone who is in need.)
The shop is well sorted, clean, and generally well-stocked with interesting and lovely items, but this does depend on the donations. I find the community is most generous. We get a lot of soft toys and one of my jobs is to take all the soft toys home to wash and dry them to ensure they look beautiful for sale. One of the best parts is dressing the barbies and dollies that come in. I also get to check all battery toys and games to determine if they are sold “as is” for cheap, or “working” for a bit more (including the batteries). I mean, someone has to play with them to ensure they work!
I also find some clothes that I mend, change, or tweak. Most recently, I have a lovely pair of jeans into which I have sewn a panel so they are no longer so tight at the bottom. Here is a pic of them:
I will keep you posted on any other exciting items I find, and I thank you for popping in to check out what I got. Keep warm and dry – I cannot believe the rain is still here. It is winter now. We are not used to rain in winter.