Tips & Tricks for Thrifting Chicks

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Hi friends! Welcome back to my blog. I recently did a poll on my Instagrams stories and asked my followers to tell me what my next blog post should be- tips for thrifting, or my favorite thrift stores??? Obviously, by the title of my blog, you know what today’s post is going to be…my best and most used tips for thrifting! So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Thrifting can be stressful, especially when it is something new. It can be overwhelming at first, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it will be more frustrating than fun. The most common mistake that people can make is walking in, getting overwhelmed, and then never trying again. It is important not to give up in anything, even with shopping. So, if you are one who likes to shop on a budget, or who just is curious about thrifting, stick with me today and let’s turn your thrifting struggles into thrifting successes!

TIPPITY TRICKITY #1: Have plenty of time

One thing that makes thrifting much more difficult is not having enough time. A lot of people see thrifting as a quick run through the store and see if anything catches their eye; HOWEVER, that is the easiest way to fail at thrifting. So many people have told me, “I can never find anything.” The reason you may not be finding anything is because you are trying to shop in 15 minutes or less.

If you are wanting to get the best outcome from thrifting, TAKE YOUR TIME. I usually give myself 45 minutes to shop at thrift stores. This gives me enough time to look through everything, try things on, and have some breathing room.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #2: Grab a cart and start piling

This may seem unnecessary, or awkward, but one of the best tricks that I can give you is to always grab a cart. Carts are almost always accessible at thrift stores, but if they are not, grab a bag or basket. Once you have a cart/basket, start shopping.

Something I notice frequently with people I thrift with is that they almost always get to the fitting room with 2, maybe 3 items…NO. Okay, stick with me for the next minute…When you are looking through the racks of clothing, if something looks EVEN A LITTLE APEALLING, throw it in the cart. If something looks slightly small, or slightly big, STILLL PUT IT IN THE BASKET. Put everything and anything into your basket, even if you think it won’t work.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #3: Fitting rooms

To piggy-back off of the last tip, once you have everything in your basket that looks like something you may want, head to the fitting room. So many of my friends say, “I’m sure I will like it, ” or “I don’t need to try anything on.” Trust me, you will want to try on the clothes.

ALWAYS TRY ON THRIFT CLOTHES. There are serious perks to trying on clothes…When you try on clothes, you can notice certain things more than when they are on the rack. It could look perfect on the rack, but on you, it could be too small or too big. In addition to size, it could have holes that you did not notice until it stretched out on your body. Also, it is easier to notice stains and marks on the items when they are tried on.

BEFORE TRYING ON: Look through your cart, and see if there are items you JUST KNOW you would never wear. There are some times when I look at my cart, and after looking at then for a second time, I decide not to try it on. Usually there are a few items that I decide against, but for the most part, I try on everything in my cart.

One thing that I have noticed when trying on clothes is that fifty-percent of the time, items I thought I would hate, I end up loving! So, for these reasons, one of the most rewarding tips I will give you is to try on items at the thrift store.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #4: Sizing

When you walk into a thrift store, throw out all knowledge about what size you wear. In thrift stores, sizing is tricky. Thrift stores usually do not put much thought into whether it is a plus size, a petite size, a junior size, or a normal size. I wear a size small in almost everything, but a lot of my thrift finds that I wear all of the time are size large. Some larges can fit extra small people, and some extra small peoples clothes could fit someone who are a large. In addition to this, sometimes you can find a size small item in the mediums. If it looks huge, but it is super cute, take it to the fitting room with you anyway!

TIPPITY TRICKITY #5: Know the sales

Every thrift store has sales, but it is your job to know what they are. Bigger stores like Goodwill does fifty-percent off on certain colored tags, and the colors change weekly. Smaller thrift stores do clearance sales and often have perks for those who subscribe to emails. Other stores that I go to have fifty-percent off sales throughout the year, and other sales during the week. One of my favorite stores does fifty-percent off sales twice a month, thirty-percent off other times, and has $1 sales every day of the week on certain colored tag items. Knowing the sales is an easy way to save even more money.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #6: Shop during the off seasons

An easy way to save money is by shopping in the off seasons. When it is Summer, and everyone is on the look-out for tank tops, shorts, and sun-dresses, you can be shopping for sweaters, jackets, pants, and boots. YES, I know this sounds crazy, and it can take some practice, but it is one of the most rewarding ways to save money. When Winter hits, and you realize you don’t have enough sweaters, or long-sleeves, it can be really tricky to find them at the thrift store considering that everyone else is looking for them, too. When it is the off season, everyone is looking for tank tops, and no one is thinking of buying that adorable sweatshirt 😉 This also works for holidays. It may seem ridiculous to buy that Santa shirt, but even though you just celebrated Easter, you will be so happy when it comes time for Christmas and you already have your cute outfits in the closet.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #7: Ask for a discount

When shopping at thrift stores, you have to keep in mind that things have been worn and loved by other people. This means, there can be holes, stains, and flaws in items that you may have your eye on. While some damage cannot be fixed, others can. If you think something can be salvaged, but does have blemishes, a lot of thrift stores will give you a small discount on the item–YOU just have to ask.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #8: Shop often

Thrifting can be a hobby, or it can be a lifestyle. For me, it is both. I absolutely love thrifting, and I have for the majority of my life; however, for a lot of people, it is not something they frequent. To have reoccurring success, it is helpful to shop at your local thrift stores often. The reason for this is because you can learn about your stores. You can learn about the sales, the layout of the store, when they bring out new stuff, and much more. When you know these things, you can make it 100x easier for your shopping experience, and in turn, save more money.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #9: Budget

As many people know, thrifting is cheap. While this is true, all of those cute $3 tops start to rack up. Suddenly, your boyfriend reminds you that you have spent $250 at the thrift store this month…I definitely don’t know this from personal experience…

ANYWAY. It can start to get expensive if you thrift often. One way to tackle this is by budgeting. EW, that is such a boring word; however, it is AWESOME for thrifters. How to do this is by setting an amount of money that you can spend when you go thrifting. A lot of times, I give myself $20 to spend, and I try to keep it below $15. This amount of money can go a long way, and is more than enough when you thrift often and only buy things that you love.

TIPPITY TRICKITY #10: Have fun

Many people will tell you to have a plan when you go thrifting. Some will say, “Know what you are looking for.” While this can be extremely helpful when you are shopping for something specific, it can make your thrifting experience more constrictive and dull. My last and final tip for you is to not have a plan and to just have fun. Go to your favorite thrift stores, pick up items that you love, and let your personality and style run the game!

I have been thrifting for the majority of my life. I started with garage sales. Then I went to clearance racks in department stores. Next, I dabbled in a few consignment stores. Now, I primarily shop in thrift stores. I spend $2-$3 on clothes, and am proud of it. In the beginning, it was just a way to save money. Now, it is a full-blown passion of mine. I get a lot of questions every day, asking me how I do it. It’s not hard. These ten tips are ones that I use every time I go shopping.  I love thrifting, and I want other people to love it, too. If you are someone who has had less-than fun experiences thrifting, or are wanting to start thrifting but are not sure how, follow these tips and tricks and you will be a thrifting chick!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I hope these tips and tricks have helped you in some way!

Be sure to tag me in all of your thrifting adventures, and send me a DM on Instagram if you use my tips and tricks!

                         instagram: danielle.loraellen

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To Thrift or not to Thrift

Hi friends! Welcome back to my blog 🙂 Today’s post is a little bit different than my usual ones; in fact, it has NOTHING to do with my Mass Communications class. It is on something that I am very fond of…but you will have to read along to find out what it is! 

Have you ever heard someone say, “go to your happy place?” I have. Growing up, if I was sad, or unhappy, I would hear someone tell me to find my happy place. Back in the day, my happy place was the beach, or camping with my family; today, my happy place is way different. A lot of people have common happy places. Usually, they have to do with a memory, or something that makes them feel good. Mine is like this, too. 

My happy place is somewhere where things are tossed away. It is where something no longer wanted, becomes needed. Where something old becomes new. My happy place is surrounded by things that one person may love and another…not so much (any ideas yet?) My happy place is right down the road from my home, and it is somewhere that I love. My happy place is the local thrift store. 

YIKES. Did I lose you? Let me tell you a story. 

As a little girl, my dad would take me to garage sales. I learned how to rift through all the junk to find the perfect item. My dad taught me to bargain, and to know when something is not worth the work. As I got older, we branched out and started going to consignment stores. I started shopping at all the thrift stores I could find. It was something that I loved to do with my dad as a hobby. Once I was in high school, this activity was no longer something I did for fun, it was an escape from real life. 

I would go to thrift stores after school, or on the weekends to get away from all of my work and chaos. I drove to the store, and I would shop for hours; looking through every isle, trying on all the clothes. Sometimes I found things that I loved, and sometimes I found nothing at all. The point wasn’t to find a hundred items; it was about finding something that I loved. 

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Now, a lot of you have either started to zone out or are gagging at the thought of wearing a strangers clothes. For those of you who are still intrigued, I have a little secret for you. I did not always feel comfortable wearing used clothes, or buying something that was not brand new. It is not something that everyone loves to do; However, as I got older, and shopped more frequently, it became more enjoyable. Now, I have learned a lot of ways to be successful at thrifting.

At the end of the day, it is simply about having the patience to go through items at the store, and learning how to shop well. Just always remember to shop locally at the thrift store before purchasing full price in retail.

Thanks for joining me today ❤ ❤

Danielle LoraEllen  

 

I interviewed a thrift store owner??

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In 1981, the very first Pendy Consignment store opened, since then, there have been seven stores. Today, only one remains. Temple Terrace, Florida is where the very first store was founded. Penny and Cyndi, the daughters of the owners, were the inspiration for the name. When a couple met them at church, they decided to open a brand-new store in Brandon, Florida. Michelle Schmitt’s mother-in-law is the original owner of the Brandon store that opened over 35 years ago. When Michelle’s father-in-law passed away, she bought the store from them.

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While interviewing Michelle, I asked her several questions about herself. I wanted to know why she decided to own a thrift store. What was she doing before? Michelle Schmitt was not a stay-at-home wife, she worked a nine to five job, much like a lot of parents. When I asked her what her profession was before, she told me she worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Honestly, I was extremely surprised. I expected a simple job, something average; that is my fault for assuming. After marrying her husband, and having kids, she realized she wanted to be more involved with her children. Michelle says, “My kids were younger, and I wanted to be able to keep up with them better and be a part of their lives instead of working nine to five every day.” Although this may have been an easier job for Michelle, it is still not an effortless career.

Michelle explains that it can be difficult owning a thrift store, much like it can be difficult owning any type of store. She says that one of the most challenging aspects of working here has been keeping up with the current styles and trends in retail stores. “Keeping that balance of what we know would sell and wouldn’t sell.” She elaborated saying that it can be frustrating when things do not sell because that is how they make money, and how their customers profit. “There is a fine line of what sells and what doesn’t,” Michelle says. While she believes there can be moments of difficulty, she tells me that she also has things she loves about owning the store. She says, even after twenty years of serving, her favorite part is going through the clothes that people bring in daily, “I find it exciting to see what is coming in that day…I guess I’m nosy enough to see what other people have.”

In a city where there are dozens of thrift stores, Michelle tells that she is glad that her customers are loyal. For the many years that the store has been open, the same customers have continued to shop. This could be due to the amazing monthly sales, but it is more likely because of the cheerful staff that greets you when you enter. Michelle is hopeful that, in the next few years, her store will be thriving. She says that she does not see any drastic changes in the future, but that she hopes to stay busy. When our interview ended, the only thing that she asked to add was that she was grateful to the Brandon community for supporting the store for thirty-seven years; “I really love being a part of the community,” she says.

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Pendy Consignment is a thrift store that is more about the customer than the clothing. When a person walks into the store, they immediately feel welcome and comfortable. This is because of the owner, Michelle Schmitt. Michelle cares about her customers and ensures that her staff does too. Pendy Consignment is a place where someone can find a new outfit and talk to a friend at the same time. During my time with Michelle, she explained the difficulties of owning the store, but how she gave up her career to do it. Owning a thrift store is full of opportunity, growth, and constant movement. After my interview with the owner, it was extremely clear that she loved what she did. Today, I told you her story; how she got here, where she started, and where she hoped to go. The next time you are shopping, stop by Pendy Consignment.

My Dream Interview

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The Interview I would Choose

Interviews are such inquisitive, personal things. It is kinda scary when you think about it-being interviewed. A person waltzes in, usually a stranger, and asks you all kinds of questions. Then, when you answer, they can use anything you say.

Personally, I say wrong things all the time. It would probably be a really bad idea for me to be interviewed. I would most likely rant on and on about something completely off topic, and say silly things.

If I had the opportunity to interview anyone, dead or alive, I have a few ideas of who I would want.

My first choice would obviously be George Washington. I mean, come on, who would not want to be credited with interviewing the very first president of the United States? I would ask him all types of questions.

What is it like to be the first president? Are you nervous? What do you want to be your first action as the President? Are the beds in the White House comfortable?

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My next idea would be Michael Jackson. I would ask him about his change of color. I would ask about how it feels to be one of the most famous human beings in the United States.

Then, as I start to think more interestingly, I think I would interview Hitler. I would ask him why. I would ask him, is it really so bad? 

But if I could truly have the one interview of my dreams…I would interview myself. I would interview Danielle LoraEllen just a few years before I die. I would ask thousands of questions. My biggest mistake and my most embarrassing moment. I would analyze my life and determine the best and worst. What would I have changed? I would ask about my greatest adventure and my most tragic heartbreak. I would ask myself when was the moment that I started to live, and when did I fail myself the most. I would want to know who was the most memorable person I encountered, and who I wish I would have left in the past. The question I would want to know most would be, did you live a good life? I would want to know that by this time in my life, I would be proud. I would be happy with the life that I lived. I would hope that despite my failures, my mistakes, and my wrong-doings, that I was more than satisfied with my life.

There are so many amazing interviews in this world, but if I could interview one person, ask them anything and everything, and write a story on their honest responses, I would sit down with myself, and ask about my life.

Style: "Mad Men"

This only happens to me…

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The Worst First Day

It was the second day of the semester, but it was my first day of class at a campus I had never been to. My class started at 9:30; the school was only thirty minutes from my house. I had plenty of time to get to the campus, find a place to park, and find my class. I was prepared for this day.

I was following the directions on my phone. When it finally told me I had arrived, I was in the middle of the road, and there was no school in sight. I kept driving straight, thinking the campus would be up ahead. It was not. Where was the school?

It was 9:13am and my class started in seventeen minutes. I saw a sign that ensured I was in the right place, but there was still no school. I put in the street address one more time, and it told me I was five minutes away.

Thank God

I found the parking lot; however, after driving around for what felt like thirty minutes, I could not find an open spot. I followed a couple cars leaving the lot, and they brought me to a parking garage. Yes. Good. 

I went inside the garage, and drove to the very, very top. At this point, my class starts in five minutes. I am starting to panic.

I park; I run down the stairs and towards the campus. I am walking down the road, and am looking all over the place for the building that my class is located in. I have no clue where anything is. After walking for miles, I find the student center, and walk inside. I felt some relief. As soon as I got to the desks, I noticed a ten person line. I had no time to wait, so I left.

Now, my class has been started. I start walking again in another direction. The sun is beating down on my head, and I am sweating. I am just about to start bawling my eyes out, when in the corner of my eye, I see the building.

I run across four lanes of traffic, and run around the building. I am looking for room 125. I ask everyone I see, “where is room 125?” and not a single person can give me the answer. I see a janitor cleaning out a closet, and I ask him to point me in the right direction, but he tells me that there is no room 125. WHAT??? I show him my class schedule, and he points out that my class is not in 125, but that it is in 225. Upstairs. I run as fast as I can upstairs, still sweating, I might add. I see the classroom. I take a big breath, and I walk inside.

I sit down, and realize I forgot to put on deodorant. Oh my god, Danielle. 

I have never had such a bad experience trying to find my class; however, I was not the only one having a difficult day. After an hour and a half of the class, the woman next to me asked if she has the right book. I told her it wasn’t. She went to our professor, and he told her she has been in the wrong class the entire time.

So, if you are going to a new campus, I suggest you go before hand and find where your classes are. That way, you never end up being like me. Also, don’t forget to wear deodorant.

Hope you enjoyed this unfortunate story, subscribe to my blog for more about me, and my hilarious life that I live.

Thank you for reading,

Danielle LoraEllen

First Day of Class

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I am not a Mass Communications Major

“I am a mass communications major.”

“I am a mass communications major”

“I am a mass communications major”

Those words echoed throughout the room. Every person seemed to say those exact words.

It was the very first day of my Mass Communications class, and the professor asked us to go around the class and introduce ourselves.

Who are you?

Why are you here?

“My name is Danielle, and I am not a mass communications major”

I was embarrassed. It felt like I was the only one in the class that was not sure of my major. I have always loved writing, journalism, and all things communications, but was still not sold on a career in that field.

I looked around the room, all of them seemed to look at me.

“I am not a mass communications major,” I said. I almost felt the need to apologize. Why?

After we finished introducing ourselves, we continued in the class. We created a blog, and it all became so real. I was so excited.

I can write about anything and everything…AND get extra credit for doing it!

The first day of class was scary, but it made me so enthusiastic for this course.

Who knows, maybe by the end of it, I will be a mass communications major.

This is Me

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This is Me

I have truly underestimated the difficulty of writing about myself until now. I will start with the basics; my name is Danielle Reid, I am nineteen years old and a sophomore in college. Ever since I was young, I have had an interest in vintage cameras. When I was eleven, I found my very first camera at a garage sale. From then on, I have been collecting. Currently, I have sixteen cameras; my oldest camera dates back to the late 1800’s. 

In addition to collecting cameras, I enjoy writing and singing. I have been on the worship team at my church for four years off and on. I also have written numerous short stories, and have an additional blog to this one. When I am not at school, I spend my time thrift shopping and finding unique items at vintage stores. I have recently started sharing my thrift hauls on social media, and posted my first YouTube video this past week.

One of my favorite things to do on my downtime is hand lettering, also known as calligraphy. I taught myself to do this by watching videos, reading, and practicing a lot. The last and most favorited hobby of mine is theatre. I have been acting since I was five, and have been in more productions than I can count on two hands. I love theatre and the arts, but it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. As a career, I hope to become a journalist of some sort. If not journalism, I would enjoy anything in Mass Communications. I hope that you have learned some about me, and have enjoyed reading this.