Friday, June 29, 2012

june's guest blogger!

this month's guest blogger is meghan! she is the founder and designer of swallow's heart - an amazing jewelry line that i am obsessed with. today she shares with us some great tips for thrifting :]

Hello! I’m Meghan from Swallow’s Heart. I’m a North Carolina girl at heart but currently live in southern Georgia with my sweet soldier husband and our two Siberian Husky puppies. I make whimsical vintage and nature inspired jewelry, and opened my own etsy shop last year. I love design, hiking, road trips, animals, and of course thrifting!
So, you know that feeling you get when you walk into a thrift shop (antique store, flea market, yard sale)? That feeling of potential, of never knowing what you’ll walk out with? These secondhand stores are my absolute favorite places to find unique and inexpensive items – items that nobody else will have. Anytime I travel to a new town, I love to check out the thrift shops. It instantly makes me feel more like a local. I’m definitely no expert when it comes to thrifting, but I’ve definitely learned a lot over the years... so I’m really excited to share a few simple tips that I’ve learned over the years that have changed the way I shop at thrift stores.
Get inspired. Before I hit up my favorite thrift shops, I take a quick look at my Pinterest boards – just as a refresher for projects on my to-do list. Let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to actually make all of those pinned DIY projects unless you can find the materials for cheap, right? If you’re like me, you’ve pinned lots and lots of project ideas, but easily forget about them when you’re shopping. So, get in that inspired-state-of-mind before you walk out the door.

Make a list. From those Pinterest boards (or wherever else you stockpile inspiration), write down a few of your favorite projects that you want to tackle. Fold it up and take it with you. After way too many overwhelming encounters at thrift shops, I began taking lists, and my trips became not only more focused but also more productive! Taking lists also helps me to stay on track and not buy excessively. ;) Remember, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you actually need it (or will wear it).
...But don’t be too boxed in. Take your lists, but don’t be limited to just that. The beauty (or curse?) of thrift stores is never knowing what you’ll find, so be open to the inspiration that comes naturally while you’re shopping. If you have an idea for something and the price is right, go for it!

Know your style. Although I’m always on the hunt for new projects, I also have a “default setting” at thrift stores... no matter where I’m at, I always check for certain things – like milk glass, vintage linens, maps, mason jars, vintage plates, old tins, and vintage jewelry (both to wear and to use in my own designs). These are things that I collect – my “regulars” – so by now I know to always keep an eye out for them. The more you go thrifting, the more you will learn your favorite go-to items.

Take your time. Thrift stores are FULL of amazing finds but sometimes you have to really take your time and pursue the hunt! I know this may be an obvious tip, but really, when I’m in the thrifting mode, I take my sweet time. Rummage, rummage, rummage through that junk! We had been on the lookout for old hymnals forevvvver, and one day found a few stacked under other books. Thrift store items are usually not organized very well, which means you have to do the work (part of what makes it so cheap!).

Hit or miss. More times than not, I walk out of a thrift store empty-handed. Try not to be discouraged if you have a few bad luck shopping trips. Thrift stores are always being restocked and reorganized, so you have to keep checking back every week or two. Saving a few bucks and finding unique items is worth the hit-or-miss aspect of secondhand stores, so don’t give up!
There are lots more tips out there (like bringing cash and dressing comfortably), but these are just the top six tips that usually work for me. I must walk into a thrift store with the right mentality (those lists!) if I’m even going to have a chance at a successful trip. I hope these tips are helpful in your next thrifting adventure. If anyone else has any other thrifting tips, I’d love to hear!
Well, thanks so much for letting me share a few of my simple thrifting tips with y’all! And thank you, Tabitha, for inviting me to be a guest writer on your lovely creative and unique blog. I was excited and honored to write about one of my most favorite hobbies.
Here’s to a weekend of thrifting! ;)

want to know more about meghan? follow her blog & her pinterest page!

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