Thrifting Vintage [27/31]

Several years ago, I made a small side-business out of buying & selling vintage home decor items. I bought gilded frames and sconces and revamped them for the 21st century. My "shop" did well at it's height, but ultimately wasn't sustainable. It wasn't too long after that I noticed Hobby Lobby selling similar products. 

I have a love/hate relationship with vintage. The word vintage, anyway. It's buzzy, worn out, and too often slapped on a piece of junk unworthy of the title.

"Vintage denotes something special—that an item has stood the test of time and has proven to remain relevant for any number of reasons—timelessness of style, [quality], historical or cultural significance or interesting provenance.” - Doris Raymond, Vintage Seller

Thrifting vintage, at least quality vintage, can be challenge as you are up against collectors & sellers alike. It's not impossible, but the effort can feel like a true treasure hunt at times. Here are a few thoughts consider in your search:

Know Your Personal Eras - This one saves me from bringing home a lot of potential clutter. There's a temptation to snatch up that kitschy owl cookie jar, but let's be serious. It doesn't go with my aesthetic and I don't have the time to attempt to market it online. I'm more of a mid-century, modern girl anyway.

Check Labels/ Stamps - This one is important for signifying value to an item. American-made items often indicate a pre-1980's creation date, especially in regards to clothing. This guide to identifying vintage clothing labels is like a history lesson in fashion.

Embossed labels beneath breakable wares can be a sign if an item is collectible. Put that smartphone to use and Google those manufacturer names! 

Don't Read Into Sizes - Don't let an ill-fitting vintage dress that is 6 sizes larger than your "regular" size kill your joy. Not only have sizing charts shifted over the years, but there was a completely different set of undergarments in place to be worn with those clothes. Nothing that a set of Spanx and a corset couldn't solve today, surely.

Know What Can Be Fixed - Basically, what imperfections are you ok with? Is it a garment that can be altered or repaired? If resale value isn't important to you, are chips and cracks a deal breaker for decor pieces? 

If you have specific items in mind (i.e. any of the above images), you may have better luck at flea markets or estate sales. Vintage resale shops & antique malls tend to price things a little higher. Etsy & Ebay are some other great places to start. Happy Hunting!

[Images: 1.Frame 2. Thermoses 3. Dress 4. Camera 5. Pyrex 6. Milk glass]

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

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