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Decorating with Thrift Store Finds on Squidoo

Decorating with Thrift Store Finds on Squidoo
I interviewed Jenn Thorson about her site on Squidoo. This is what she had to say:
Here is some World War II memrobilia that Jenn found.

This was a $1.00 find at Fleatique in Ligonier with a little wear.
There is a poem on the piece that states:

To My WifeA darling little wife–

Has made my dreams come true

She blesses all my life,

Her name is only “You”

You are my partner sweet,

You share in all I do,

And make my joy complete

By simply being You!

1.) I read a little about your family and great- aunt Bess can you tell me how your family influenced your love of thrifting?
My dad grew up during the Depression, so that time period really affected his desire to save money. We would visit the local Salvation Army each Saturday, as a family. We also were big fans of flea markets and garage sales. To this day my Dad hits the garage sales and flea markets. And when we visit with each other at the holidays, we make sure to make the journey to favorite thrift and flea market haunts.

2.) Have you always shopped at thrift stores?
Because of the way I grew up, thrift stores have always been a part of my life. Almost all of my school clothes came from thrift stores for as far back I can remember. As a teenager this was an interesting challenge, because, of course, teens want to be in fashion (or at least not draw teasing from classmates). So I recall scouring the racks for trendy finds. It was certainly doable, but the thrift stores also helped encourage dressing uniquely.

3.) What would you say is your best find?
Now that I have my own home, I’d say I spend more time looking for interesting decorating or collectible items, than clothes. But that said, I think I have two favorite finds. One is a gorgeous pale blue and mother-of-pearl Lucite purse from the 50’s in perfect condition. The other includes some souvenir pillow covers from World War II with sentimental poems on them addressed to the family at home. There’s a lot of great history and beauty to be found in thrift stores.

4.) What is the feeling you get as you stand at the door before you open it as you walk through? Do you feel anticipation, excitement, etc?
I’d say when I discover a new store in particular, I do find my curiosity absolutely piqued. There’s just that sense that virtually anything could be there, waiting. Things you’d wanted your entire life, or something you never even knew you’d wanted until now. It is a little exciting, really. It cheers me, especially if I’ve popped by on my lunch break from work, and it’s been a stressful day.

5.) What do you look for in an item? age? color…?
My house is from 1899, so I tend to look for things that are pretty old ranging from around 1900-1920, though I admit, the vintage 40’s and 50’s stuff, cute kitchen bowls and other dishes– have been fun to find lately. If an item’s going to be used in my own house, I try to keep my choices within the colors I’ve already established there. If it’s as a part of a gift basket for someone, I really work to keep the colors and items within that person’s taste.

6.) Can you give some thrifting tips? What would the top five tips be to someone who has never stepped foot in a thrift store?
A.) Thrift stores may not be what you expect. I think a lot of people still have the vision that thrift stores are dark, dirty places where only the most needy folks go. That’s not really true anymore. Many are bright and clean, offer things like shopping baskets and carts, and have dressing rooms to make trying clothes on convenient. A wide range of people are now thrifting. Really, you’ll find people who are interested in getting value for their money.

B.) Know what you like. Get to know the sorts of things that appeal to you and what they have in common. That can really help dictate whether you’ll end up using the item or it will end up in the attic or being re-donated.

C.) If you love it and the price is right, buy it. Thrift stores can be very competitive. Unlike antique malls and other stores, you can’t guarantee that if you walk away from something you like, it will be there in another ten minutes. So it helps to hone your decision-making. And if you love something and you can afford it, perhaps it really should come home with you.

D.) Know what you want to pay. Thrift stores have prices that range widely, and just because it’s at a thrift doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good deal. So if you’re looking for something in particular, know what it costs brand new. Know what you want to spend. And that will ensure you get what you want for a price you’re comfortable with.

E.)Don’t become discouraged if you don’t find what you’re looking for the first time you thrift. Thrifting has an element of surprise to it and thrifting something in particular on cue isn’t necessarily going to happen (though it can!). Because you’re dealing with things people have donated at a certain time, merchandise appears to go in cycles. So just because you don’t find it one day, doesn’t mean you won’t the next, or in a week, or in a month. Thrifting often helps. And just enjoying the thrifting experience, you may find you’ve discovered some unexpected treasures, too

7.) The proceeds from your site goes to the Salvation Army. How does that work? I didn’t see much advertising on the site.

While I keep my blogspot site advertising-free, my Decorating with Thrift Store Finds Squidoo page was designed specifically to generate money for the Salvation Army. The way it works is, any royalties from the recommended Amazon books on that page, or clicks from ads, ends up going to the Salvation Army. It’s a little at a time, but it helps them. And it allows me to feel it’s giving back a bit to one of the charities that had brought me a lot of joy over the years. The Squidoo page was my contribution to BlogCatalog’s Blogger’s Unite charity initiative in December 2007. I continue to update the page with new content.

Thank you so much for your time.

I’m excited– so sweet of you to interview me!

Salvation Army does so much with the money donated to them.

They help out with disater services their goals are to offer to both victims and first responders

-Material comfort

-Physical comfort

-Emotional comfort

-Spiritual comfort

There is an elderly camp program for people 55 and up. Salvation Army offers drug and alcohol rebalitation, youth camps, and Christmas Charity. They also are in the fight against human trafficking. For more information on the Salvation Army visit here: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf


Jenn Thorson’s other sites are:

of Cabbages and Kings http://cabbages-n-kings.blogspot.com/

The Thrift Shop Romantic http://thriftshopromantic.blogspot.com/

A few article she has written:



Please make sure you visit the site at the top of this Interview.


2 Responses

  1. Found this in my mail from my comments widget http://www.squidoo.com

    Comment Excellent post! And great job linking to your Squidoo lens. Looking forward to seeing more!
    Squidoo’s Community Organizer

  2. Another that came from the widget http://onecoolsite.wordpress.com

    I really enjoyed reading this interview and smile broadly through it. Jenn and I have a lot in common when it comes to second hand shopping. Her 5 tips are solid gold. Thanks for publishing this interview and happy blogging to you both. 🙂

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