“...an elegant wardrobe with an art deco feel in a distressed sage green...” Thrifty Vintage
never going to go anywhere," she says. "Everyone shops resale for different reasons. Some people feel good about helping the environment. People say they like to buy jeans that are already worn in. People like to get department store brands and styles with a lower price." Hasen also touts the store's unique organization as a reason it is shopper friendly. Items are grouped by type, size, color, then more particular categories like sleeve length. "You can come in looking for a red sweater in a size small and go right to it," says Hasen. Shoppers get to see everything in the store this way, without having to slog through racks like they might at a thrift or department store. Like Martinez, Hasen and her staff are particular about what they buy from consigners, making sure items are on trend and gently used; she prefers the term "previously owned." There are plenty of treasures to be found at Christine’s, and I found some vintage-inspired pieces that would be perfect for a well-rounded wardrobe without going over my budget. And bargains are always in style.
Vintage in the Home Like shopping for vintage clothes, finding furniture that has stood the test of time is also a thrill — and one that turns out to be an excellent investment. Beth Stiles, owner of Thrifty Vintage, scours estate sales, Habitat for Humanity, and the internet to find sturdy antique furniture to rehabilitate and sell in her store. Her number one rule for furniture? It has to be made of solid wood. “Wood lasts forever,” she says. Most imperfections can be corrected and refinished. “They’ve already lasted 50+ years, so they stand the test of time. And in 20 years, when you want a change, you can refinish it again and have a brand new piece of furniture.” Newly made furniture is often made of particle board or other manufactured materials, which tend to wear down more quickly. Her pieces are heavy, but that’s part of their selling point. “My rule is that if a piece is light enough that my two children can carry it, I don’t want it,” says Stiles. Her goal is to find things at a lower price, give them the tender, loving care they need, and keep the price tag low.
She says her customer base is all over the map, but includes younger people just starting out and looking to build a quality collection of furniture. “You don’t have to buy things in sets,” says Stiles. “Start with one piece and build slowly.” In fact, that is how she started out with furniture rehab: newly married, she and her husband started off building their home décor with inexpensive furniture from stores like Ikea, then higher end brands like Raymour and Flanagan. When she found a dresser from the 1930s, Stiles refinished and painted it, and was hooked. She soon started looking for more pieces to rehab, paint and sell. Some pieces are from as early as 19001910. Stiles paints most of her pieces, like a large dresser and vanity from the 1930s with a lovely rounded mirror, painted a dark lavender, and given an update with ceramic knobs. Stiles sometimes uses multiple colors (up to 6 or 7) and complex finishing techniques to get just the right shade, like another piece on the shop floor, an elegant wardrobe with an art deco feel in a distressed sage green. With years of refinishing experience, Stiles also works with clients to rehab furniture they already have, but don’t know what to do with.
NOVEMBER 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough