Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Estate Sale Finds

After moving to the West Coast last year, I remembering being mildly disappointed at the thrift stores in my neighborhood.  I'm from the MidWest, notorious for it's thrift stores, and I was hoping for no less when I moved to California.  I think MidWest thrift stores have so many gems simply due to the fact that people have the storage space to hold on to absolutely EVERYTHING from birth to death, and as frugality is bred into most of us from the moment we take our first breath, we save, save, save every bit of anything we've ever owned.  And someday, all those piles and piles of saved "junk" make their way into thrift stores.  There are so many genuine vintage gems to be found in the MidWest.

I've found some good "thriftin'" spots over the past year here, but in San Diego specifically, thrift stores tend to be a bit picked over.  If you're looking for higher-end, name brand clothes, there are some very nice items to be found as San Diegans tend to have expensive taste (like the time I found a gorgeous $350 Dooney & Burke handbag for a mere $4.99), but those "holy-crap-I-can't-believe-I-just-found-this-(fill in the blank)" vintage items can be few and far between, and then often expensive.  I usually have to go to 3-4 thrift stores in San Diego to find what I can often find in just 1 MidWest thrift store visit.    

But that all changed the moment I went to my first Southern California Estate Sale.  If you're looking for more than just clothes, the estate sales here tend to be fabulous, full of delightful odds and ends from often well-traveled, well-to-do folks.  Authentic vintage dishes, books, toys, clothes, craft supplies, etc. are soooo easy to find at these estate sales and tend to be reasonably priced for the most part.  For example, this last week I hit up an especially good one and left with such great finds!  

A box full of cards and memories from the early 1900s

14 handprinted lobster bibs (unused!) and a bamboo tray

Vintage luggage tags from various Asian hotels

My FAVORITE item:  A Mother's Day telegram from 1937

Books and Keys
 (I bought a 10-quart plastic bag full of vintage keys!)

Look for many of these lovely items to show up in my store in the next few weeks!

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