How would I love to spend my Friday evenings you ask? Well that's easy to answer, at Value Village of course! I know that does sound silly but it's the truth. It's one of my favourite ways to end a Friday after work. By the way according to Nelson it's also known as “VV Boutique”. He has a way of making it sound really fancy.
Now I think I was about 13 years old when I was first introduced to thrift shopping. I remember my mom use to take my younger sister and I to a couple of second hand stores that sold clothes, accessories and many other great things. I remember I use to love visiting them because we would find all kinds of goodies, as I like to call them. Those were the good old days for sure. Somewhere along the way though these favourite stores of ours eventually shut down and were replaced with other stores. The select few of us that had an appreciation for them were sadly left without our favourite stores.
It would be years before I ever stepped foot into a thrift store again. It was only until I was about 23 years old and I had moved out on my own, that I ended up back at one. I needed to decorate my new apartment that I had just moved into and money was kind of tight. So instead of shopping at all the pretty stores that cost a fortune for me at the time; I would shop at IKEA and Value Village. I use to love going there on weekends and looking through the home decor stuff because the odd time I would find some really great things. It was like treasure hunting!
By the way if you live in Toronto or if you ever visit, I would say that the best VV Boutique location would have to be the one at Bloor and Lansdowne. If you haven't been there yet you are missing out big time! I would recommend visiting on Friday or during the weekend. I swear this place is bumping! It's full of vintage and decor enthusiasts, all looking for the one amazing piece to take home. I remember the first time I walked in on a Friday and thought to myself "Wow all of Toronto must be here." It was packed and yet it was just a regular Friday evening. I love seeing people buying used items and finding new ways to try to reuse them. It makes me feel good to know that we are wasting and spending less while caring for our future.
Well now that I have wandered off track let me brings us back to the present time. Nowadays my love for Value Village is greater then ever before. I really do have such an appreciation for this store. I like to make time at least once or twice a month to shop here. I make sure that I give myself enough time to browse without feeling rushed because in a place like this you need time to LOOK or you just might miss something really good. Before I visit this store I like to make a list of things that I am on the hunt for. It is definitely a good place to go if you like vintage items or just things that have a distressed and used look to them.
I always seem to get complimented or asked about my Value Village finds; so I have put together some of my top tips for thrift shopping.
Take advantage of the Donor Appreciation card. Everytime you donate to Value Village they stamp or punch your donor card. When your card is full you get 30% off your next purchase which is a total bonus.
Visit the store on the days that are 50% off which are usually once a month. You save big on those days. Every little bit saved counts for those of us that love to shop.
Visit the store regularly. You want to try and drop in at least two times per month. Remember things are constantly being donated so the more regularly you visit the more likely you are to score some really great finds.
Search high and low. Most people just look at what is directly in front of them. I search high and stand on my tippy toes if I have to in order to see what is on the very top shelves. I also search low which means bending down or squatting sometimes in order to see what is at the very bottom of the shelves.
Move things around. Most times things are sitting on the shelves in layers. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. If you don't like the feeling of dirty dusty fingers bring some wipes along with you. Trust me they are good to have in your bag.
Have a double look. I honestly don't care if I have to walk around the aisles 2 or 3 times. I go back and scan each shelf again and again because there is a good chance that I might have missed something the first time around.
Pause, Search and Review. I sometimes like to pause and search things on Pinterest or Instagram to see what comes up in my search. I try and get some ideas for what I could do or make with the item(s) that I have found. Then I review the items again and see if they will work for me and what I have in mind. If not I leave them and move on.
Throw it in the cart. If you are ever unsure or in doubt just throw the item it in your cart because you will kick yourself in the rear end if you leave something behind and someone else snags it up after you. Leave it in the cart until you are sure if want it or not.
Last but not least check the odds and ends section. This is where they have items in small little clear bags. I think people under estimate what they can find in this area but trust me it's worth looking. I found some vintage candlestick holders there that I absolutely love!
There you have it some of my tips for shopping at Value Village. I hope that you all find this blog post helpful. I know I sure enjoyed writing it. I would definitely say this store is one of my happy places. I love any store that gets my mind racing and thinking of new and exciting projects. If you follow my Instagram account I often post my findings from Value Village to give all a sense of the kinds of great things that you can find there but also the great things that you can get creative with. I have added some additional photos for you all to see how I get creative at home with my findings.
Thought I would also quickly say HELLO to all my new followers. If you are reading this thank you for joining me here and taking the time to read this blog post it means a lot. I appreciate each and everyone of you that follows me on any of my social media platforms. I look forward to seeing you all back here for my next post.