My children have been brought up on a steady diet of thrift stores, flea markets and antique emporiums. They also learned at a young age that if they take care of their toys there is resale value and over the years they have happily sat next to me at a flea market table selling their no longer loved belongings. Leaving with a pocketful of money to buy something they really want has been a powerful lesson in more ways than one.
Yet as children grow up their ideals and opinions change as quickly as their height and shoe size and buying items that once belonged to someone else is no longer appealing. My daughter has made no bones about expressing her disgust in thrift stores. Her older brother shared similar feelings until he discovered that he could buy records and movies for mere pennies. That's all it took to win him back over. Still unconvinced, it took us finding a box filled with her favorite Japanese Anime movies that we bought for less than $5 to make her begrudgingly admit that maybe this wasn't so bad after all.
Lately, there is nothing I love more than spending a whole afternoon on a thrift crawl with the two of them. I love listening to them discuss the items they have found and I even get a kick out of hearing them converse with each other about the things I have purchased for myself. Last week we spent the MLK holiday going from thrift store to thrift store. I found a beautiful red floral dress (pictured above) for a few bucks and as I held it against myself in front of a mirror my daughter rolled her eyes and said, "You cannot seriously be thinking of buying that!"
"Why not, it would look great with these boots I have on."
"Mom, it looks like an old lady dress."
My son interrupted. "Mom isn't going to just wear it plain like that. She'll wear it differently and make it look really cool and modern."
Still doubtful, she shrugged and wandered away while I smiled to myself and thought about how lucky I am to have raised my own little treasure hunters. I know the little doubting one will come around. I got her to try on a great shirt later that same day and we even found a necklace she loves.
A few more successful trips like that and she'll be a convert.
What do you think about buying secondhand items?
*note: Those gorgeous linen napkins and decanter are all going into the Etsy shop today!