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Guest Post: Cool Shit I Thrifted

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Today I have a guest post from my dear friend, Katie Mullaly. We spend many hours snarking and goofing off on facebook. No one cracks me up like Katie does. In August, she sent me a copy of her ebook, "Cool Shit I Thrifted" and I laughed so hard it hurt! The book covers her best tips for finding the good at thrift stores, garage sales and other vintage haunts with her hilarious tone and sarcasm.



Hello, good readers of Va-Voom Vintage! My name is Katie and I write and blog and wear red lipstick and scowl at people from behind oversized glamorous, black, Jackie-O sunglasses. I also wrote this sweet, sweet Kindle eBook about thrifting called Thrift Stories: Cool Sh!t I Thrifted, and that is the subject of this guest blog!

I’ve been thrifting FOREVER. I thrift everything. Clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses, housewares. I am not above thrifting underpinnings, either, as long as they are clean. Thrifting strikes the perfect balance of getting stuff without actually consuming. It’s green. It’s cheap. It’s wonderful. I recoil when people pay retail. It hurts my feelings and makes doves cry. There is no good reason not to thrift everything that you can. Frankly, I’m militant about it. If you tell me that you bought an outfit at Wal-Mart, I will fantasize about flicking you repeatedly in the face with my finger. I will then take solace in the fact that you will likely end up on a website devoted to people of Wal-Mart, and I will merrily move along to the next Goodwill. 

bakelite mah jong bracelet
Katie's thrifted Bakelite Mah-Jong bracelet

Since I live in a part of the country where people retire and, thusly, have already jettisoned anything they might have once owned that would actually be cool in favor of wooden statues of howling coyotes wearing bandanas around their necks, vintage is a tad harder to come by for me. That only makes the thrill of the kill that much more thrilling. It takes a little bit of the sting out of those stories I hear of people finding boxes upon boxes of *insert the coolest thing you could possibly imagine* for a dollar.
When I wrote Thrift Stories: CS!T, I wanted to give beginners a primer for developing some good thrifting habits, but I especially wanted to give seasoned thrifters something to laugh about. Some of the purest comedy happens in the wilds of “the thrift.” It might have something to do with the odd mix of music that will often alternate John Denver with Anthrax, Anne Murray with Black Flag, or just enough Morrissey to make you want to abandon all hope and start cutting in the electronics department. You’ll have to judge this one for yourself.

I find that a lot of people want to thrift or go yard-saling, but often their lack of motivation and self-imposed barriers supersede their desire to actually accomplish the task. I’ve made a list of a few reasons why people vacillate between wanting to do it and not wanting to do it. I’ve also included the reasons why that makes you a silly bitch for not going. 

vintage purse collection
Some of Katie's thrifted purses


I don’t like yard sales.
Why? You’re going to have to be a lot more specific on this point, because this statement makes you sound like a kid who doesn’t want to finish his dinner, so he just keeps pushing his food in circles on a plate with his head face-down on the table, muttering, “I don’t like spaghetti.” To that I say, “There are starving kids in China who would love to be able to go to a few yard sales.” I get it. People are weird and they will stare at you while you look through their stuff, and then when you walk away empty-handed, you will feel dirty and voyeuristic. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and your car is only a few steps away. You can just get back in your car, crank up the ABBA, and let the sweet sounds of disco wash away your sin.

Thrift stores smell funny.
Truth. They smell like Lysol and feet and there is no getting around it. What do you do with a piece of clothing after you wear it? That’s right, you wash it. The same applies to thrifted merch. Keep in mind that it is more likely the employees who smell like Lysol and feet than it is the actual stuff. God only knows what chemicals they have their hands in all day that make them smell like Walt and Jesse after a week-long cook. Even they just washed the methylamine out of their clothes and wore them again. It’s okay. Nobody has ever been poisoned by the stink of a thrift store.

1950s yellow dinette set
Katie's amazing thrifted dining room set- I am so jealous!

I hate people.
OMG, ME TOO!!! But, I’ll still buy up their stuff and flip it on eBay. In fact, nothing is quite as satisfying as buying something for a quarter from a cocky wisenheimer and then selling his grandma’s beloved brooch for $200. Take THAT, I say.

There are my handy little pointers of the day. If you want more of my keen insight and rapier wit, please download your copy of Thrift Stories: Cool Sh!t I Thrifted, today! I won’t regret it!
You can also follow my ramblings at www.katiemullaly.com.

11 Responses to “Guest Post: Cool Shit I Thrifted”

  1. You are so absolutely right. I simply don't understand people who don't thrift. Even DH who hated flea markets now loves them. He started finding some seriously cheap goodies and he was hooked. I often get shocked in real fashion stores when I see the price tag, because I'm so used to thrift prices. Gotta have your book. :)

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  2. Your book was great, Katie. I just got the review up today.

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  3. This guest post was such a smile and chuckle inducing delight! Goodness, how I wish I lived in your neck of the woods, dear Katie. The thrift store offerings around these parts, by and large, have been woefully dismal in recent years. It would be awesome to come home with a trunk full of vintage for a (much desired) change.

    ♥ Jessica

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  4. I want to hang out with THAT chick!

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  5. I think I need your book. All well said and I agree!!!!

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  6. Okay, so I just created this account so that I could leave comments on my own guest blog. You guys are awesome. Let's have a thrift party! ~Katie

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  7. PS - I totally thought it would list me by the username I picked out - "Ithriftedthisusername." DAMN.

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  8. I just laughed so hard!! Hilarious!! The music at Goodwill always gets me!!! I told my friend the other day while sifting through skirts and humming to Journey, "I really come here for the music!" HA!
    I'm off to download my copy of this sure-to-be awesome book!!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

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  9. I love thrifting! Granted I dont have as much time to do it as I like, but its SO MUCH FUN. I do agree about it being green, and I haven't bought anything retail that was not bras, underwear or pantyhose in over a year. Usually I troll ebay or etsy when I cant thrift, and I still wont pay more than $60 for a dress, so I try to keep on barging hunting. :) I kind of wish everyone would thrift...but then how would I get all my 2nd hand clothes! I'll have to read your book soon.

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  10. I love thrifting! Granted I dont have as much time to do it as I like, but its SO MUCH FUN. I do agree about it being green, and I haven't bought anything retail that was not bras, underwear or pantyhose in over a year. Usually I troll ebay or etsy when I cant thrift, and I still wont pay more than $60 for a dress, so I try to keep on barging hunting. :) I kind of wish everyone would thrift...but then how would I get all my 2nd hand clothes! I'll have to read your book soon.

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