Author Archives: slaur

Thrifting Abroad

In less than a month, I get to finally do something I have always dreamed of. I am studying abroad in London for two weeks and then traveling to Paris for a week after. There are so many things I am excited for including immersing myself in a new culture, seeing the beautiful European architecture, eating yummy foods, and of course, thrifting abroad.

British Flag

                                  photo credit: bestflag.blogspot.com

 

In efforts to further my excitement, which believe me has been building for months now, I put together the best of London thrift crawl. These are stores I am dying to go to and dig through for hours to find that perfect British thrifted gem.

1)East End Thrift Store

Beyond Retro

photo credit: .theeastendthriftstore.com/

The East End Thrift Store is located in the City of London, just a few short minutes from where I will be staying in Clerkenwell. According to Time Out London, East End Thrift Store is all about selling vintage at a valued price. That’s rare in London, anymore.

Beyon d Retro

photo credit: blog.onefinestay.com

      2) Beyond RetroBeyond Retro is right next to Brick Lane London, a quaint, little area that features an on-street market in a retro, vintage area of Shoreditch. Beyond Retro has stores throughout the U.K. and Sweden.

3) Blitz

Time Out London says when Blitz opened in 2011, it put all other vintage stores in the area to shame. Blitz is not just a thrift store, it’s a department thrift store. That’s a lot of thrifting options. Blitz is also in Shoreditch, close to Beyond Retro.

4) Oxfam

Oxfam, located in Notting Hill, is our equivalent to Goodwill. It is the leading U.K. charity supporting the effort to end global poverty. There are Oxfam stores located all over London, all featuring different thrifted items.

5) Café Vintage

To finish the day, I may just head to Café Vintage, a vintage store equipped with a café featuring homemade cakes and coffees. This should be a nice pick-me-up after a long day of thrifting and vintage shopping.

 

 

These five stores are the equivalent to a perfect thrifting day in London for me. I am excited to ride the Tube, see the sights, and enjoy the charming city, all while I am on my thrifting crawl.

A giant thank you to Time Out London for helping me learn about the best vintage stores in London, plus a ton of other information. This site is definitely adding to my excitment!

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A PR Push for a Thrift Shop

Most, if not all, large corporations have some kind of public relations or media relations team. These teams do a number of different tasks including distributing news about the company, speaking for top executives, creating special events, and overall monitoring and making sure the company is flattering to the public. But what about some of those non-profits that are a little less known or don’t have the money to employ top public relations practitioners?

A look at a Case Study

I did some research on the public relations of some top-name charity and thrift stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I read a case study about how one division of the Salvation Army in Pennsylvania goes about distributing news. The Salvation Army is primarily non-profit and relies on the goodwill and donations of community members. That being said, a non-profit like this has little money to spare for a public relations or marketing team. Not having much money to work with, Virginia Knor, the director of marketing and public relations for the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Salvation Army, made a smart move. Knor used PR Newswire to distribute press releases about the company. Knor’s press releases would be picked up by journalists in her area who would further spread the news about the Salvation Army. This is a great way for this non-profit or other companies struggling with little money to spare for PR and promotion to still get information out to the public.

My View

I think what Knor did for the Salvation Army is a smart, thrifty idea. She still was able to spread the news to journalist and the public about what was happening within her company without spending any money. What she did also saves a lot of time. Submitting a press release onto a host like PR Newswire is a money saving idea to still generate publicity. In this specific case study, Knor’s results were impressive. She said through the submission of her press releases online that later led to local and international inquiries generated over $1 million in donations for the Salvation Army.

Public Relations the Thrifty Way

Through my coursework in public relations, I’ve learned a number of ways to promote a company in thrifty ways. Any non-profit, business starting, or company that does not have a ton of money to spend on PR can still get the word out without breaking the bank.
Here are my suggestions
1) Like Knor did, use websites like PR Newswire to submit press releases
2) Build relationships with journalists. This is a vital part to gaining publicity. Reach out to journalist with press releases who would be interested in covering your company.
3) Create word-of-mouth publicity. Chatter is free and ask your clientele to tell friends, coworkers, or family members about what is happening at your company or business.
4) Find thrifty options. Create fliers, brochures, or business cards on your own to distribute to potential customers.

Saving money

Photo Credit: therunningdoc.com

Public relations and marketing can be costly, but it does not have to be if you remember to stay thrifty.

A Quick Craft

Today I have included some photos from a craft project done by my roommate, Katie. Katie and I usually devote our Friday afternoons to making new masterpieces for our apartment. This is a fast Friday afternoon craft anyone could do.

Map Lamp

Materials needed:

Lamp Shade/Base (The one in the photos is from a thrift store for $4.)
MapMap Supplies
Hole Punch
Yarn
Beads
Clear Tape
Scissors

  • Step 1: Wrap the map around the lamp shade. Leave some space at the bottom to include holes.
  • Step 2: Cut the map out according to measurements made from step 1. Next, use adhesive of your choice to attach the map to the lamp shade. Clear tape was used in this case to hide any seams.
  • Step 3: Use the hole punch to create a row of holes at the bottom of the map. Next, tie yarn (or string) in knots through the holes.Map Beads
  • Step 4: Attach beads to the yarn and you’re done!

A brand new lamp! This is any easy craft that can be done by anyone in a matter of minutes. Add this lamp to your home for an antique or vintage feel.

Finished Map

And now, a silly song for you crafters out there.  Visit Leslie Hall’s website for more silly craft ideas.  Hall has made a name for herself by creating crafting songs and her trademark, gem sweaters. Enjoy!

Favorite Finds: What’s yours?

I know I have my favorite thrift store items.  Well, I know it would be hard to narrow it down to just one.  After thinking about my favorite thrifted items, an idea sparked for me.  I decided to others what their favorite thrifted item was.  I got a lot of interesting feedback about my friends’ favorites.  I also wondered why the item was their favorite, what caught their eye about the item, where it was from and of course, how much?

So here it is, man on the street-esque thrift finds edition.

1. Brian’s Box

brian

Item: Treasure Chest
Why is it your favorite?: I’ve always wanted a chest of some sort.
What attracted you to it?: The style of the chest and the mixture of metal and wood.
Where and how much: Goodwill, $2.20.

 

 

Katie's Lamp

 

 

2. Katie’s Lamp

Item: Rooster Lamp
Why is it your favorite?: It’s a conversation starter, really brings the room together, decorative and functional.
What attracted you to it?: The fierce look in his eyes.
Where and how much: Value World, $7.01 (and she says it was worth every penny.)

3. Megan’s Purse

Item: DistressMegan's purseed Handbag
Why is it your favorite?: I love how it is antique and distressed looking.
What attracted you to it?: It reminded me of a saddle.
Where and how much: Goodwill, $14.

 

 

 

Angela's sweater

 

4.Angela’s Sweater

Item: Cozy Cardigan
Why is it your favorite?: It’s warm, cozy and reminds me of a grandpa.
What attracted you to it?: It’s brown.  My favorite color.
Where and how much: Goodwill, $3.50.

 

It was a fun experience to see what other thrifty friends scored in the big, wide world of thrifting.  Each of the above had a special story about their favorites.  Some had simple reasons why they loved their favorites so much, and others felt passionate about the items.

After hearing about my thrift-savvy friends’ favorites, it sparked me to think about my favorites.  This was a challenge for me.  I have been hunting for bargains and unique items for years.  I think I have quite a thrifted collection, from knickknacks to clothes.

So here it is, my favorite thrifted item!

My picnic basket

Item: Picnic Basket
Why is it your favorite?: It’s functional and reminds me of warm weather and picnics.
What attracted you to it?: The vintage feel of it. I immediately saw this in the housewares section of Goodwill and knew I needed it.
Where and how much: Goodwill, $4.

I bought this basket a few ago from Goodwill.  I love it.  Even though its most likely for picnic purposes, I used it to travel home last weekend.  It has a bright, cherry stripped inside.  It makes me think of summer, and how I am definitely using it for picnics in the park once it is warm out.

In conclusion, I hope this inspires you to think of your favorites.  It’s fun to think of where you bought your thrifted items.  Everything has a story, especially pre-owned items.  So, go dig through all of your second-hand store finds, and pick out some of your favorites.

What’s your favorite?

Thrifting for Jobs

It’ s a scary and exciting thought that soon enough I will graduate and have to enter the real world. I am pursuing a degree in public relations, and I am excited to see what the future of PR holds for me. I think finding a job, especially your dream job, is like thrifting, you have to do your research, keep an open mind, and sort through a lot before you find what you really want.

1. Research

Research is an important part of public relations, as well as finding a job in PR. You cannot go applying for jobs blindly or walk into an interview without knowing what you will be interviewed for. Start by doing a simple Google search like “PR internships in_____ (your area)”. Next, make sure you research the company or agency, if you get an interview. Not knowing anything about the company is a for sure way to not get hired. Whoever is interviewing you is probably going to ask you what the company does, what you think your duties will be, and may even ask very specific questions like what you think of the website of the company. Make sure you read the history, vision, and mission of the company, at the very least.

2. Keep an Open Mind

Just like I have said over and over with thrifting, you must keep an open mind. Maybe the job description does not sound like what you want, but you never know. I think, especially when seeking a first-time internship or job, you should apply to many different places and types of companies or agencies. Just because you think you want to work in say a corporation, doesn’t mean you will like it once you are there. It is better to sort through what you like and dislike in a job when you are still young and in college, rather than do something you hate the rest of your life.

3. Sorting

This goes along with keeping an open mind- you are going to have to go through a lot to find a job or even dream job. I am almost positive I want to work in a PR agency, but I want to sort through other sections of public relations. I could end up changing my mind. Do not have your mind made up before you sort through other options. Also, do not get defeated or discouraged if you do not land your dream job or internship straight out of college. I am completely prepared to go through industries and jobs I may not particularly like to get to what I want- to work in an agency and eventually do event planning. Public relations, along with a ton of other industries, are cut-throat and be prepared to sort through the industry before you get where you really want.

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Fun with Acrylics: Cheap & Colorful Pieces

Acrylic paint is one of the cheapest, accessible, and easiest mediums to use for crafters.  It is available in tons of different colors, places, and brands.  I’ve found acrylic in many stores like Michael’s, Pat Catan’s, and even Wal-Mart for under a dollar. This paint is fast drying, allowing for quick projects, easy to use, for some of us that aren’t necessarily artists (like me), and an easy clean-up.

So, today I’ve decided to showcase some of the projects my roommates and I have used acrylics on.  Now, my other two roommates are both art students, so they are more apt to using fancier paints like oil paints, but for us normal college kids, let’s stick with the paint that’s less than one dollar.

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Ordinary to Extraordinary: Restoring and Repurposing Thrift Store Furniture

Okay, so we are all on a budget, well most of us.  As a college student and a first time renter, decorating posed a costly challenge for my roommates and me.  The three of spent an entire summer (in different states) scavenging countless thrift, charity, and discount stores to decorate our new apartment.  After this experience, I have realized you really can make some ordinary into something extraordinary.

The first tip I would give to anyone decorating a home with thrift store finds is to keep an open mind.  Remember anything can be painted, decorated, and re-purposed.  Just because you buy something that may already have a practical use, does not mean that is what it has to be used for.

Of course if you have a bunch of money to drop, do it.  But, if you are like me and millions of other college students out there, just tap into your creativity vat.  Everyone has one, right?

So, here are some examples from my own apartment of thrifted furniture that has been dressed up with some TLC, creativity, and an open mind.

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