I am quite sure many of you have heard that saying before, usually followed by a snarky smile and a rather rude raspberry for good measure. However, the feeling of finding a cool vintage item or a hard-to-find antique for next to nothing—or in some cases, literally nothing—is always grounds for celebration.
The rush of finding a piece that simply deserves a better life or at the very least, a second chance, is why my wife and I love what we do. The best part is it is a year-round activity. Sure, winter time can be a little more difficult, but thrift shops and the local Habitat ReStore almost always heated and full. Keep your eyes and mind open and you could run across something you never thought to look for.
I lost count of the times I am driving to work, or taking my wife and kids to a restaurant, or to a family members house for a visit, and seeing a vintage item or antique sitting by the road. Chairs, lamps, dressers, wardrobes, benches, planters—the list goes on. I can be cruising along and spot something and pull off the road like I am pitting at the Indy 500. Immediately met with groans from the backseat as my kids realize why I stopped. Knowing we are probably already a few minutes late to our destination, I know that if I don’t rescue this vintage find, it will haunt me. The kids know the drill—slide over and make room for the newest member of the family.
At thrift stores I am a little more subtle. Browsing the shelves and scanning for something I didn’t know I was looking for. Carefully picking up each figurine and casually turning it over to look for the makers stamp—oh yes, I am one sneaky fella. Nobody suspects a thing. Walking out with a grin on my face and a feeling of satisfaction and excitement to find something of value.
Granted there are instances where a chair needs a little glue, or a lamp needs rewired*, or an old medicine bottle is encased with three generations of dirt and cobwebs. But with a little TLC and know-how, you can proudly sit back and enjoy your new find. Maybe even resell it and let it be loved and appreciated for a few more generations. It is a good feeling.
So if you take anything away from this article, keep your eyes peeled and maybe you will find something to rescue. If you do, we’d love to hear all about it. Tell us your story along with a few pictures, and maybe we will add your tale of discovery to the Olde Brick House Shoppes website. Happy hunting!