Goodwill Hunting

Another great thing about moving to small town America (aka Brockport) from Boston is that there are still great finds to be had in the local Goodwill (unlike Boston where it’s so picked over).  Now, many of you may choose to never set foot in a Goodwill store–whether it’s the odd smell that is uniform to all such stores (a certain mix of old people stink, dust, and a too-weak cleaning product of some kind), or it’s that the idea of buying someone else’s discarded stuff is just gross–but sometimes, and more often in smaller towns, there are some great things just waiting to be discovered (albeit usually underneath a bunch of really tacky tchotkes).  Oh, and you can also leave there with a double feel-good whammy: you probably scored a bargain AND you helped people in need.  So no, this is not a post about a great Bean Town movie–sorry.

Instead, it’s about our Goodwill hunting trip.  This weekend we not only checked out our local Goodwill in Brockport, but we also stopped at the area Volunteers of America store.  Both were quite the pleasant surprise.  Why the hunt this past weekend?  Well, I needed a white leather belt, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I thought those would be good places to try.  Why did I need a white belt?  Because I had an old-lady 80s party to go to?  Unfortunately, no.  I needed a white belt so I could make handles for a dresser I’m refinishing.  Duh.  More on that later this week, though.  So did I find a white leather belt?  You betcha I did (with some help from the Mr.):

White Belt

Oh, and bonus: anything in Goodwill with a blue tag was 50% off!  So that stylish belt only cost me $2.50.  I know you’re jealous.   And maybe confused since the belt isn’t actually white?  No worries–you just have to flip it over.  Genious, aren’t I?  Of course, we didn’t leave with just the belt–how could we?  This was a pretty new Goodwill–very spacious and with only a hint of that special scent.  So we poked around, and then I found this:

Totally rad, right?  It needs a lamp shade, and I’m a bit undecided on whether to leave it as is or paint it, but either way, I’m digging it.  And since it has a mid-century modern vibe happening, it should fit right into our 1962 house.  Plus–the price was right–only $8.99, so I just couldn’t pass it up.  The Mr. even thought that the tag was blue, but apparently it was teal–so no dice on an extra 50% off.

What do you think?  Should I paint it?  Or just polish it up and leave it as is?  Any suggestions for what type of shade?  I was thinking a simple white drum shade–maybe one that’s a bit long and slender vs. fat and wide (that’s what she said).  Thoughts?  Here’s an attempt at what it would look like painted white:

So what do you think?

Next, we headed to Volunteers of America to see what else we could discover (I think at this point even the Mr. had caught the thrifting bug).  Well, our luck continued.  I found this glass dome and teak cutting board set for only $2.99:

It reminded me of this one from Crate & Barrel (for $29.95):

Not bad that I paid only 10% of what the Crate & Barrel one cost, right?  Mine originally came with a metal plate with Goodwood inscribed on it, but I took that piece off and threw it away since it’s not really my style . . .

. . . but then I did some Google searches to see if I could find out how much similar items were worth.  Turns out a lot more than the $2.99 I spent.  Check out this one on Etsy for $35:

And I found similar ones on eBay for up to $90!  So, of course, I then dug the Goodwood metal plate out of the trash, washed it off, and put it back in the dome.  Who knows if I’ll keep it, or maybe start my own vintage store on Etsy to sell this and all the other great Western New York finds . . . there was even another one of these at VOA that I passed on (the Mr. doesn’t like me to accumulate too much “garbage” as he likes to call it), so maybe I’ll go back and snag that one to sell online?  What do you think–have I found my new calling?

Anyways, after our luck at the VOA and Goodwill, I thought we should take a look at a local antiques super store, The Carriage Place.  I’ve driven by signs for it every day on my commute, and so what better time to take a look than over a long weekend, right?  It was actually pretty cool–it’s a large warehouse that has divided space for different vendors to rent and stock as they see fit . . . kind of like Leaping Lotus out in Solana Beach, CA except with a focus on antiques instead of art and home decor (btw–next time you’re in Southern California, definitely spend some time browsing around Solana Beach–you won’t be disappointed).  The Mr. and I enjoyed poking around and checking out some interesting items . . .

. . . old hardcover books to line your shelves and make visitors think you like to read . . .

. . . vintage tins, baking supplies, and cooking tools that would look charming in a country kitchen . . .

. . . wood boxes that would be perfect for a casual centerpiece if filled with flowers or maybe grass (Carrie–they were only $5 each, so let me know if you want me to go back and get them for you) . . .

. . . JOANNE–check out the old Cod Liver Oil bottle!!!  How great is that?! (Joanne is the one that’s behind the Mr. and I taking our daily dose of CLO, so of course I thought of her immediately when I saw this.)

Cod Liver Oil bottle

CLO Dosage Instructions

. . . the Mr. enjoyed some of the vintage comics . . .

. . . while I got a kick out of these old-school postcards that folded out accordion-style . . .

Postcard Portfolio

Postcard pics

Aren’t those great?  They had ones for just about everywhere–I loved the vintage fonts and pictures.  We decided to buy one from Lake Placid since that was one of our first vacation spots together, and one of the Mr.’s favoritest places in the whole wide world.  Awww . . . aren’t we just too cute?

My other favorite piece was this rocking chair, but at $150, and in desperate need of some reupholstering, I just couldn’t justify it . . .

Rocking chair

So that completes our first Goodwill hunting trip, but based on our successes, you can bet there will be more!



  1. Wow! I love those wooden boxes! Thanks for thinking of me and my wedding needs-Please buy them up for me next time you get a chance to go a-thrifting! : )

    I’m torn on what color your lamp should be, I too, love all things white but that is such a happy yellow color! And can’t wait to see how you secure the leather belt into a dresser handle, I am now officially hooked on the Bunches Blog! xoxo!

  2. WAAAAAAAAAAA!! I WANT that rocking chair!! AR. It’s going to drive me nuts when we visit and I can’t bring home any treasures! xo

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