The Lifestyle of Thrifting

Thrifting is like finding the missing treasure that others overlooked or don’t value. Some people would spend tons of money on brands and put a hole in their wallet, then spend less than five dollars on an item at a thrift store. I remember going to a Polo outlet and I saw a shirt I got at Goodwill for $40 and I got it for about $4. I’ve always thrifedt when I was younger but I really started to thrift more when I became a broke college student, and even more as a broke college graduate. Some of my lucky thrifting finds have been: sportswear, vintage Levi’s, Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, a couple pair of Vans, and est..

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Picture of Brandi Gray taken by Jermel Jackson

My favorite place to go thrifting is Goodwill retail stores. They always have large amounts of good quality and variety of merchandise for a great price. Also, while you are spending less, your money and items of donations are going to a great cause; helping people find employment. I’ve recently got into Goodwill outlets ” the bins” where you shop for clothes in bins and is sold by the pound. So imagine getting a cart full of clothes for about $20. Sounds pretty exciting?! Every fifteen minutes, the bins get rotated and switch with new bins. The only problem with shopping at Goodwill outlets is that it can be congested. Every time I go there, its like a Black Friday mayhem. You really need to be alert, quick, and somewhat aggressive. It’s best to have someone go with you or go with a group to make it easier to get more items. You meet some amazing people at “the bins”. When you become acquainted with them, they sometimes look out and help you find things that you are looking for.  Some shop for their families, create DIY projects, and many are resellers like my partner and I. You would be amazed at what you will find in “the bins”.  The thrill of the hunt is what makes thrifitng exciting! My partner and I mostly found vintage sportswear and outerwear since shopping in the bins.

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Picture of Jermel Jackson taken by Brandi Gray

In September, my partner, Jermel and I started a thrifting business called, Thriftin “R” Us. We sell mostly vintage name brand apparel. Since starting the business, I’ve learned so much about the logistics about developing and maintaining our thrifting business. This has been a humbling learning experience that’s brought so much light into my life (read my article The Gray Area of transitioning from College to Adulthood and you will understand) and gave me the opportunity to learn about my passions, strengths, other career paths, and new beginnings.

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Picture of Jermel Jackson taken by @thriftstigators

I want to thank my partner, Jermel, for including me in this business venture. Without him, I’ll probably would still be miserable about life, and probably would’ve settle into something I didn’t like. He has brought me so much happiness into my life and gave me different perspective and outlook on life. Jermel has taught me so much about using what you got, creating something, and the importance of networking.

He even gave me the idea of having financial freedom and being a well rounded entrepreneur. The biggest lesson he has taught me was that if you can’t find a way, create one. You’re struggles become your outcome, if you let it. You determine your destiny in life, and how your future prevails.

I’m highly grateful for having Jermel in my life because he challenged me to take control over my life and not let life take control of me. With Jermel and the business, I’m positively confident about the endless opportunities and possibilities life is going to bring us!

Thrifting Advice

Me and Jermel came up with some advice that would help anyone with thrifting; whether you are new or a seasoned thrifter. This can also help those who do DIY projects or want to become resellers. If you do want to become a reseller, please don’t hesitate to ask us for more advice (Instagram @thriftin_r_us).

  1. If you want it, buy it. Once you turned your back it’s not guaranteed it will be there when you come back.
  2. Review your items before check out. Check for stains, holes, rips, defects. Some thrift stores and consignments don’t offer refunds and exchanges.
  3. Keep your hands clean- have hand santizer or gloves on you. Thrifting merchandise is secondhand so you don’t know what you are touching or where its been.
  4. Wash items immediately
  5. Thrift shops and consignments shops are different.  At consignment shops you can sell you items to the shop and they give you a percentage of the sale. Prices are based brands and relevancy. Thrift shops you can donate your clothes and prices are based on the type of item
  6. Set a budget. Thrifting can just as addicting and impulsive as shopping at department stores and the mall.
  7. Thrifting with someone or group always makes the experience better

Check out our thrifting pages on Instagram at @thriftin_r_us, Twitter @thriftin_r_us, Facebook @thrifinrus, and Depop @thriftinrus.

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tha_brandae

Brandi Gray is a proud alumna of Elizabeth City State University. Her major was Communication Studies. During her time at ECSU, she was involved in many clubs and organizations. She was an on air personality and board operator for WRVS 89.9 FM. She enjoys creating memories by experiencing adventures with her close friends and family. She loves social media. She has a interest in how POC especially Blacks are portrayed in the eyes of media and society. Follow her on social media @tha_brandae.

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