Lately I’ve been seeking out news about thrift shops, garage sales, and secondhand shopping culture. These stories are rare: junk stores don’t send out press releases, and the pages of local business sections mostly highlight the larger local players alongside small businesses that cater to the middle class.
Which means when thrifting hits the news, the content is usually surprising. Herewith, a summary of notable secondhand shopping news from the past couple of weeks:
- Magazine devoted to ‘Flea Market Style’ to debut next spring (Minneapolis Star-Tribune): Shelter magazines have been hit the hardest in this soft market, but it seems like new publications are popping up all over anyway. Ki Nassauer of Junk Revolution and lifestyle author Matthew Mead will be co-editors; the creative team will include Heather Bullard, Linda MacDonald of Restyled Home and the guy who hosts Cash in the Attic. I’m wearying of seeing flowery vintage/junk style everywhere; here’s hoping for more diverse content. And “the best things to collect” (from the cover mock-up) sounds obnoxiously prescriptive, but perhaps it will be more like the “Collecting” feature that Martha Stewart Living used to produce.
- Woman solves her own burglary at a yard sale, Annapolis, Md. (UPI). I’d love to report and write a longer version of this story: It seems emblematic of these economic times (the burgled house had been foreclosed on), and I imagine more fascinating details would come to light. My favorite part: The robbery victim caught on when she noticed that the neighbor holding the yard sale was wearing one of her stolen t-shirts. The most salient detail: Police suspect he stole more than $25,000 in goods.
- Thrift shop says ‘yes’ to defunct store’s old letters, Tuscon (Arizona Daily Star): Yes Thrift in Tuscon recycled a handful of letters from Mervyn’s old signs when the department store went out of business. The owner reports that the enormous bright blue letters–which now decorate two sides of their sign as well as the side of their building–have attracted increased business since the beginning of the year. The best part: Mervyn’s was going to crush and dispose of the letters.
- Mad Men set decorator searches for period furniture in Pasadena-area stores (Los Angeles Times): Great story that follows Amy Wells around on one of her vintage shopping trips–mostly to antique shops, but she hits the Salvation Army for accessories, too. (And I can’t resist a Mad Men mention.)
We’ll keep an eye out for more interesting junking news. In the meantime, happy thrifting!