What’s Your Favorite Thrift Store Find?

I began my obsession with thrift shopping at a young age. My grandma, the original bargain master, used to take me to every Goodwill in Los Angeles County. I used to rummage through the men’s suit collection, hoping to find a beautiful three piece pinstriped suit. It didn’t matter if the lapels could double for airplane wings or even if it was made of polyester, if it fit me I wanted it.

It took several years of growing before I finally found that suit. It fit me like it was made for me. It had a tag in the interior pocket dated 1936 (my favorite year) and it was adorned with the most beautiful pinstripes this boy had ever seen.
It was, by far, the greatest thing I ever found at a thrift store, until eight years later…
My wife and I are on a routine hunt for new products for our Etsy shop. We stop in a bargain store we’ve never visited before. For those of you who have hypoglycemia you can understand the sensation we experienced the moment our eyes rested on this store’s bounty. It was a Hipster’s paradise. Our paradise.

I couldn’t believe the amazing things I was finding. Every find seemed to outdo the next, but all fell silent and bowed in reverence the moment my wife tapped me on the shoulder and handed me the greatest thrift shop find of all eternity; a Universal Studios E.T. piggy bank! Copyright 1982! Four times a day every day, I watched this masterpiece. It made me become a filmmaker! This was my childhood. This was my life!   My life for only $4. Sorry grandma, my wife is the new bargain master.

That was my favorite thrift shop of all time! What is yours?

Please share your favorite find story in the comments below!

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Simple Leaves of Paper

We take pride in the items we have from our shop. From swap meets to local thrift shops, we search for unique, lost items and bring them to you. We take our time with the pictures, but we also take our time with packaging. Every purchase is important to us, and we show this with our simple but personal wrapping.

Package ready for shipping!

Package ready for shipping!

Remember the days when brown paper packages would come in the mail? Every time you buy from us, you will to be taken back to simple times of brown paper and carefully made products. Every item we post is cleaned as best as it can be without ruining the product. If it is breakable or needs cushioning, we encase the item in soft cotton for shipping. A simple brown tag with our name and a thank you for supporting GEMS is then placed around your purchase. The item is finally wrapped in recycled brown paper and tied with jute cord. This gives a simple but personal feel to this item.

Our favorite stamp.

Our favorite stamp.

When you receive your package, we want you to be excited and delighted with your beautiful products. As you open it, you will see that paper autumn leaves have been sprinkled around your items.

We hope you love it and continue to support GEMS as they fight to end trafficking in the United States.

Paper leaves of autumn.

Paper leaves of autumn.

Redeeming Vintage. Restoring Lives.

I saw a picture of a girl. She was standing outside with an adult who was forcing her into prostitution. She was four, one of many women and children forced into the sex industry. I was devastated. It drove me to research human trafficking, and I discovered the documentary Very Young Girls created by GEMS.

GEMS is an organization located in New York city and founded by survivor Rachel Lloyd. They do not just combat sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking but work to empower survivors through education, housing, and counseling.

My husband and I wanted to find a way to support GEMS. We love vintage and fell in love with the Etsy community. It became clear starting an Etsy vintage business was the solution. We chose the name Autumn House because it represents change and the coming of new things. For us, our vintage items are the start of something new for the survivors we are helping. Every item in the store has been redeemed from thrift stores, flea markets and storage units and made beautiful.

Our mission with Autumn House is to make all things new. We want to see Autumn House grow and blossom beyond capacity, so that we can support GEMS and their goal to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Find out more about GEMS at: gems-girls.org