A Thrifting Love Story by Charlotte Burt of The Goods We Found
This is a piece written by Charlotte Burt from The Goods We Found for Crushes.
Hi I am Charlotte and I shop second hand. As much as possible.
There are many main reasons why I love second hand shop but ill give you my top 2 reasons:
The first part is that its generally way cheaper.
I guess this part was ingrained in me as a child - a bit of nature, a bit of nurture. My Dad would pull over if he thought he saw something on the side of the road that was useable. Literally - even if he only spotted one shoe he would stop juuuust incase there were 2. I remember one day we are doing 100 on the motorway and Dad spots a blurry something something. It didn't matter that all 6 of us kids were in the van and we were running late for something (or that we were on the MOTORWAY!). He slows down, pulls over, runs back 200 meters and he comes back with a massive smile - he had struck gold. A leather cheesecutter hat . He just loved the idea of getting something for free.
Its actually a generational thing. He grew up super poor and we grew up a little better off but barely any money around. Everything in our house was second hand. I remember I needed a new jumper when I was 12. Mum and Dad literally prayed for one cause... money was scarce. And whaddya know - they bloody found a red Volcom hoody for me on the side of the road. I was SO stoked. It was 2002 and you know I slipped that straight on with my white 3/4 Dickies (which my mum's boss had donated to us).
Of course this meant op-shops visits were frequent. We usually got to choose whatever we wanted which was exciting. It was like being at The Warehouse (as a kid) but if I had 5 things I wanted, then I actually was allowed to buy them all 'cause it cost $3. As I got a part time job as a teenager - my $40 for 2 shifts at Jesters pies got me whatever I wanted at the op-shop. It would only get me 1x neon colored stretchy cotton belt from Supré. So like my Dad - I love working out how to save money and get the best deal. If you are patient enough and take your time to hunt around second hand you will generally win at a way better price.
Up until just before lockdown (where my husband and I bought our very first TV!!) every piece of furniture and decor in our house was second hand. I love it all and love knowing I created my families home with special pieces that haven't cost us the earth (but also hasn't sacrificed the earth).
The second reason is that I just love the mystery of second hand shopping.
First of all you never know what you are going to come across when second hand hunting. Am I going to walk through those op-shop doors, do my first full scan of the entire shop (vital) and will a Tessa T4 Fred Lowen couch pop out at me (ok ok chances are slim BUT it IS possible). Am I going to come across a pair of genuine vintage corduroy bell bottoms when scouring through the racks. Will there be a cabbage patch doll in the toy section for my baby girl Goldie (ahh how cool would that be). Whatever you love, there is a chance that it will one day be in an op-shop and although striking gold is getting rarer these days that feeling when it happens is an absolute RUSH. If you know, you know.
Lastly, I LOVE knowing that everything has a story already. It has a past life and unless you buy directly from the owner and ask them what its story is, then again its a mystery. I love looking at our record player and imaging the original owners having a red wine and a boogie every Sunday night to the Beatles. I imagine our lounge suite and how proud 'Gloria' was when it was brand new in her lounge, her husband surprising her for their wedding anniversary. Or my 100% sheep fur jacket - I would LOVE to see the first owner and how she styled it back in the 70's. It is such an amazing statement piece so she was obviously confident and not afraid to have all eyes on her. She was very cool.
I love knowing that pieces have memories woven through them and have already bought joy to peoples lives. And now for to my family. That record player has already helped shape the best dance moves for my 3 year old son and so many laughs. Bloody heart warmimg.
Op-shopping isn't for everyone but the idea of owning vintage or second hand is more popular these days soooo lucky we have the likes of Crushes who do the finding for you. This means you can still experience the magic of it and also support a small business.