recently thrifted

Late Friday afternoon, I scooped my Mama up from the airport and made a beeline for her favorite thrift-store in the Twin Cities—ARC’s Value Village in Richfield. For nearly eight years, my brother lived a scant mile from this store, and let me tell you, it didn’t take long for a trip to “that nice thrift store down the road” to become an essential part of my Mom’s itinerary whenever she came to town. Now that he’s moved a little further north, I knew she’d appreciate a quick pop-in to her beloved old haunt. We spent less than an hour making the rounds of the bustling store, but I still managed to do quite a bit of damage. Here are a few of my favorite finds!

high plains thrifter // jello molds

high plains thrifter // mold

I blame this Southern Living piece for my new obsession with Jello molds. Mom also pointed out that the shiny silver one would serve wonderfully as an ice mold in a bowl of punch. Great point, Momma!

high plains thrifter / tin bowls I picked up these aluminum bowls to serve as props for work, but that didn’t stop me from serving afternoon snacks out of them today.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset high plains thrifter // sandals My love for granny sandals knows no bounds. Both of these pairs are the epitome of comfortable with ultra-cushy soles and sensible strap situations.

high plains thrifter // cocktail napkinshigh plains thrifter / cocktail napkins How could I pass up this bundle of cocktail napkins? I’m easily smitten with cheery ditzy prints and bright colors.

high plains thrifter // purse This Italian-made leather satchel is the bag I’ve been looking for. The style reminded me instantly of this J.W. Hulme Legacy bag I’ve coveted for eons, but could never justify buying. I also picked up this striped tank during our trip to Value Village, and I can already tell it’s going to be a staple this summer. I love the lace straps and stretchy material.

high plains thrifter // cowyboy boots Last but not least, can we talk about these boots? I spotted them from afar, and when I got closer, could not believe my eyes when I saw they were in the eight-and-a-half section. I picked them up, partly skeptical, partly overjoyed, and was like, “no way these are going to fit,” considering how cowboy boots can often look deceptively small. Lo and behold, they fit like a glove, making me the world’s happiest cowgirl.

Also found, but not pictured, a cream deadstock silk blouse from Carson Piere Scott. It has the most delicate pearl beading and details—so perfect for work. I also brought home a tan, long-sleeved Levi’s button-down to layer over dresses and tanks. (My Mom, no surprise, was content to look and not buy, given her jam-packed suitcase situation. She also remarked how much the prices had gone up since her last visit, an opinion I can’t disagree with.)

If you’ve been out thrifting lately, I hope you’ve had just as much luck AND fun as I had Friday.



store review: assistance league thrift shop

high plains thrifter // al thrift shopThey say good things come in pairs, and if you need evidence, just drive down to the 64th block of Penn Avenue where you’ll find two wonderful thrifts—my beloved ARC’s Value Village and the star of this post, the Assistance League (AL) Thrift Shop—separated by just a stone’s throw. Though it’s more modest in size and lighter in  inventory than Value Village, there’s plenty of good reasons to not skip over it!


Art work: There’s a reason the volunteers at the AL Thrift Shop put the artwork right up at the front of the store…it’s usually really freakin’ good. Curated (and priced) by a retired art teacher turned volunteer, everything from gorgeous oil landscapes to one-of-a-kind screen prints to vintage posters to beautifully framed photos is priced fairly (which doesn’t always mean cheaply).

Designer labels: I’m not a huge label scout, but as some of you probably are, you may want to consider the array I noticed during my last visit: Burberry, Lilly Pulitzer, St. John, Ungaro, Ann Taylor, Dayton’s (vintage, obvs), J. Jill. Generally speaking, the clothing, in both style and size, skews to a more mature audience, as in, my mom would have a freakin’ hey day shopping here.


Dishes & drink ware: Slim selection overall and what’s there seems a tad overpriced. (That said, if you’re on the hunt for quality crystal, there always seems to be a pretty set or two there.)

Table linens: Another category with a surprisingly slim selection.

Furniture: It’s just no their wheelhouse. While I’ve noticed a couple cherry pieces there over the years, this wouldn’t be my go-to spot if I was after a dresser, bed, bookshelves, etc.

Take a peek around!

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In a nutshell…

Selection/Variety:  ♥ ♥ ♥

Quality: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Pricing: ♥ ♥ ♥

Organization: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Customer service: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Where does money raised at this store go? Staffed entirely by volunteers, proceeds from the store support the Assistance League’s philanthropic programs, which include providing new school uniforms for disadvantaged kids, one-on-one tutoring for second graders who are struggling with reading and providing assault survivor kits to emergency rooms around the metro area. Also, donated merchandise that doesn’t wind up for sale at the shop is given away to people in need via a partner non-profit. You can learn about all nine of AL’s charitable outlets here.

Do they take credit cards? Yes!

Do they accept donations? Yep, and you’ll get a coupon if you do!

Do they have a mailing list? You betcha, and it comes out each week. Don’t miss the 30%-off coupon good on any one item up to $50 that’s in each one. They’ll honor it if you pull it up on your phone! Sign up here or in-store at the laptop next to the checkout.

Pro tip: Clothing at the AL Thrift has a 12-week lifespan, meaning that if you wait long enough, whatever item you’re coveting will inevitably drop in price. Throughout the floor, you’ll find discount racks, but if you head all the way to the back, that’s where the 75%-off section and $1-10 bargain racks are.

While you’re in the area: Head across the street to ARC’s Value Village of course! And on the weekends, keep an eye out for estate sales happening in the ‘hood. I’ve had good luck in that little nook of the city!

Where it is: 6416 Penn Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays; closed Sundays

Contact: 612.866.2135, Facebook

If you pay the Assistance League Thrift Shop a visit, I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy thrifting!



heads up: volunteers needed at Arc Value Village

tumblr_mfcpznfaGP1s0byero2_500Have some spare hours to volunteer this weekend? Why don’t ya sign up to help receive donations at the Richfield Arc Value Village store tomorrow, Sunday or Monday. Shifts are available from 10 to noon, noon to 2 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Bundle up (and grab a friend or two!) to do something nice for an organization that does a lot of really great deeds. They’ll have refreshments and toasty indoor break spots for warming up. Your volunteering helps the Arc take in the donations (worth $18 million dollars worth annually!) that fund programs and services that benefit people in our community with disabilities and their families.

 Email Molly, the very nice volunteer manager, or call 952.915.3652 if you can help!



Photo: Detroit Street Photography