thrifting trip: mora

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetWhen it comes to thrifting trips, I don’t really need much of an excuse to hit the road. So this past summer, when I got an email from Michelle, inviting me to check out the new Good Works Thrift Store up in Mora, I didn’t hesitate. Enlisting the company of my dear friend Meggie, who was at the time waist-deep in a whirlwind of wedding planning, we hit the road one sunny Friday afternoon, Mora-bound.

Situated an hour and 15 minutes north of Minneapolis, at the junction of Highways 23 and 65, Mora boasts three thrift stores (and a bonus flea market!), all within mere minutes of each other. Our first stop was Good Works Thrift Store, an extension of Industries, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides job opportunities for people with disabilities and other challenges, allowing them to to become as independent in their communities as possible. (No small feat in a community as small as Mora.)

high plains thrifter // good works thrift store, mora, mn Greeting us at the store was a trio of lovely, passionate and proud employees, including Rhonda, the store’s manager (right) and, of course, Michelle, director of sales and marketing (left).

high plains thrifter // good works thrift store, mora, mnI was immediately struck by the quality of the merchandise; this is NOT one of those junky thrift stores you can find up in the country. Good Works store is large and in charge,  naturally lit with big windows up front. I was really impressed by the assortment of home goods, glassware, craft supplies, lamps, side tables and books. Meggie, hunting for the cake carriers, jam jars, vases, plates and Pyrex that would bedeck her wedding tables, had TONS of luck, loading up an entire cart.

high plains thrifter // good works thrift store, mora, mnPrices were fair overall, and the curation of items was totally sensible, with books organized by genre and finer dishes stages on tables to give a sense of how they’d look at home. Based on the overall sense of organization, it’s clear that a lot of hard work, thought and elbow grease went into getting this store up and running. (Stay tuned for a full store review on Good Works in coming months!) Thanks for inviting me up, Michelle!Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetUpon Michelle’s recommendation, we headed towards Mora’s “downtown,” to hit One More Time Thrift Store, a charitable thrift run by 7-County Senior Federation, which lies about two minutes away from Good Works.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetWhile smaller in square-footage than Good Works, One More Time’s bargain-basement prices make it well worth a stop.

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetAs one would expect from a thrift-store run by seniors from north-central Minnesota, the goods are pristine, exactly the type of stuff you’d find if you cleaned out a grandparent’s basement. (There’s a second location of One More Time in Isle. As if I needed another excuse for a road trip!)

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetThird time’s a charm did not turn out to be the case for our third thrift-store destination—The Queen’s Closet, located directly across the parking lot from One More Time.

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset Set in a kind of squat building, both Meggie and I were underwhelmed by the random, sparse, disorganized assortment of merchandise in this two-room store. This couch was really cute though!

high plains thrifter / mora, mnOur last shopping stop on the way out of town was the Brunswick Flea Market, a sprawling year-round barn-market that boasts a lot of vendors, a huge assortment of merchandise and pretty high prices. To get the deals, you’ll need to dig (Meggie scored an amazing ’70s cake carrier for $2!), so definitely don’t stop in unless you have some time to browse. And be sure to bring cash, as they don’t accept cards!

brunswick flea marketAll this shopping had left us feeling famished, so we wound up pit-stopping at the Brass Rail in Grandy, right on Highway 65. A small-town bar turned chicken joint, it took all of one bite of their broasted chicken for us to understand why it’s what they’re known for!

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetIf you’d like to pay a visit to Mora’s thrift-store scene, here’s a handy map to help guide you on your way!

If you head up there, I’d love to hear what you thought and better yet, what you found! (Speaking of finds, I’ll be back tomorrow, sharing a few things I took home from our trip to Mora!) And be sure to check out my guide to thrifting along 35-W, in case you’d like to make a big loop, or my guide to thrifting in Cambridge, which is also on the way to/from Mora!

xoxo,

Meghan

thrifting trip: saint cloud

Sixty-five miles northwest of Minneapolis is a little place called St. Cloud, aka my boyfriend’s hometown. Sweetheart that he is, every time we visit his family there, he builds in time to accommodate me and my tiny thrifting addiction. (Thanks, honey!) Overall, I’ve found the prices to be comparable to Twin Cities shops, but the selection is much less picked over. In other words, there’s great thrifting just an hour or so up Highway 94!

To make your thrift-trip to the Granite City a breeze, I put together a map featuring my favorite spots—updated to include new stores and expanded locations. They’re spread out loosely along Division Street, so please do click “View Larger Map” to see all of the stores. And if you click on the pinpoints, you’ll find details like hours, websites, phone numbers and more.

If shopping leaves you famished, stop at Bravo Burrito or Val’s Rapid Serv, two of my favorite spots for cheap and delicious eats. I promise you won’t be disappointed by either.

Happy hunting!

xo,

Meghan

thrifting trip: elk river

vscocam247I thought I’d start the week off by sharing a little about one of my favorite weekend thrifting destinations: the wonderful town of Elk River. Just 40 or so odd minutes outside of the Twin Cities, Elk River’s proximity makes it accessible enough to hit in an afternoon, and once you get there, you’ll find a bunch of thrifts clustered all together. Which to me, makes the drive totally worthwhile.

On 169, you’ll find a big ole’ Sal Val that’s in an old grocery store, a Goodwill and a decent-sized charity thrift called Samaritan’s Way. If you head into town, you’ll find Antiques Downtown, a two-story antique mall that’s packed with cool stuff. My favorite dealer there, hands down, is on the second floor, right at the top of the stairs. You’ll know it when you see it because it’s all vintage jewelry. It’s pretty cheap too!

Anyhow, I could go on and on about the many trips I’ve taken there through the years, but I’ll leave it up to you to discover for yourself. To make your thrifting journey easy as pie, below you’ll find a map to all my favorite spots. Tip: Click “View Larger Map” to see them all! And click the pinpoints to see pics and details like hours, phone numbers, etc.

If shopping leaves you famished, stop at Minne’s Diner in Rogers for some good eats. And then go to the Goodwill across 94! There’s also a Sonic and a Culver’s off 169 in Elk River, if fast food floats your boat.

Happy hunting!

xo,

Meghan

P. S. Check out some other thrifting maps I made of Family Pathways stores up Highways 35, thrifts in St. Cloud and stores on the way from Minneapolis to Cambridge.

first impression: the salvation army family store in st. cloud

The first juicy honeycrisp in fall. A front-and-center spot at your favorite band’s concert. A dream job.  Sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for, and I’m adding the new Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in St. Cloud to that list. I first learned of the plans for the new store last February and have patiently been waiting for details on the opening to surface. On Saturday, at long last, the store opened and oh my goodness, she’s a beaut.

Housed in what used to be Hoye Home Furnishings, this store is mammoth. I’d even venture to guess that it’s the largest Salvation Army thrift in the greater Minnesota area. It’s practically cavernous! Here’s the view from the front of the women’s clothing section.

The racks were packed full, but not to the point that made them impossible to shop. Sections were organized nicely too, by category and then color. This rack’s always an eye-catcher when Thanksgiving’s around the corner.

The shoe racks were packed full too, but again, super organized and neat.

The back of the store housed humongous electronics (flat-screen TVS galore!), furniture, holiday decor and housewares sections, including some nicely priced antique-y stuff in glass cases. (Don’t overlook the jewelry—it’s all back there too, some in cases some on round racks.) This impractically gorgeous pink china cup and saucer set had to be mine.

I successfully resisted this set of six stainless steel mugs. They were so hefty and in mint condition—perfect for Moscow mules in the summer.

They also had a huge section of scratch-and-dent home goods, cast-offs from Target. There was a good amount of serving ware, including some really nice drink dispensers. I picked up the 12-piece Pyrex set pictured below for a song! ($11.99 to be exact; retail price hovers around $30.)

A few more quickie impressions: I have picky standards when it comes to thrift-store fitting rooms and I found the set-up here comfortable. There’s roomy, and more importantly, clean stalls, and lots of big (clean) mirrors. Also, compared to the metro-area Sal Vals, prices here were fantastic. Think $3.99 for a vintage wool skirt, $2.99 for blouses, $4.99 for boots, $6.99 for a stunning wool Fashionbilt coat from the 1960s. At first when I saw the plaid I was all like, “this is too much!,” but once I slipped it on, I was done.

All in all, I had wonderful experience and left wholly impressed with the store. I hope to post more about some of my finds soon, but this should give you an idea of how well I did. (!!!)

If you’re ever up in St. Cloud, I’d highly recommend a visit. To make your thrifting experience up there easy as pie, I gave my St. Cloud Thrifting Treasure Map a quick update, reflecting the addition of the Sal Val and noting the new (and improved!) location of the Treasure Chest. (Click View Larger Map or the link above to get the details, including hours, phone numbers and links to all my favorite stores up thatta way.)

Please check out the original post to nab links to my favorite places for a bite in St. Cloud. Because thrifting’s not nearly as fun if you’re starving, am I right?

And now it’s your turn! Did you get any shopping in over the weekend? Have you visited any new stores that’ve knocked your socks off? Either way, fill me in!

xoxo,

Meghan

recently thrifted, up north edition

Hey lovelies, just popping in quickly to share some iPhone snaps of a few up north thrift-store finds.

Top row: Dear Bess, letters from Harry Truman to his wife, Bess // nameplate necklace for Tammy Cracker’s godmother
Middle row: cutest ever fabric remnant // avocado green aluminum fondue set
Bottom row: souvenir program from a 1968 Roger Miller & Andy Williams concert // circle-framed floral etching

Sorry they’re just camera pics…I got home not too long ago and have been stuck at the computer catching up on work emails like crazy. Being away is wonderful and all, but coming home to 150+ emails is not! I have a feeling this week is going to be insanely busy. I’m stepping away from my desk now though to get ready for dinner. We’re capping off our weekend away with Thai food and a country show!

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. Photos were taken with my favorite Hipstamatic app.

a few fargo finds

I’m back! After a marathon day of driving and thrifting, thrifting and driving, I got home from Fargo stinky, hungry and too tired to even unload the car. It was worth it though! I went to a lot of sweet new-to-me shops and loved the drive itself—it really was the perfect day for it. Anyway, here are a few things I found….

Other scores not pictured: an over-sized woven beach bag, a super cute ’50s sweater with little Yorkies embroidered onto it, a fringe-y suede vest, lots of dresses, some cool paint-by-numbers, some cute skirts and blouses, a few nice Pyrex casseroles, two sassy pin-up girl crop tops, a lamp for the shop’s dressing room….I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff. Anyway, I’ve got to hustle on getting some of the clothes prepped in time for the Mighty Swell sneak peek photo shoot scheduled for Thursday! We have super pretty models lined up and our favorite photographer is shooting them—it should be a really fun night!

Did you get out and thrift or rummage sale this weekend? Find anything awesome?

I hope you all have beautiful days!

xo.

Meghan

thrifting trip: burnsville loop

When I leave work feeling like a crabbed-out stress case, there’s one thing that can always make me feel better: Shopping. Thrift-store shopping, to be exact. I wait until traffic dies down, and then grab my iPod, some water and hit the road. While most of my favorite thrift trips are all-afternoon adventures, I’ve got a few routes down that can easily be done after work (even if you’re a 10-6-er like me).

This one, back and forth to Burnsville, is one of my ole stand-bys for those nights when retail therapy is most definitely required. I like to head south on 77 (Cedar Avenue) so I can hit the Savers that’s barely in Apple Valley. Then I cut across to Burnsville on Cty. Rd. 42 which leads you directly to the Unique and Salvation Army stores. (Pro tip: If you’re stretched for time, just hit the Unique and Salvation Army in Burnsville—they’re literally across the street!) From there, you can head back to Minneapolis on Hwy 35W, or cut back to 77 on Highway 13 hitting Antiques Minnesota and the Chap Thrift shop in Burnsville along the way.

(Click the pinpoints to see pics and details like hours, phone numbers, website addresses, etc.!)

If you liked this post, check out my other thrifting treasure maps…one for St. Cloud and another featuring Family Pathways Thrift Stores up Highway 35.

Hugs!

Meghan