Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Part 1: Touring Richmond

Mr. 3 and I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks including two weekend trips to Richmond, VA (one was for business and last weekend we had a wedding).  We would like to leave DC and move to Richmond (anyone know of any jobs?  send them my way!) where cost of living is lower,  traffic is not as horrendously gawdawful, and public transportation doesn't leave me telling a fellow metro rider that she was rude and her behavior was completely unneccessary (At which point this fellow metro rider responded with "if some people would just move their fat *sses, we wouldn't be having this problem"...which I took to mean she meant me and I promptly moved my butt to the next metro car at the following stop so I wouldn't have to deal with her nastiness.  My ride was much more pleasant after that.).

Public transportation rant aside, I haven't spent tooooooo much time in the Richmond area, so I took these past two weekends to explore the different neighborhoods and see if the area would really be someplace we could consider living.  Some people might choose to explore a new city by historical landmark, museums, or schools...I chose to explore by way of thrift store.

I began my search by pulling up an article from Young House Love, a family/home renovation blog based out of Richmond, which provided their favorite sources for thrift store goods.  I expanded a bit from there using my trusty Yelp app on my phone.  Instead of giving you a bunch of thrift store finds, I'm going to give you a round up of the pros and cons of each thrift store today (plus a few photos of the goods!).  Tomorrow, I will share my thrift store purchases (spoiler alert, I only spent $16!) and I'll also give you a run down of the restaurants I tried out and other areas to explore.

Diversity Thrift - This store is located off the highway and is probably the most fun building (Rainbow stripes all around the top of the building to show their support for the LGBT community!).  There is a small parking lot and plenty of available street parking out front.  Diversity Thrift has two rooms dedicated to clothing, but most of the store is devoted to furniture and housewares.  I actually went here both weekends to look around and it seems like there is a decent amount of stock turnover.  During my second visit, I saw someone buying a couch and the staff then replaced it immediately with two love seats that they had stored in the back.  Their furniture prices seems a bit high for some of the pieces, but they also mark them down pretty quickly.  Most of the upholstered furniture would need to be redone.  A few items had already been marked down from the previous weekend.  I desperately wanted to buy two $30 side chairs that only needed to be cleaned up and repolished/waxed, but we have plenty of furniture for the apartment and no plans to buy a house anytime soon.  Diversity Thrift was a bit grungy, but nothing too scary and the people working there were very pleasant and welcoming.

Great shape and well constructed!  Definitely needs new fabric...those stains scare me.
Beautiful chair.  May need new fabric (it was stack up high on a top shelf and this was the best I could do zooming in)
Retro valet.  Recover that seat with some pretty leather!
Salvation Army - This location of the Salvation Army is around the corner from Diversity Thrift.  There is a good amount of parking and the store was very clean and well organized.  The staff was super helpful and asked me multiple times if I needed any assistance.  This store had a great selection of furniture in excellent shape and a small selection of housewares in the back.  The staff had set up the store to look more like a furniture show room in the front by displaying dining tables with china cabinets and setting up couches with coffee tables, side tables, and lamps.  If you didn't have a ton of money to furnish your house, I thought this was an awesome way to show people how donations from multiple sources could be paired together to give you a complete dining room, living room, etc.  The prices seemed to be fair overall. 

This would be great for a bachelor pad!  Also gives you an idea of how Salvation Army sets up its displays.  Notice the faux flower arrangement on the table?

Love of Jesus Thrift - This store is a huge warehouse in a really large, sketchy looking parking lot.  It was one of the dingier looking thrift stores on the inside and the lighting makes the whole place look drab, but this store had the biggest selection of housewares and furniture.  That's not to say it had the best selection.  If you follow me on instagram (and you should! @PoshPurpose), then you probably saw the sweet, sweet used tanning bed I found.  The glassware and lamp section were huge in comparison to most thrift stores.  Dishes were piled up on multi-level shelves...I couldn't even see the top shelf.  However, a lot of it looked like promotional glassware and even with my glassware addiction, I didn't see anything I was dying to have.  That said, there is so much to see at Love of Jesus, it's definitely worth checking out.  I have a feeling that a regular vistor could find a bunch of great items. 

Creepy aged tanning bed.  $300!  But that wooden bench in the back could be promising.

Family Thrift Center - If you hit up Love of Jesus Thrift, you can easily drive across the street to Family Thrift Center.  This store is on the smaller side with mostly clothes, but there is a great, although small, home section at the back with mostly dishes, lamps, and headboards.  The best part about this store were the prices.  I spotted two green and white china lamps for $9.98 each which I'm still kicking myself for not purchasing (although, I have absolutely no place for them).  I also found a vintage Pyrex divided dish that was in pristine condition for $6.98.  Headboards were in the $30 range, with some even marked at $9.98.  Almost everything I looked at seemed super reasonable and fair.  The store was also well-lit, pretty clean overall, and had a decent amount of parking (there is a large pawn store next door which I didn't get a chance to go into, BUT I saw several people walking across the parking lot and hitting up both I suspect it might be good).  It's definitely worth a look if you are in the neighborhood.

Second Debut by Goodwill - This thrift store is located in Carytown and carries mostly clothing.  There is a small section of small housewares at the back, which seemed a little sparse.  Everything was really well organized, very clean, and the store was well lit.  I wouldn't say that this store is a waste of time, because Carytown has a bunch of restaurants and other shops, so stopping at this Goodwill was a great way to see a fun neighborhood.  There is no parking available, so you will have to look to the side streets for a spot.  If you are a D.C. reader, Carytown reminds me a bit of Glover Park.

Hope Thrift - This store seemed to be one of the most popular spots for thrifting.  There were tons of people looking around on Saturday afternoon.  This is another store, like the Salvation Army, that has taken the effort to arrange donations and group like items together in displays.  The whole store was extremely clean and well-lit.  There was decent selection of nicer quality dishes and furniture.  It is a large size store in a strip mall parking lot in a decent part of town.  Everyone working there was helpful and stock was moving like crazy.  Hope Thrift reminded me a bit of Briana's Habitat.  I don't think you can leave something on a shelf while you peruse the rest of the store, because it probably won't be there when you get back.  Cutthroat thrifting.

Ok, I consulted Briana about this couch.  First off, it was a bit more navy in person.  Secondly, fabric is embroidered, not printed...which is awesome.  Thirdly, if you rip off the skirting, I bet you find yourself a fun statement couch with some great legs for $135!  Briana and I decided this screamed fun rather than granny since it was embroidered fabric and you could take off the skirt. 

Spray paint this dingy looking headboard black, navy, green, or even pink!  I think it was $45.

Books, Bikes, and Beyond Thrift - This thrift store was the most disappointing and barely worth mentioning except to say that it isn't worth the trouble.  The store is extremely small and has nothing but street parking.  I think there was one or two bookshelves worth of housewares and the rest was clothing.  The only positive in going to this store is that all books are free.

I saw a lot of Richmond in the car going to and from all these thrift stores.  Like most cities, some areas were sketchy and some were quite nice.  I shared everything with Briana and we both agreed that, if nothing else, Richmond would be a great place to thrift!  Anyone else lived in Richmond?  Give me the good, bad, and ugly about the city!

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