Best of Thrift: @brideonabike


The question I am asked most often when people come to my house is, “Where do you find all your cool stuff?”

The answer is always, “Goodwill.”

My history with Goodwill started when I furnished my first apartment at 18 years old. Everything was thrifted and second hand and I loved making my apartment unique. I would scour the local Goodwill’s for Fiesta ware, furniture, kitchen gadgets and games.

In my 20’s I worked as a nanny and would hunt for Lego, Playmobil and books for the kids. As my tastes changed, it was fun to find artwork for the walls and different furniture I could paint or repurpose. I really liked finding name brand items for a fraction of their retail cost.

When I met my now husband, Jay, in my late 20’s we would have date nights to the Goodwill. We loved looking for anything Pottery Barn for our first house together. We scored some amazing finds. On one of our date nights we scored a King size Pottery Barn duvet for under $5!

For our wedding in 2008 we had a vision. We scoured Goodwill stores from Bellingham down to Vancouver. We wanted each of our guests to have a different dinner plate, but we wouldn’t pay more than $1.99 for each one. During our hunting trips, we collected 150 different salad and dinner plates. For the wedding favors, we made candles in various crystal and clear glass punch cups we had found. I even snagged a beautiful wedding veil on a .99 day!

bride on a bik

After we got married, we had three teenage girls in the house. It was fun (and sometimes challenging) to go back to school shopping. We taught them that they could spend their back to school allotment on a few things from the mall or get lots of items second hand from Goodwill. We would spend hours on the hunt for name brand jeans, skirts, hoodies, homecoming dresses and shirts with funny sayings on them. Jay and I also liked to surprise them with bedroom makeovers. It was fun to find new furniture pieces that we could repaint or art we could transform and little knickknacks to make the space youthful and fun for them.

best of thrift bedroom

A couple years ago we moved to our dream home, lovingly called “The Mini Farm,” on a few acres where our mini donkeys, dogs and cats roam. A thrifted metal pointing hand sign I found at Goodwill directs guests down the driveway to our home.

devon woodshed

In our pasture, I love to host birthday dinners, game nights and gatherings with friends. Would you know that everything pictured here came from Goodwill?? The Ironstone dishes are from my local Goodwill and I scored a setting of 8 dinner plates and salad plates. Over the years I have collected Fiesta ware, vintage silverware and what I call ‘boopie’ glassware, linen napkins and mismatched dining chairs. You just never know what treasures you will find at Goodwill on any given day.

devon place setting

Devon table setting

People always ask to go thrifting with me but I have to let you in on a little secret. I don’t find awesome every time. I go often. Sometimes I pop in on my lunch hour, or on date night. Years ago when working in a new place, I asked a then unknown co-worker, Jen, if she knew of a Goodwill in the area that I could check out after work. She immediately said, “I’ll go with you!” We no longer work together, but we always meet every few months for a Goodwill Girls Day where we shop til we drop. No joke! We start at 9 a.m. when the stores open and we go to as many Goodwill’s as we can before they close. We talk all day long in the car, getting coffee and having lunch but when we step inside the store we both go our separate ways. She likes to hit the shoes and clothes first while I go to housewares and collectibles. We usually meet an hour later and show each other what we found. I guess you could say Goodwill brought us together. My advice for you is go often. Inventory changes all the time and go check out other Goodwill’s as they each have different items.

Devon chairs

~Devon aka @brideonabike