Thred Up – Upcycled Clothing & Make a Little Cash on your Spring Cleaning

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Periodically I go through my closet and get rid of clothing I no longer need. Usually, I just donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. This time I heard about a new way to get rid of clothes and maybe make a bit of cash. The best part is it is easy and all by mail and online so I don’t even have to leave the house. ThredUp.com

Basically, thredUp is a website to buy and sell gentle used name brand clothes. The clothes come from people like you and me mailing in clothes they don’t need. You earn either store credits or cash via paypal.

The shopping aspect reminds me a bit of ModCloth’s vintage section. http://www.modcloth.com/shop/vintage What? You didn’t know ModCloth had one of a kind vintage items? Its a bit of a secret feature…You have to be logged into modcloth to see it either via email or FB login. That is actually how modcloth started out. Things are cute, well-photographed and go super super fast.

ThredUp Shopping – First of all I love the design of the website. Stylish, modern and very user-friendly. I also love the prices. Cute casual dresses for under $10 that likely came from Target or JCPenney’s etc. Of course each piece is priced individually, so they range for more expensive designer brands also. I like that they have plus sized clothing (on plus sized mannequins ) which is very helpful.  You do have to be logged in to browse and buy things. They have a feature where you can create a “personal shop” that remembers your search features like sizes, styles etc.

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ThredUp Selling – Easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Create an account and ask for a mailer bag (right now they are free, sometimes they are $4.95)

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2. Fill the bag with gently used clothing.

3. Seal the bag, postage is already paid and labelled on the bag. Leave by your mail box for USPS or drop at post office,            FedEx or UPS.

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Then the magic happens. They receive your bag and evaluate each item. They say they only accept about 50% of items which meet their quality standards. Items they don’t accept get donated to charity or if you select it in advance and pay for it, returned to you by mail. The standards they use are: is it in good condition, a known brand they accept, stylish or from a recent collection and an item they don’t already have a ton of. Then they photograph your item and put it up for sale. They give you an upfront payment on items based on their sale price and for higher priced items automatically become consignment and you are paid when the item sells. You can use your funds as a store credit or after 14 days can be cashed out into a paypal account.

Before sending in items check out their Clothing Calculator or Pricing Estimator to see what brands and items they take and the possible amount you might get.

Items they DON’T take: men’s wear, formal gowns, business suits, undergarments, damaged items, dirty/stained items, items with the labels cut out, certain common brands like from Wal-Mart like Faded Glory.

Items they DO take: women’s clothing, kids clothing, cocktail dresses, swim wear, shoes, handbags, and accessories from most stores like Target, Gap, JCPenney’s, Dillard’s, Foley’s, Neiman Marcus, Lane Bryant, DressBarn, White House Black Market. They also take maternity and juniors or teen clothes.

My bag

Selecting Items –  So I went thru my closet looking for things that don’t fit me, don’t flatter me or weren’t as cute as I originally thought. Things like that adorable dress that just needs to be taken in a few inches but has been sitting in my closet for a year. Or items I have several similar items of. Do I really need 4 black pencil skirts? I ended up with a pile of about 10 items. Mostly dresses, a few skirts, a pair of pants and a top.Then I looked at the tags and typed them into the Clothing Calculator. Some things might have only estimated like 50 cents and I think I’d rather keep those. Some things estimated anywhere from $1 to $10. Washed all my items. Folded them and put them in the bag.

Mailing the Items – These bags are made of thin plastic and fit quite a lot. I took a photo of the tracking number and dropped the bag off at the post office. Dropped off on the 5th and FedEx delivered it on the 15th, so it is a bit slow but not terrible. Then thredUp took a few days to process. They send you an email. I ended up getting about $17 so that’s cool. These are items I would have donated anyway. The funds sit as store credit for 14 days then you can withdraw to paypal.

Selling – ThredUp sells everything for you. All my items were upfront payment rather than consignment. They accepted 5 of my items. They store your bag history so you can see all your items. They don’t outline how much you get per item but rather for the entire bag. It is a little surreal seeing something that was sitting in your closet suddenly on the web looking all fancy and professionally photographed. Out of curiosity, I check the sale prices and whether an item has sold. Within a week I could see that 3 items had sold so nice to see I have some good taste. ;)

Check out my Bag – You can also shop items from a particular household. This is cool to find items in a similar size or style. https://www.thredup.com/bags/671644

Below is one of my items. https://www.thredup.com/shop/women/Silk-Tops/HARARI/17/5444149 I saw it and thought to myself the same things I did when I bought it. OOOOooo look how pretty that is. I would totally wear that. It was lovely fabric and flattering. My issue with it was it was a bit too dressy for everyday outfits and it is a bit more bright and colorful than I typically wear.

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What I wish I had done….Made a list of what I sent or taken a photo. Now I can’t really remember what I sent in that they didn’t accept.

Note –  if an item says “unavailable” or “you just missed it” that means someone has it in their Cart but has not completed the sale yet. You might check back later as some people change their minds.

Pinterest

Check me out on pinterest. I finally jumped on the bandwagon. I have boards on vintage fashions from the 50s to the 70s. Also some Steampunk / Victorian clothing and housewares. Downton Abbey inspired flapper dresses from the Edwardian period and 1920s.

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https://www.pinterest.com/vintagebylyzzie/boards/

Lonestar Round Up 2014 – Classic Carshow

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So this past weekend I went to the Lonestar Round Up for the third time. Awesome as always. They have about 500 plus classic cars on display. Everything from 1920s roadsters to 50s Chevrolet. Rustic pickup trucks to shiny chrome convertibles.

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Cars are limited to American made vehicles prior to 1964. Registration for your classic car is $50 and includes 1 wristband. They have been putting on this show since 2002 and it grows a bit every year. The people are all very nice. This year was April 17-18th, 2014 and the weather was overcast but still nice.

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It is a big draw of people from all over the country. Rather a large carshow with thousands of visitors descending on the Travis County Expo Center here in Austin. A wristband is $15 but does cover both Friday and Saturday admission. Kids under 12 are free.

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In addition to beautiful vintage cars, it is a great chance to people watch. All the kustom culture and rockabilly type people come out. I love the retro fashions and hairstyles.This lovely lady let me take her picture. I love how her eyeshadow perfectly matches her lime green polka dot dress.

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In addition to all the cars, food and live music. There is also shopping! Booths both inside in a small building and outside on vendors row. Some are smaller independent vintage shops selling clothing, artwork and decor.

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I think the above shop was called Blonde League but not sure. Very cute mid-century circle dresses. Also super reasonable prices like $20 to $40.

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There was also a vendor in an old Airstream trailer called guess what Airstream Boutique. Adorable inside and out.

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Then they also have some bigger nation wide vendors like Steady Clothing.

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Antique Weekend 2015 – Warrenton / Roundtop

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So this weekend was my first time going to the  Texas Antique Weekend in Warrenton / Roundtop. Wow, quite the experience. If you have never heard of it, it is rather a big deal here in Texas. It is a bit like the Fredricksburg Tradedays but on steroids. There are thousands of people attending and well over 1,000 vendors. It is actually 60 antique shows put together. It is located half way between Austin and Houston. Shoppers and vendors come from all over the country and even world to come to this giant fleamarket.

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Where – It takes place in mainly in two tiny towns on State Hwy 237 called Roundtop and Warrenton. And when I say tiny I’m not kidding …. Roundtop has a population of 90 and Warrenton 65. Apparently, the Roundtop Show started in 1968 and the Warrenton show followed along in the 1980s. If you missed the weekend there are always about 15 antique stores there all the time. If you want to get to Warrenton take Hwy 71 to Hwy 159 near La Grange, then Hwy 237 follow the signs for Roundtop. If you want to get to Roundtop you are better off approaching from the north as traffic during the show between the two towns is pretty bad. Take Hwy 290 for Giddings or Brenham and then take Hwy 237.

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When – The Texas Antique Weekend is actually two weekends in the Fall and two weekends in the Spring. Generally late March / early April and then again late Sept / early Oct. The weather is generally quite nice, not too hot and not to cold. I went April 3rd and it was 70 to 85 degrees. Along the way you will see some pretty wildflowers, farms, cows and cute farmhouses.

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What – Antiques as far as the eye can see. There are actually several fairs going on in each town run by various antique shops. Each one then has many booths, tents, small buildings and barns. All the antique shows in Warrenton are free. Three shows in Roundtop cost about $10 to get into; Marburger Farm being one of them. Parking is usually free in Roundtop or in Warrenton in peoples fields and cost $5. There are big pieces like furniture in styles like French, Colonial, Americana, Shabby Chic & mid-century. There are dishes like milk-glass, China, Pyrex, enamelware, cast-iron, etc. There are architectural salvage like old doors, old windows, stained glass, tin ceiling tiles, doorknobs, chandeliers, light fixtures, etc. There is vintage clothing like Victorian pieces, 1950s prom dresses, 60s mod fashions, retro hats, slips and gloves. Art work, rugs, rusty teasures, knick-knacks, you name it, its probably there. Need an old wagon wheel? They have plenty. How about old mason jars, they have tons. Some stuffed deer heads, you’re covered. Some chairs painted white and all chippy? Of course they have them. Want a 1950s kitchen table, no problem.

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The shows I specifically remember seeing are Tree Park Antiques, Cole’s Antique Show, Clutter, Granny McCormick’s Yard, Hillcrest Inn Show, Lone Star Gallery, Renck Hall, Tin Star Field, Warrenton Grocery and Zapp Hall. Granted they are all right next to each other so kind of blend together. It has the feel of the State Fair or something. Booth after booth of interesting things to see.

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What to Bring –

Comfy Shoes – I probably walked 3 to 5 miles just wandering around. You are best to walk up one side of the street and then back down the other.

Cart / Ikea bag – If you are serious about buying something bring a mini rolling cart, wagon or stroller to haul your stuff. You can buy a cart for about $25 at the show. Ikea also sells those huge blue plastic bags which are quite handy. Large items can be shipped to your house if they don’t fit in your car or truck

Bottled water – this is Texas, you will get thirsty and dehydrated. You can buy there for $1 to $1.50.

Snacks – you will be there for 1 to 6 hours depending on your stamina. Food is available from small cafes, booths and a few local restaurants. Anywhere from $8 to $20 so fairly reasonable. I think the booth I went to was called the Pickle Barrel. Very tasty handmade burger and fries for $8.50

Ice Chest – put an ice chest in your car. I cannot tell you how happy I was to have some ice cold drinks by the time I got back to my car.

Money – small booths take cash, some larger ones take credit cards, there are a few ATMs. Prices vary greatly and you are welcome to try haggling.

Hat / Sunscreen – While many shows are in tents or building you will do a lot of walking in between.

Good Attitude – a friendly positive attitude is the Texas way. Smile and say hello to the vendors. Be patient with the crowds or slow-walkers. Relax on your drive in and out of town as it will be a long one. Traffic crawls once you get 5 miles away. It took me nearly 2 hrs to go 5 miles. Granted it was noon on Friday when I drove in. I wish they had a shuttle.

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They also have many booths selling new merchandise like women’s clothing, candles, textiles, pillows, baskets, home decor, etc.

See an awesome aeriel view from this youtube video. It goes north to south from Carmine to Roundtop to Warrenton.

See a gallery of my 70+ photos at my flickr.

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Websites – Being that there are multiple shows run by different people there are several websites. I like the no-frills 3rd party website that covers them all. antiqueweekend.com

Architectural Salvage at the Austin ReStore

I had another visit to the Restore in east Austin. It is like a thrift store for DIY and designers. You never know what treasure you will find. They are also a great place to donate fixtures or building supplies if you are remodeling and taking out functioning pieces.. See my previous post on Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

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This ReStore is in an old warehouse decorated with a mural, next to a playground and has limited parking. They also accept donations. 310 Comal St., Austin, TX 78702 M-F 8-6pm, Sat 9-5pm, Sun Closed  Right off East 4th Street. While you are in the neighborhood check out E. 6th Street which is where all the young hip clubs, restaurants, and bars are moving in.

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They have a little bit of everything. Sort of like a reclaimed Home Depot. They have vintage and modern kitchen appliances. It of course varies from day to day as things can go pretty fast. Above is a retro GE oven from the 60s or 70s in a cream color. They also have all sorts of lights, lamps, fans, and electrical items both new stock that stores donate and vintage like the light cover above.
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They always have an assortment of ceramic tiles, vintage soap dishes, towel bars, etc. And the prices are way cheaper than the big box stores and the items are perfectly usable. Great place to find replacement tiles that might no longer be available new.

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A good place for students to get dorm room furniture. I think these office chairs were like $10.


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I’m in love with this three compartment kitchen sink! If only I were re-doing my kitchen…. So they have tons of kitchen and bathroom sinks. The have more modern 90’s type sinks as well as vintage ones with the hudee ring. They have tiny sinks and huge sinks. Occasionally they will have ones reclaimed from restaurants. They have vintage bathroom sinks and pedestal sinks suitable to match anything from the 1920s up thru the 60s. Mostly white, cream or stainless steel. On a rare day you might find a pastel blue or pink. Some of these sinks were a true bargain at just $30

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They also have cabinets, vanities and shelving. A lot could be cut down and re-purposed. Sometimes items get separated so be sure to look thru the entire area. I believe this tall narrow kitchen cabinet from the 40s or 50s goes with the doors that were located on the other end of the huge room.

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Sometimes they are rather modern cabinets. You can buy the whole cabinet below for the price of just one of the handles if bought new. They also sell some brand new items like paint and hardware supplies.

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Vintage Apron

So, I finally added some new listing to my etsy shop. I have been lazy (and without a functioning external flash since before Christmas). Among them is an adorable floral half apron from the 1950s.

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Being a plus size gal myself, I was happy to find a few XL aprons at an estate sale. This one is handmade and probably fits up to an 18 or 20 dress size. If you are small or medium it would look fine too. But if you wear a large size you know who frustrating it can be to find a vintage anything. And since the whole idea of an apron is to protect your clothes wearing one that doesn’t actually cover the front of your dress while doing those domestic goddess things like baking is a bit silly.

IMG_1697This floral pattern of tiny roses reminds me of flour sack dresses and indeed might be made from one. This also has a bright pink ribbon detail with white lace. And a pocket.

Also, am I the only one that has seen a decline in sales for vintage on etsy? My shop has been dead as a doornail for months? Is it that I’m not promoting enough or has it become like ebay with a huge amount of vendors but not enough buyers?

Austin – Farmer’s Market – Comprehensive Listing

I recently discovered a centralized listing of all farmer’s markets in Austin. Wow, there is a lot more than just the normal Saturday time slot. It is on the website for the popular and free magazine Edible Austin which you can pick up at the various Farmer’s Markets as well as Whole Foods.

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Some of these markets I didn’t even know were going on. Its exciting to see some farmer’s markets in East Austin as well as some evening ones in central Austin. Thankfully, being Texas most markets are year round as there is always some sort of veggies in season.

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Farmer’s markets are a great way to get healthy food into so called “food deserts”. Food deserts are areas of a city which may have little or no grocery stores. These often occur in lower income areas which may not be desirable to big chain stores. These areas often have locals who work long hours and rely on public transportation; so grabbing high calorie but nutritionally lacking fast food is easier than getting a bus to a distant supermarket.  Did you know that most farmer’s markets accept EBT/Snap foodstamp cards for their fresh fruit, veg, meat, cheese, etc? In food deserts bringing a market to that neighborhood is a great resource for people who’s only nearby store may be a corner store with little or no fresh food. Usually, farmer’s markets are a festive and educational place with samples. Many have a live band or some food trucks as well.

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I will re-list a few main Farmer’s Markets below.

Austin

Barton Creek Farmers Market  – Saturday 9am -1pm (Barton Creek mall parking lot)

SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown – Saturday 9am-1pm (Republic Sq Park)

SFC Farmers’ Market Sunset Valley – Saturday 9am-1pm (Toney Burger Center)

Cedar Park Farm to Market – Saturday 9am-1pm (Lakeline Mall parking lot)

Lone Star Farmers Market – Sunday 10am – 2pm ( in Bee Cave by Lowe’s)

Mueller Farmers’ Market – Sunday 10am-2pm (East Austin at “Browning Hangar”)

HOPE Farmers Market – Sunday 11am-3pm (East Austin –  E. 5th St & Comal)

Barton Creek Farmers Market – Sunday 11am – 3pm (Bluebonnet & S. Lamar)

SFC Farmers’ Market East – Tuesday 3pm-7pm (East Austin – MLK Blvd & Miriam Ave)

Pflugerville Farmers’ Market – Tuesday 3pm-7pm (Green Red Barn at Heritage Park)

SFC Farmers’ Market at the Triangle – Weds 3pm-7pm (4600 N. Lamar)

I find all the market’s fairly similar in Austin and the prices are reasonable. Full of good food and friendly folks. All the photos in this post are from the Barton Creek Farmer’s Market at Barton Creek Mall. For my review on that particular market see my earlier post.

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