A while back, Chrystina of the blog Chrystina Noel asked me if we could go thrifting together. She was planning on throwing a fancy dinner party, and wanted to thrift all the things she needed for her tablescape. It turns out I also have a dinner party I’ve been planning, so we decided to go together and hunt down all the decor pieces we needed.
A few weeks ago, we headed down to Philly AIDS Thrift (one of my favorite shops in Philly.) Thrifting with Chrystina was a blast, partially because she’s a thrifting novice, and it was so much fun to show her the ropes and to remember what it was like to discover thrift stores for the first time. (You can read all about her thrifted party decor at her blog, including some pieces of advice I gave her while we were shopping!) I’m usually a solo thrift shopper, so it was a completely different experience going through the store with someone else.
I love Philly AIDS Thrift because it is HUGE. There are two floors, absolutely packed with stuff. It’s impossible not to find what you’re looking for.
Here’s my advice for other solo thrifters who want to go shopping with friends:
- Have different goals: The best friends to thrift with are the ones who are looking for different stuff, so you can help each other find what you’re looking for rather than compete for the same items. This can be as simple as thrifting with a friend who’s a different size or has a different personal style. For me and Chrystina, we were both looking for decor pieces, but were planning completely different parties that demanded different decor styles. It worked perfectly!
- Always follow the ‘who saw it first’ rule: Even when following the above advice, sometimes you’ll find great items that both people want. Agree to stick to the rule that the first person who saw it gets first dibs, and your friendship should last this thrifting adventure.
We started off by combing through the linens, and both found tablecloths for our respective parties. I also found some gorgeous 1960’s floral fabric that I’m turning into a romper.
- Combine expertise: One of the best tools when thrifting is the sometimes esoteric knowledge that lets you know when a good find is a good find. Go thrifting with a friend who has different interests, hobbies, and knowledge than you do, and suddenly you have two times the thrifting acumen. Chrystina is a font of knowledge about throwing parties, while I was the thrifting veteran. Together, we were definitely able to complete our mission more successfully than had we each gone alone.
- Get a second opinion: Be open to advice and suggestions, and you’ll walk away from the thrift store happier with your purchases. Maybe your friend will hone in on the potential of an item you overlooked, or talk you out of a needless purchase. Sometimes I find that just talking out my thoughts about a potential buy helps me make my decision.
- Go again: Once you find a great thrifting buddy, make going together a habit! I’m already looking forward to thrifting with Chrystina again in the future.
With Chrystina’s help, I started the collection of mismatched china I’ve been dreaming about for years! This is just one corner of Philly AIDS Thrift’s room full of china and silverware.
I love how Chrystina’s party turned out! Chrystina’s blog is a wealth of knowledge about party planning. Here are some of my other favorite posts:
- Simple Tips for Planning a Movie Night
- The Circle of Brunch
- Tips for Hosting Monthly Dinner Parties
- 1920’s Party Decorations