Monday, April 30, 2012

Jackie Jardine: Thrift Store Academic

Book learnin' from a thrift shoppin' blogger.

Last week I was surprised to check my email and find a rather interesting request from a former professor of mine. Professor Atkins, a man I respect as both a mentor and a published writer, wanted me to be a guest speaker for his Editorial Writing class at Arcadia University. Since following Let's Go Thrifting through my Linkedin account, Professor Atkins was intrigued by my work and wanted his students to hear my experience and advice as a blogger. 

While at first I was flattered at being considered an expert in blogging, flattery was soon replaced with anxiety. What if these students have no interest in what I have to say? What if I'm bombarded with technical questions to which I have no answers? What if I stutter or fall flat on my face or forget to zip the fly on my pants? 

I soon put all that that aside and decided to share some of my experiences in blogging...and thrifting.  After making the journey to Glenside, PA and stepping into Boyer Hall, I took my place behind the podium and gave my first guest lecture as a professional blogger. I discussed the initial idea for Let's Go Thrifting, some of the problems I've encountered along the way and my plans for the future. I also shared some tips of the trade and discussed the need for a knowledge of social media as aspiring journalists. And to my surprise, I was greeted by students who were not just eager to learn about the blogging process as a journalistic tool, but eager to learn about my particular thrifting! 

While I did obviously go into my specialized interest of thrift shopping as the topic of my blog, I tried to keep the lecture as something of a broader-based info session on blogging in general. And this was for two reasons:

  1. I didn't want to bore what I thought would be a disinterested student body who couldn't care less about my penchant for finding the peculiar at the thrift store.
  2. I was invited as a guest speaker on blogging for journalism students, not as a speaker on thrifting for potential shoppers.

But there were questions on blogging and thrifting alike. How often do you go thrifting? You were at the new Impact Thrift Store!? How does the thrift pricing policy work?

I was so excited at the opportunity to discuss thrifting with the students, before I knew it, class was over. And after the lecture, I was met with a warm applause, I was asked for specific help on some of the students' blogs and I even handed out a few business cards. I guess that makes me something of an expert. Who knew that documenting creepy clowns and strange vintage books could accredit me as a guest lecturer at Arcadia University and as a correspondent for the Impact Thrift Store opening in just these last few weeks? Exciting things are on the horizon for Let's Go Thrifting! And I'm so glad all of you can be a part of it. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing in my firsthand observations on wacky secondhand finds. 

Blog on and stay thrifty! 
~ Jackie J. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Thrifting

Repent, all ye greedy thrifters. 

When most people picture the average thrift shopper, they probably are thinking of an ecologically-friendly, price-savvy guy or gal who enjoys knowing that their dollars are going to serve a good cause in the community. 

There are, however, those who use and abuse thrift stores with awful acts of greed, ignorance and total disregard toward the establishment, staff and even other thrift shoppers.

Those who perpetrate these acts are likely committing at least one of...

The 7 Deadly Sins of Thrifting

  1. Stealing. Stealing from a thrift store is robbing employees of a paycheck and the charities that thrift store supports.
  2. Price Changing. Price changing is stealing. Pay the price that's marked or don't buy it.
  3. Making a mess you expect others will clean up for you. If you knock a sweater off the hanger, pick it up and put it back. Don't leave it on the floor for someone else to step on.
  4. "Shopping" from other people's carts. Accept the fact that someone may beat you to the punch and grab something you just love. Unless they put it back to the shelf, they have dibs. So don't take anything out of their cart on the sly.
  5. Blocking the aisle with your cart. Intentionally blocking off an aisle of the store so you can scan the entire section undisturbed is just plain rude. If you end up blocking, clear a path if someone asks to squeeze past you. And hold the attitude when you do it. 
  6. Disrespecting the staff. Arguing prices or getting sassy with the clerk unlocking the fitting room if you have more than the limit simply unacceptable behavior. How would you like it if these thrift employees hassled you when you were trying to work?
  7. Condescension. Just because you may thrift for leisure and can maybe afford to shop elsewhere doesn't mean you have the right snub anyone in the vicinity. Also keep your negative opinions to yourself when it comes to what other thrifters are buying. If I'm buying a clown doll you think is hideous, chances are I know it's hideous... and that's why I'm buying it. 
I've been witness to some pretty disturbing thrifting behavior, and it's always disheartening to see. It's true that any job involving direct interaction with the public faces perils such as these. Employees and volunteers could likely tell you stories that would shock the hell out of you. Price haggling, shoplifting, physical if not verbal altercations between customers. It  happens. Yikes!  

But as I always say, thrift and let thrift. Don't cheat, lie, steal or be unbearably rude. Otherwise your thrift karma will be dangerously off-kilter, so much in fact, that you may be greeted with bare shelves and empty racks at thrift stores forever and ever until you come clean from your bad thrifting behavior. So be good little thrifters, ladies and gents. Be neat, buy honestly, donate and say hello to the staff while you're at it. 

What bad thrifting behavior have you witnessed? 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome to Vintage Photo Friday!

Go ahead. Make him an offer he can't refuse. 

Since amassing not one, not two, but three photo albums from Goodwill in the past few months, I've decided to start a virtual tour of my blossoming collection. Each Friday from now until the foreseeable future when I may one day run out of photos to display, I will present you with Vintage Photo Friday, a collection of thrifted wonders to delight the eye and boggle the mind. These personal snapshots, polaroids,  group poses and candid moments of people who I never met will long live in our hearts here at Let's Go Thrifting! 

So sit down and stay for our weekly vintage viewing of visual proof that not only did shoulder pads, pillbox hats and floral frocks exist, but these fashionable folks are wearing them proudly. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Go Thrifting: Live From The Runway

Lights. Camera. Thrifting!

Fashion doesn’t have to mean excessive spending. As avid thrift shoppers, we know the  the power of the almighty dollar and just how far we can stretch that dollar when it comes to what we’re wearing. 
Impact Thrift Stores recognize the need for fun, fresh and trendy fashion pieces at affordable prices. And what better way to show off their selection of secondhand clothing, but with a thrifted runway show? 
To conclude the grand opening celebrations of the new Impact Thrift in Feasterville, PA on Saturday April 21st, the staff, family, friends and special guests presented the crowd with a showcase of ensembles for every occasion. The show featured sharp and classy menswear, trendy looks for women and cute-as-a-button kids'  collections. And the looks were only outdone by the low cost on the price tags. 
Hosting the special event was honored guest and longtime Impact Thrift supporter, Sheila Fortson-Williams, who is otherwise known as “The Glam Thrifter” for her expertise in finding lux looks for less. 
The runway show was a runaway success, with some thrift shoppers interested in buying some of the clothing and accessories right off the models’ backs. 
And once you see these ensembles, you won’t wonder why the catwalk meant a catrun right to the register for these fashion-frenzied thrifters. 

So without further delay, I present to you...

The Impact Thrift Store Runway Fashion Show

Model/Assistant Manager Ben is looking suave in a Jack Victor suit,  Eddie Bauer shirt and a Nubio tie.
Total cost: $25. 

The Glam Thrifter presents her glam sister, Whitney, who is wearing a floral wrap dress and mules from Talbots.
Total cost: $11.  

Erinn is looking trendy in a black and beige dress by Eliza J, accessories and sandals. 
Total cost: $11.

Kate is sporting a fresh teen look. Entro floral top, skinny jeans and espadrille wedges
Total cost: $11.50 

Eric is looking good in a charcoal suit by Nautica, lavender shirt by Paul Frederick,  Geoffrey Beane purple tie and black shoes by Allen Edmonds. 
Total cost: $25

Whitney is on the go in her charcoal suit from United Colors of Benetton and  Forenza lilac blouse. 
Total cost: $15.

Suzy is looking lovely in an exotic cocktail dress by Cache, sandals by Nine West and  layered necklace .
Total cost: $42.

Charlotte in her floral print dress and Dan in his khaki pants and plaid green shirt make a too-cute pair.
Total cost per outfit: $6

Fiona is wearing a print dress from The Children's Place while James is in a Lands End tie-dye tee and shorts. 
Fiona's Total Cost: $7. James' Total Cost: $5.50

Sheila is the Mother-of-the-Bride in an Ann Taylor dress. Escorting her is Ben in a groom's tux by Sporting Life.
Total cost for Sheila: $15. Total cost for Ben: $45.

Francie is wearing a flower girl dress by US Angels. Charlotte is wearing a flower girl dress by Sophia Rose.
Total cost for Francie: $9. Total cost for Charlotte: $7

Kate is the beautiful bride on the catwalk in a never worn dress by David's Bridal.
Total cost: $200. 

Have you ever seen a thrifted runway show? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Welcome to Impact Thrift Store: The Grand Opening Celebration

Prepare yourselves!
Well, it finally happened. The big day came and went. Of course, I'm speaking of the grand opening of the Impact Thrift Store in Feasterville, PA.  And it was spectacular. 

I arrived at the Bucks Crossing shopping center at 9:30 am and was met by a line of would-be thrifters about 20 people deep. And what started with friendly exchanges about the weather quickly turned to thrift talk amongst the crowd. We were so involved in the conversation that we didn’t notice the line expanding behind us. But when heads started to turn to see the commotion, I stepped out of line to snap a few shots of a line the likes I’ve only seen at sold-out concerts. 

It keeps going and going and going...

The crowd swelled straight down the entire length of the plaza, and at times spilled past the curb for those wishing to get a glimpse of when the doors of the Impact Thrift Store would swing open to the public. Some of the managers of the other shops in the plaza actually complained that the line was blocking access to their store. But everyone remained orderly--excited, but orderly until the clock struck 10.

Oh, it's on!
President of Impact Thrift Stores, Paul Baur gathered the management, corporate staff, and the representatives from the charities that benefit from Impact behind the red ribbon and in front of an eager crowd. After a quick snap of the scissors, the madness began. The crowd pushed forward, crossed the threshold of the vestibule, passed through the doors and armed with baskets, carts and Impact logo tote bags went on the hunt for secondhand bargains. The words mob scene came to mind immediately. 

Operation Thrift has commenced!

After a few deep breaths and some evasive maneuvers, I dodged some of the incoming crowd to take a better look at what the staff of Impact was able to accomplish since I had been there for a behind the scenes preview a few weeks ago. The shelves were stocked, the racks neatly arranged. There were books and bric-a-brac abounding. Racks and racks of clothing. A rainbow of furniture lined the sales floor and shoppers clogged every aisle. 

I wonder if there was any Herb Alpert in there.

It wasn't easy to haphazardly snap away with the camera, given the crowds. There were carts and baskets filled to the brim. There were arms and tote bags filled, since every cart and every basket was claimed in the first few seconds of the doors opening. Fortunately I had a few friends also on the hunt who let me share their basket so I could observe the scene without too much of a juggling act. And given that I was there in a professional capacity, I couldn't focus all of my energy on my thrifting tactics (photos to be posted later of what I did buy). But there was a lot that caught my eye.

I'm so in love with this vintage Brownie camera from the silent auction.

I always wanted condiment colored furniture. Dibs!

These assorted glass fruits & veggies are yummy.

But these Impact cupcakes look even yummier!

From books and clothing to fitness equipment and kitschy decor, there was no shortage of fun finds at the Impact Thrift Store. Given the opportunity,  I'd run the aisles with a shopping cart, shoving it all in like some kind of   secondhand version of  Supermarket Sweep. But beings I had work to do, I showed some restraint. But far be it for me to deny others the pleasure of a full cart at cheap prices. And believe me, there were others...many others who were not shy about scooping up all the treasures they could push to the register. There was, of course, only one problem.

The lines, my God, the lines! 

This was the line to the checkout. All six registers were open and the floor staff did their best to direct the congested traffic of thrift shoppers through the maze of furniture and to the checkout,  slowly but surely. I patiently waited for 50 minutes to buy my three items,  and was greeted by familiar faces at the checkout--two friendly employees from the clothing department who I briefly chatted with a few weeks prior at the behind-the-scenes tour. 

"Hey, aren't you the blogger!?" 

Actually, this was probably the 6th time I had been asked that exact question by members of the staff, which only made me giddy with joy at having been recognized and remembered. So many of the Impact employees were walking the sales floor, greeting customers and trying to keep order. And it seemed every time I turned a corner, someone was saying, "Hey, aren't you that thrift blogger?"

"Yes, I am The Blogger. I'm the thrift blogger." 

I'll be honest. It felt good to say that with a sense of pride. I can't say how much I've enjoyed the interviews, the behind-the-scenes tour, the photo opportunities and seeing firsthand, the level of dedication the staff has to the Impact mission.

But wait! There's more. I still have to show you the three thrifted finds I bought...all three for a shocking $2.12

Sheila "The Glam Thrifter" Fortson, looking fabulous as always!
And you can't miss the photos from the Impact runway show. That's right! I have a photo spread of trendy and affordable thrifted fashion ensembles, fresh off the catwalk in a special Impact Thrift event hosted by the notable guest emcee, Sheila Fortson-Williams aka "The Glam Thrifter." 

You won't believe it until you see it. Suits for under $25? Children's ware for under $6? Hot teen trends at low, low prices? Yes, yes, yes! 

So stay tuned for all this and more in the next exciting installment of Let's Go Thrifting! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Super Special Thrift Store Tour: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Impact! **************PART 2**************

It's almost here! It's almost here!

Welcome back to the exciting conclusion of The Let’s Go Thrifting Super Special Thrift Store Tour of Impact, the mega thrift store opening on Saturday April 21st. In my last blog post I shared with you the philanthropic mission and community focus of Impact Thrift, Inc. And with the new location to open this Saturday in Feasterville, PA that mission will be greatly expanded. 

In speaking with Jill Tarabar, Assistant Director of Business Development, I learned something of the Impact business strategy: The Impact Board of Directors aims to open a new location every two years, a plan only made possible by generous donations and sound fiscal planning. And obviously, that planning has come to pass with the new Feasterville location. "There has been a significant increase in sales at Impact over the years, with the Montgomeryville location averaging an estimated 2500 transactions per week. We attribute our sales to the struggling economy and an increased media coverage, which lessens some of the stigma of thrift shopping," Jill explained. 

A Rainbow of Furniture

And on the topic of the thrift stigma, I had to note that the hipster anti-trend trend in shopping secondhand has likely loaned a bit of spotlight on thrifting for style and hunting down cheap furniture for the apartment. But with thrift stores becoming something of the modern hipsters' stomping ground, I just had to ask:

Q: Jill, what are your thoughts on thrifting for leisure as opposed to thrift shopping out of financial necessity? 

A: Should thrift shopping be for the underprivileged? I’m not really sure how to answer this question. There is talk in the Impact community sometimes that thrift shopping should solely benefit the poor. But philanthropically, thrift shopping is benefiting those in need through the revenue we earn. Buying that toaster from the thrift store, instead of paying full price for one elsewhere isn't depriving anyone, really. It's just smart. It's ecological. These items of the past were well constructed and still have some life in them. 

The lovely display case for the silent auctions.

And given my obsession with quirky finds at low prices, Jill’s thoughtful response gave pause to any hesitation I may have had in previous trips to the thrift store. 

We even talked a bit about my beliefs in thrift karma--how there are trips when fate, it seems, can be bent ever so slightly in our favor.  And my crazy theory must resonate in some small way as Jill was sure to note, “We do have a large demographic of shoppers that donate to Impact. I think they see it as an opportunity to give back, so it’s guilt-free shopping.” 

Community Outreach Coordinator Tamika Miller soon joined our conversation and admittedly has purchased a fair share of thrifted finds, especially back in her early days with Impact when she started as just a shopper hoping to join the company. “In a thrift store, everyone is looking for something...even the staff," Tamika said. "And the funny thing is that we process so many donations that whichever strange something that a staff member wants will likely end up on the shelf by the end of the day. When we're wishing for something obscure, we call it putting it out there in the Impact universe."

And this theory makes sense to me. So much in fact, that on opening day this Saturday I’m hoping that following all my interviews, photos and networking I will, by some magical workings of the thrift gods, discover the most amazing, indescribably perfect thrift find ever. It could happen. Especially since Tamika was sure to mention that the lines of furniture, pallets of books, mountains of clothing and rows of bric-a-brac is all just a mere 30% of the donations stockpiled in the Impact warehouse, waiting to be processed and priced. 

No, not just bookshelves. This is the Aisle of Knowledge.

With the Feasterville Impact being the size of an average supermarket, I’m likely to find something awesome. I just have to remember that I’m there as a professional blogger, so bickering with the elderly women over who has dibs on the costume jewelry or fighting the children for first pick of the toys would be...somewhat uncouth. 
But I guess a secondhand shopping venue of this size can be enough to make even the most timid of shoppers ravenous over the possibilities. Even Paul Baur, President and CEO of Impact Thrift Stores, Inc. is astonished by what something like this means for the company:

“We never envisioned something like this. Our first Impact Thrift in Hatboro opened in 2001 and was about 12,000 feet. This location is 66,000 square feet with 42,000 square feet of retail space. Customers will just be blown away with our huge selection.” Paul Baur, President and CEO Impact Thrift Stores, Inc.

Bric a far as the eye can see. 

With all of this space and inventory from donations at an all-time high, I just had to ask the processing crew about some of the items that have crossed their path. Sure there are bundles of yarn and craft supplies for Jill Tarabar and designer clothes being sorted for the Impact boutique section, but what I had to ask the staff is this:

What is the strangest donation ever encountered at Impact? 

Tamika Miller, who worked her way up from the retail end of the business, recalled spotting a preserved baby shark in a jar. The women of the bric-a-brac department excitedly chattered over the many, many bizarre...and at times inappropriate donations they've processed over the years. As for the inappropriate bric-a-brac? Not wanting to cause any embarrassment, I’ll just keep it discreet and say that there are some things best kept in the bedroom and out of the donation bins.

Better get in line now.  Here's where the registers will be.

So who knows what will turn up on the shelves of Impact? What we do know is this: It all starts on Saturday. That's right...the largest thrift store in the Philadelphia area and beyond is soon to open in just a few days.

So here's the info:

What: The Impact Thrift Store Grand Opening
Where: The Bucks Crossing Shopping Center on Street Rd and Bustleton Pike in Feasterville, PA.
When: Saturday, April 21st. 10 am - 1 pm. ( The store is open 'til 6 pm).

The ribbon cutting ceremony starts at 10 am and the first 100 shoppers will be getting a free surprise gift. There will be refreshments, door prizes, great discounts and a thrifty runway show of hot trends at dirt cheap prices at 1 pm. 

And as Jill Tarabar has promised to you eager thrifters: "This Impact is a mega-thrift store. When shoppers come here they're not going to see just a thrift store. They are going to see a department store. We're clean, organized and professionally-staffed with people passionate about what they are doing." 

I personally CAN'T WAIT! And I hope to see some of you there for a real life blogging meet 'n' greet and an adventurous hunt in what will undoubtedly be the best and the biggest thrift store in Pennsylvania.


Special thanks to Jill Tarabar, Paul Baur, Tamika Miller and the friendly and diligent staff of Impact Thrift for making time for me during such a busy schedule. I look forward to a successful grand opening and a continued patronage...with tons of fun thrifted finds in my future.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Super Special Thrift Store Tour: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Impact! **************PART 1**************

Impact Thrift Stores, Inc first opened its doors in 2001 with a property of 12,000 square feet in Hatboro, PA and high hopes to help fund local charities in the Philadelphia area. And in just 11 years, they've accomplished their goals and continue to welcome new ones with an open mind and open heart. And with a new Impact Thrift store opening in just two weeks, the entire team is working to bring their biggest and best achievement to an eagerly awaiting public.

On Thursday morning I stood there in Feasterville, PA, staring at the massive spread of property, at first as just a member of the public awaiting good deals on secondhand wares. But moments later, after being invited inside for a personal tour and interview opportunity, my role shifted quickly from an eager buyer to an awe-struck observer. Jill Tarabar, the Assistant Director of Business Development and woman behind both the Impact Thrift Stores website and social media, was my guide for the day. After cheerfully popping out of the receiving area to meet me, Jill led the way through threshold of what will be the processing area in the back room and right on to the sales floor.

The sheer magnitude of the building was nearly overwhelming. But in trying to maintain some degree of professionalism, I resisted the urge to frolic down the aisles in childlike glee. We talked about the business as we walked throughout the various departments of Impact, all of which were being tended by employees and management alike.

Once I wrapped my head around the space, a property of 66,000 square feet with 42,000 feet of actual sales space, I could not believe the inventory. Wrapped pallets, crates, totes, boxes and bags overflowed onto the  floor, waiting to be processed and priced by the team of Impact employees. Jill acknowledged the impressive inventory and explained, "Impact has made an impression because we really have generous donors. I think people are downsizing but want to be eco-friendly. They are just looking around and seeing too much."

And with all this space, Impact gladly takes it all in to help their cause. And the cause is a mission unique to Impact Thrift Stores. While Impact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, their income from sales does not benefit their own charity, but a variety of other charitable organizations in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. "We are transparent with the charities we support," said Jill. "Philanthropically, we have a completely different focus, with monthly donations that primarily aid families and children." Impact Thrift Stores admirably supports charities that provide everything from physical and emotional needs, education, safe recreational opportunities and inter-faith support. In short, they're a non-profit charity to support other charities. Impact also offers students hands-on workshops for academic credit in an internship program, exciting class projects on repurposing items and recycling and the opportunity to fulfill volunteer requirements. Programs include retail business training, community service and non-profit awareness.

But for any of these programs to function or before any of these charities can receive funds,  there is still much work to be tackling this mount of clothing, for example. But surprisingly, the staff of the Impact clothing department didn't seem to be bothered by the task, as they cleaned, processed, priced and sorted the mountain of donations. And while some staff members said they have found designer wares fit for the boutique section of the store, there are some garments that aren't in good selling condition. 

Ever concerned with their carbon footprint, the Impact business model ensure that nothing goes to waste. Jill explained that any clothing unfit for the sales floor goes through another process entirely. "If a garment is damaged we first aim to sell it pennies on the pound to another thrift store, if that doesn't work, the next step would be to send it to local homeless shelters. If they have no use for the clothing, the garments are shipped internationally to those in need. The last stop for unusable clothing is the shredder for use in insulation or some other means."

No matter the garment, the merry women of the Impact clothing department processed and priced, priced and processed...steadily making progress in the task that awaited them. And they did it with a smile, in a true spirit of team work. But this didn't surprise Jill, as she had mentioned earlier: "The people who work for Impact are here for more than just a paycheck. Their heart is in it. They're dedicated to the charities we support."

Impact is doing more than giving back to the community, they are forging a cyclical relationship that makes the thrift store, the donors, the shoppers, the staff and the support to the charities co-exist as one cooperative  unit. They are creating a community. And it didn't take long for me to note that this is the overall theme of the tour and the interview, as I meet several store staff and corporate leaders who share wholeheartedly in the same belief.

I suppose you could say that this is exactly what the President and CEO of Impact Thrift Stores, Inc had in mind when he first began his mission. And though I was only able to speak with him briefly, I got the impression that his initial mission has not changed a bit in the last 11 years. Standing proudly by the entrance of the largest Impact Thrift Store to date, President Paul Baur explained his business model perfectly:

"We really focus on the community as the owners of Impact, because without donations we would be empty. Members of the community make those donations. Employees and volunteers work hard to sell the items to the community. Charities in the community receive the funds they need. We're all connected. And at Impact we like to create win-win scenarios." ~Paul D. Baur President, Impact Thrift Stores.

The President, Manager and staff are way off in the distance. 

And by the looks of the new location, this Impact Thrift store will just be one of many wins for the company that has championed the cause of so many charities in the community. 

But there are still many questions to be answered during my tour of the Feasterville, PA Impact. 
  • Is thrift shopping only for the underprivileged? 
  • What is the strangest donation Impact employees have seen so far?
  • What wonderful festivities are planned for the grand opening of the Feasterville Impact Thrift Store?
  • What will it mean to shop in a thrift store larger than the average supermarket? 

Stay tuned for these answers and more on the exciting conclusion of The Super Special Thrift Store Tour.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Get Ready for a Sneak Peek of Impact Thrift!

It's almost here and we're getting a special preview!

For the past few months, I've dreamed of the day I get to roam the aisles of the new Impact Thrift. I imagine thumbing through the books, tearing into the racks and racks of clothing and maybe even doing a little jig down the bric-a-brac aisles.  The Impact Thrift soon to open in Feasterville, PA promises a magical land of secondhand treasures, all ready for the plundering. And how vast is this thrifty promised land? Oh only the largest of the Impact chain, The Feasterville Impact will be home to a mere 40,000 square feet of secondhand treasures.

And waking from my daydreams of antiquarian books, kitsch knick knacks and a sea of vintage clothing, it suddenly occurred to me: I have never pursued the opportunity to see thrift store operations  from a behind-the-scenes vantage point.

But tomorrow, dear readers, all that will change. With special accommodations made by Jill Tarabar, the Assistant Director of Business Development and Social Media Manager for Impact, I will be visiting the new location of Impact Thrift, just a few weeks prior to the grand opening for a tour of the sales floor and all the magic that happens in the back room. I'll be interviewing the staff, taking photos and getting an idea of what it takes to open a thrift store to the public.

You've seen some of my own found treasures from Impact Thrift Stores. Now you'll get to see how those treasures are received, processed and priced all in preparation for the doors to open to an eager public.

And on Saturday April 21st, I will also be on-hand for more interviews, photo ops and to take part in the grand opening celebration of the Feasterville Impact! 

For all of you local thrifters, the Feasterville Impact is located in the Bucks Crossing Shopping Plaza at Street Road & Bustleton Pike. The grand opening celebrations will begin at 10 am with a ribbon cutting ceremony and will include family-friendly activities, door prizes, discounts and will conclude with an incredible runway fashion show of just some of the trendy thrifted wares Impact has to offer. 

Now, I haven't seen anything yet. But the excitement is palpable. And after tomorrow's initial interview and behind-the-scenes tour, I'm sure I'll be crossing off the days from my calendar until the big opening!

What would you most like to know about the inner-workings of Impact Thrift Stores?