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! 

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