3.25.2009

thirft.

My mother is absolutely straight-faced convinced that thrift store shopping runs in our genes. My great aunts, Tommie and Golden were thrift shoppers before her, and she's done her best to pass the tradition down.
Of course, as a kid, I hated it. Kindergarten was brutal enough with the portable IV and uncontrollable bladder, let alone the second-hand clothes.

But growing up in a home where the established mindset was to appreciate the design, quality, color, or texture of something that was discarded by others may have made all the difference in my life.

When I wanted to paint at 8, my mother found me a painting set at the DI with a well used wooden easel and lots of brushes (I still have this.) When I wanted to play the flute at 11, she bought me a $70 one from a pawn shop (I still have this too.) When I wanted to sew, she bought me a$15 Bernina sewing machine (the one I still use.) To this day, my mom still finds and buys second-hand items I might find useful. (The latest purchase was a pack of two paintbrushes for $.50 waiting for me in my bedroom when I returned from school.)

Jr High was embarrassing because there's no time in life when name brand products feel so important; but by the time I became a junior in high school, I had it down. My favorite shirt was a lovely, swamp green 100% cotton weave shirt with yellow beading around the neckline
(as pictured above.)
With thrift shopping as my only real clothing resource, I taught myself about innovation and style. I learned to evaluate "good" design outside the realms of cultural popularity.

I'm not sure I would've learned this any other way.

My friend Jared's art, composed of second-hand objects:

2 comments:

T K Barlow said...

We love the picture, thanks so much!

mim said...

I like this post. You rock!
PS I am copying the print I got from you so that I can hang it in my office and at home (Hope this is okay) and the people in the copy shops love it so I tell them to check out your ETSY store.