I come from a line of women who’ve mastered the art of thrift shopping. My Mother in particular is truly impressive when she steps foot in a second-hand or antique shop. She often isn’t looking for anything in particular, but almost always leaves with something (usually much to my Father’s dismay). Sometimes it’s a piece of furniture for a DIY project, other times it’s been valuable artwork that’s been sold for chump change, and every now and then it’s a piece of brand-name clothing that can’t be passed up.
She makes thrift shopping sound and look easy, but don’t be fooled. It takes a certain kind of person who’s up for the challenge to tackle a Value Village – one who’s patient, willing to sift through a lot of junk to find buried treasure, and who knows a good deal when they see one. I for one am not as talented as my mother and grandmother, but I like to think I’ve been cutting my thrift-shopping teeth since I moved to Toronto with so many vintage shop options around beyond your standard Sally Ann or Goodwill.
My most recent thrifting discovery? The Kind Exchange. You’ve likely heard of it by now if you’re in Toronto, as locations are opening up quickly in popular neighbourhoods across town. It’s my newest guilty pleasure, since it’s a consignment shop that carefully curates its inventory and always seems to have a ton of fun stuff to comb through when you’re out and about with some free time to kill. They’ve got a strong presence on Twitter and Instagram, making it easy to see what’s new at their various locations (new items are snapped and hashtagged with which store you can find them at) and they even let you hold items you spot online by calling and confirming you’re planning to come by and grab them. I did it with these pair of like-new Dr. Martens and was beyond stoked to scoop them up for $59!
If you’ve got some clothes you’d like to get rid of, The Kind Exchange will be happy to check out what you’ve got and if they like anything you have, they’ll pay you cash right on the spot to buy it or will offer to put store credit on your account. My two cents? Go for the store credit – you get more cash value that way, and next time you’re perusing the racks and find the perfect vintage summer skirt, you’ll be glad you had the money on your account to scoop it up for a mere $9.00 (psst – that’s what happened to me with this gem).
So, whether you’re new to thrift shopping or a seasoned pro like my Mom, The Kind Exchange is a welcome new addition to the variety of second-hand stores in Toronto and a fun way to pass the time. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re wanting to hunt for some good deals!