8.20.2015

Consignment Pit-Stop: The Vested Interest

Two weeks ago as I was cruising home through Warren, NJ, a cute little store on the side of the road caught my eye.  I was in motion, so I only caught a glimpse, but what I clearly did see were the words Consignment Boutique, and a rack of clothes outside on the porch.  I did some research as soon as I got home, and learned that the boutique was The Vested Interest, a consignment shop that carries like-new items from stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomindgale's, and from high-end designers.  Conveniently I already had plans to be back in Warren the following week for a hair appointment, so I made certain to leave a little early for a quick pit-stop! 


The Vested Interest is on Mt. Bethel road, right off of Route 78, before you hit the main part of Warren at Mountain Avenue.  It's really easy to get to, just take note - Google Maps had me reaching the destination 1/4 mile after I was actually supposed to turn!  Luckily my shopping sixth-sense was in full force, so I recognized the shop and made the turn in time.

Walking into the store there was clearly a ton of merchandise.  Items are pretty well organized by clothing type; dresses, blouses, sleeveless, sweaters, jackets.  Shoes and bags have different sections throughout the store, including one full wardrobe/display case of each:

I was impressed by the pretty decent selection of formal evening wear and plus size clothing as well; those are two categories you don't see that much of.

There was a lot of higher-end designer clothing, such as Missoni, Prada, Kay Unger, and Trina Turk to name a few.  There was a special Lily Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines section for those on the preppy side.  The shop is definitely catered more towards a working woman, so no fast fashion brands like Forever 21 were in sight.  There were lots of really, really nice items; you can tell that the owners do not accept anything that isn't in like-new condition.  SO MUCH of the merchandise was still new with tags! 


Looking around initially I was impressed and intrigued by a lot of the merchandise, but not so much with their prices.  Everything seemed a bit more than I'd be willing to pay, even for used designer.  One Eddie Bauer t-shirt was marked $18 - there was no way I was paying that much for that!   I had been in the store about 15 minutes and had circled once already before the owner finally greeted me, and asked if I knew about the sale.  Um, what sale?  She pointed to a board behind the register I had totally missed - all items with a purple dot were 50% off, items with a blue dot were 30% off, and green dots were regular price. I quickly double checked a Missoni dress I had liked; it was $36.00, with a purple dot!  Okay, I thought, that changes everything! Time for a second go-around of the store!

The sale really changed the game for me price-wise; things were much more reasonable and were more steals than not.   I went into the dressing room with about 10 items; some notable ones were the Missoni dress I mentioned above, a Calvin Klein khaki shirt dress, and an adorable Lily Pulitzer cardigan.  I loved a lot of the items, but decided to restrain myself.  I ended up coming home with these cute woven oxfords by Hinge:


They normally are around $100, and I got them for $25.

Overall, I think the sale prices really make The Vested Interest a place to stop by.  The owners keep a really great selection of clothing, especially if you're into higher-end designers.  I think I'll definitely be stopping by in the fall for basic sweaters and shirts.

As a side note, before stopping into a shop I always check the internet for reviews to give me an idea of what people are saying beforehand.  I could only find one review of The Vested Interest, which stated that the owner was unpleasant.  After my experience I wouldn't use that term - the owner I spoke with, who co-owns with her mother, was fairly pleasant once I started talking to her.  I wasn't greeted right away, which would have definitely helped with my understanding of the sale, but I didn't feel that the owner was nasty or hard to deal with at all.  Let's just say I've dealt with much worse!  If you plan on stopping by, just keep an eye out for the sale sign behind the register as soon as you start shopping.

Today actually happens to be my birthday, (whee!), and as part of my celebration I asked my honey to accompany me on some bargain adventures this weekend.  I can't wait to report back with what we find!

Until next time,

xoxo, Bettie


8.17.2015

Happy National Thrift Shop Day!


Unbeknownst to me, today is one of the greatest "holidays" of the year: National Thrift Shop Day!  I've been seeing great deals advertised by thrift and vintage stores all over social media to celebrate.  Unfortunately I'm confined to my cubicle today, and have a painting-the-walls date with my bedroom later, so I'm not going to be able to participate in any of the fun!  Let me know if you make any great finds today - Happy Thrifting loves!

xoxo, Bettie

8.12.2015

Vintage in Vacationland!: Maine Adventures Part 2

To wrap up my posts about shopping in Maine, I definitely saved the best for last.  When I was telling my step-grandma, Vicki, about my adventures and this blog, she mentioned that she had recently seen a newspaper article about Heirloom Antiques & Vintage in Waterville, ME.  Being an avid shopper like me, she was more than eager to take the trip and check it out! We took a day trip to Waterville, with some other shopping stops along the way.


Simply put, Heirloom was great, and is now in my top list of favorite stores.  The owner, Nicole, is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and her shop reflects her pleasant and bubbly personality.  All of the items in the store are carefully and thoughtfully organized and on display.  The store is bright, warm, and welcoming; you don't want to leave!



There was a great selection of items, ranging all decades.  I came across some really unique and beautiful pieces; for example, there was a whole collection of '60's dress and jacket sets made with beautiful Asian fabrics from a woman whose mother was originally from Korea.  It was heartbreaking that they were way too small for me! A lot of sizes were on the smaller side; based off of the amount of regulars that stopped in the store while I was there for a short while, it's obvious that Nicole has a following, which means that stuff goes quickly!  Still, there was definitely plenty for my liking, and I certainly picked more than a handful to try on!

I was also impressed by the amount of men's clothing.  Unlike vintage stores where men's clothing are skipped over or are just an afterthought, Heirloom has a complete men's section that's given as much  love and care as the women's clothing.  I especially liked the layout and displays in the men's area:

Nicole helped me pick out items to try, and I ended up coming away with three winners; a yellow 1960's house dress, a custom made dress from the 60's with a matching belt, and what I've been looking for....a wicker woven purse!

Wheeeee!!!

 On top of the great items Nicole has in her shop, she also has them priced to sell.  Not only were these great pieces, but they were great bargains, in my opinion.  I paid $16 for the purse, $15 for the yellow dress, and Nicole gave the second dress to me for $25, when it was originally priced at $29.  All in all I paid less than $60 for three items that I absolutely love!  If you happen to be in the area definitely stop by for your winter coat - there were beautiful vintage wool coats she was selling for $40!  You can't get anything these days at remotely the same quality for prices like that.  

Stopping at Heirloom was the perfect ending to my trip to Maine.  Nicole was a joy to talk with, and I hope to keep in touch with her and purchase from the shop remotely!  I'll definitely be stopping in whenever I'm up north.  A huge thank you to my shopping partner in crime, Vicki, for taking me!

Oh, and by the way....did I mention that Nicole's husband sells homemade fresh bread next door?  Yes darlings, heaven is a place on earth.  



 Until next time!

xoxo, Bettie

8.07.2015

Friday Finds Weekly Roundup: August 7

While I was in Maine I did a lot of shopping!  I'll be writing about the second vintage shop I visited (and LOVED!), but I also made some great finds at other places along the way.  Here's my Friday Finds roundup for this week!

$4 Blazer from A Touch of Class Too Thrift Shop in Farmington. 


$10 BCBG flats (looked barely worn) from A Touch of Class Too.
 A Touch of Class Too is run by Work First, Inc., an organization that provides jobs and support to people with disabilities.  Can't beat good finds for a good cause!

$20 Superga Sneakers from Marden's.
Marden's is the size of a Wal-Mart and is kind of like TJ Maxx, just way more disorganized, and you have to dig to find the good stuff.  The store is fun for both men and women, and for all ages!  I actually think men would do even better here - they had basic t-shirts for $1, lots of sports teams items, and I saw tons of Nike jackets and sweatshirts for just $25.


On the way back on a day trip to Pemaquid, we stopped in the adorable town of Damariscotta. There were tons of great little boutiques. My brother and I loved Seawicks Candle Company, a husband and wife team that make and sell their own soy candles.  Their shop is awesome; they sell their candles, but also purvey unique antique pieces and other goods by local artisans.  The store itself has such a great relaxed, seaside vibe.  Their candles are on the pricier side, but I think it's worth it to 1) get a great product and 2) support a local business!  If you're ever in Damariscotta, definitely stop by!



8.05.2015

Vintage in Vacationland!: Maine Adventures Part 1

Hello darlings!  I'm back today after being in the state of Maine for a divine week-long vacation.  My step-dad's parents, Vicki + Herm, spend their summers at their lake house, and invite family and friends to take some time off and visit.  My family has visited the past few summers, and this year I finally was able to join them!


I had the most amazing time - Vicki + Herm are so much fun, and Maine is absolutely beautiful.  We spent our week boating and swimming in the lake, taking day trips to different parts of the state, eating Gifford's ice cream, and of course, shopping!  

Vicki and I spent a full day shopping in Waterville, and had the best experience shopping at Heirloom Antiques and Vintage.   I'm still in the process of taking some pictures of my goodies for you, however, I also did some shopping in Farmington with my mom, and our experience there was....interesting, to say the least.  I absolutely had to tell you all about it as soon as possible!  

My family and I stopped in Farmington on the way back from Smalls Falls, a scenic rest stop that also doubles as a great spot for cliff jumping.  How gorgeous is it?!


On the way to the falls, we had seen signs for a few shops, namely one called Outskirts Vintage.  My mom and step-dad actually initially saw the sign, and insisted that we stop so I could check it out.

There's a lot to say about Outskirts, so I'll get right to it.  First of all, the owner was extremely nice, pleasant, and clearly knowledgeable, however...she was a bit of a hot mess!  Even if you didn't talk with her much or have the experience I did, you could get that vibe from the store itself.  The store was dark; so dark you couldn't tell that it was mid afternoon on a gorgeous sunny day!  They were apparently going through a remodel, so some areas were weirdly roped off, there was stuff on the floor, and things just looked haphazard and shoved in random places.  It was store policy not to allow any pictures, so unfortunately I can't give you guys an idea!

There were some really beautiful items in the store, but the problem is, I'm not really sure if the owner really wanted to sell any of them!  Prices seemed kind of high to me; they definitely were not set to move items out the door.  Also, as we were shopping, items on the floor suddenly were actually not for sale....seriously.  Let me explain:

It started with an adorable fruit charm bracelet my mom found; the owner heard my mom showing it to me, walked up to us, and exclaimed "Ohhh... you know... I'm in the midst of remodeling, and I need certain items to create the right aesthetic...so I'm so sorry....that's not for sale!" Okay... understandable, the area where we found the bracelet was off limits. Our bad!  However, a few minutes later I picked up and adorable straw bag, with a price tag, from a different area of the store.  She came up to me again: "Oh my gosh!! You clearly really have great taste!  I just realllllly need to keep some things, so I'm so sorry.... but it's not for sale!".  Alright...it was a cute bag so it would look great on display, but then why was it tagged and on the floor? Also, aren't the point of displays to sell things?  I haven't been to a vintage shop where the items in a display are not for sale, unless they are clearly marked.  Lastly, I tried on an adorable pair of sunglasses I found on top of a glass display case...once again I was told I had great taste, but she was so sorry, another customer must have put them there by accident, they weren't for sale either!  At that point, as Vicki put it best, "and you were still in there, why?".

I stuck it out because I do feel like you never know where you'll make the find of your life, and what you may have to endure to do so.  Unfortunately, that was not the outcome.  I was there for about an hour trying different things on, to no avail.  Again, the owner was super friendly, but a bit manic and nonstop like the energizer bunny.  She kept barging into the dressing room with piles and piles of other items for me with good intentions, however it just got overwhelming and I finally had to call it quits.

Actually, I should mention that there was one dress I really liked; a '60s mod dress in an awesome lime green houndstooth pattern.  The dress wasn't priced, so when I had it on she gave me a price of $69.95.  That really wasn't what I was looking to spend, so she offered $65.95 - a $4.00 discount.  I understand that you charge what you need to in order to run your business, but in that case....why did you say no to selling me three other items I absolutely would have bought!?  I was just so confused.  My mom summed it up best as we walked out:  she was keeping a museum of great vintage clothing, not a shop!

In the end, I'm not quite sure I would recommend making a trip solely to stop at Outskirts. However, Farmington has tons of other shopping; there were other thrift stores, a Remy's, and other cool unique shops that you only find in college towns.  If you happen to be there, stop by, and let me know if you have a similar experience!

I'll be posting my other Vacationland adventures this week - stop back for details about the amazing Heirloom Vintage, and some other great finds I made!

Until then loves!

xoxo, Bettie
 

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