Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will — Sisters Edition

by Katy on August 30, 2016 · 30 comments

My sister and I love nothing more than to spend an an hour or two going from thrift store to thrift store. So when our sons had plans to watch the Portland-Seattle Timbers soccer game, and my niece had a special grandma date, we knew the stars had aligned for an afternoon of thrifting.

See how happy we are?

Goodwill sisters

Of course, thrifting is a crap shoot as the merchandise is random and I’m as likely to buy nothing from Goodwill as I am to bring something to the register. I had no choice but to take a photo of this statuette, which I promptly texted to my son.

I received no reply.

World's best mom

I liked this particular “College Fund” targeted savings bank, as it was actually large enough to stuff some serious cash into. My hand is there for scale.

College fund

I was horrified by this pair of nurse’s shoes. As a skilled RN I get annoyed/offended by products that infantilize my profession. Reminds me of the fanny pack I once received that said “Nurses are Bear-y special!” Of course it featured a teddy bear.


World's ugliest nurse's shoes

But then I spied a flash of color in the dishware section and I knew I’d struck gold. I’ve been collecting Fiestaware since high school, so I can locate a piece from a hundred yards away. These 12 inch vintage divided plates sell for around $50 apiece on eBay and I picked them up for $3.99 apiece.


I gave the green one to my father as a gift, and have put the other three onto Craigslist.

Fiestaware divided plates

We then hit a suburban Goodwill, where I immediately spied the corner of this antique oval mirror. I pulled it out from behind a stack of framed bland artwork and knew I’d lucked out again. Priced at $6.99, this purchase was a no brainer.

antique mirror

Look how beautiful it is!

full antique mirror

Even though it appears to feature a crazy lady. Again, I’ve put this Goodwill find onto Craigslist, although I’m happy to enjoy it until it can be rehomed.

monkey in the mirror

I was tempted to buy this kitchy tissue box holder.

vintage style tissue box

Especially since it originally cost $19.99.

price tag original

Plus the half-off tag color was green. However, my family uses handkerchiefs and toilet paper instead of tissues. Also, I noticed that my internal dialogue featured a lot of me trying to convince myself to buy it, and my rule is that I don’t bring anything home if I have to actively convince myself to it buy it.

goodwill price tag

I then discovered an alcove off to the side with a jumble of furniture. And although this table was under another table, I recognized the style as mid-century Lane, which is highly in demand.

Vintage Lane table

Even though it featured an add-on of some kind of effed-up DIY locking mechanism.

crappy lock

Which of course was no favor to the wood. However, this will be a fun project for me and although I’m tempted to keep this table it’ll likely to find its way onto Craigslist as well.

holes in wood

I thought I was done shopping, but then my eyes landed on this groovy vintage chair. It’s a Steelcase brand chair, but is essentially a Knoll knockoff. Also priced at $6.99, I knew I could sell it without any problem. The fabric was a little grubby, but it was nothing that a little time under my Bissell upholstery shampooer couldn’t fix.

So cool!

Steelcase chair

What did my sister buy? Just a ton of half-off T-shirts for a silkscreening project. After all, anything she buys here will need to be schlepped back to New York.

We had such a fun afternoon, especially since we sneaked in a lunch at an amazing Mediterranean restaurant that we found though

None of my Craigslist listings have sold yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Plus I think many people are on vacation right now, so I’m anticipating an uptick in a week or two.

I’m going to miss my sister when she heads home at the end of the week.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

K D August 30, 2016 at 10:11 am

It was fun to read about/see your thrifting outing. I did go to a few yard sales on Saturday, for the first time in years. I spent $.50 on something I will probably keep (the reason I don’t usually attend such events, the clutter factor).

A friend and I lunched at a great Mediterranean restaurant on Friday. I’d go back there in a heartbeat.


Trish August 30, 2016 at 10:11 am

I am so impressed at your knowledge of what is valuable! I would not have had a clue about any of it.


Katy August 30, 2016 at 10:53 am

I follow a number of midcentury seller on Instagram which hones my eye.


Jennifer August 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Oh, good idea! I was just about to ask how someone could improve those skills.


J. August 30, 2016 at 10:27 am

Good finds! Katy, have you ever tried selling on Chairish? I have some mid century modern stuff I’m considering listing there and would like some feedback from a seller, but I don’t know anyone who’s sold through there (though I know a couple of buyers, who liked it a lot).


Katy August 30, 2016 at 10:53 am

I listed something on there once and it went nowhere.


Vickie August 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

Love that Lane table, very nice find!

I put a desktop computer on layaway at the Pawn Shop today. I plan to give it to my daughter and grandkids for Christmas. She lets them get online to use educational programs, that help them learn. That way she doesn’t need to share her laptop. It was $145 on sale, with all the peripheral equipment, and only few years old. This is the Pawn shop I use all the time, so very trustworthy when it comes to used electronics.
I’m excited to have one of my Christmas gifts taken care of!


Vickie August 30, 2016 at 10:49 am

I meant to say, this is the Pawn Shop I buy electronics from. I don’t pawn things as I consider that a waste of my time.


Mariana August 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

I love me some ladies bonding time 🙂
Over Goodwill is better than over an overpriced lunch!


Diane August 30, 2016 at 10:53 am

I had the sister to your Lane table in the form of a hope chest when I graduated from high school in 1962! I can’t remember what happened to it, but probably worth something today.


JD August 30, 2016 at 11:15 am

Good finds! I’m not that informed on mid-century stuff, as it was never my cup of tea, but I should learn more, it seems. I would have had no idea that the chair and table would be sought after.
It’s such fun to find the diamonds hidden in the tall grass that can be Goodwill. Sounds like you had a blast! My sisters and I especially enjoy going to “antique and collectibles” stores, because so much of what is being sold as antique is stuff dating from our childhood. We get a kick out of it, even though we almost never purchase a thing.


Stacey B August 30, 2016 at 11:45 am

I love your blog and seeing what you come across at Goodwill! I live in a suburb of Portland and never have the luck that you do…but I keep trying! I think I’d just about pass out if I came across some Fiesta. What a great find.


Madeline August 30, 2016 at 12:58 pm

I’m always amazed at the popularity of “mid century” items, which were in daily use when I was a kid.I though the styling was kinda ugly then, and it still doesn’t appeal to me, but I guess Mad Men brought it all back into fashion.. my grown son loves the look.Luckily,so do a lot of other folks, and your finds are adding some KA CHING to your college fund!!! There is a home for everything!!!!


JD August 31, 2016 at 4:17 am

My thoughts exactly, Madeline — I grew up seeing the original mid-century modern everywhere, and it’s just not that good-looking to me, but many people seem to love it. Oddly enough, though, I really like the graphics and illustrations from the 50’s and early 60’s. To each his/her own.


Denise August 30, 2016 at 1:39 pm

I love the Fiestaware! I have a small collection, but I have never seen the divided plates before. Those are great colors!


Curtis H. August 30, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Katy (& company),
Any tips for selling Fiestaware on Craigslist? My wife and I received two boxes of ware from my mother-in-law and we were told that if we could sell them, then we could keep the proceeds. I want to maximize my return, help!


Michelle H. August 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm

I had good luck selling off most of my Fiesta collection on Craigslist. I had newer and vintage items, and I just researched the asking prices on Craigslist and ebay and listed at a comparable price. I would have all the pieces for sale out on a table, and when people came to get one they often saw something else they wanted and bought more.

Craigslist sales seem to be more successful if you’re in a pretty well populated area.


Dawn August 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm

I am a bit jealous of the mirror. I have been looking for one like it for my new house but refuse to pay $100+ for one. Patience is key.


Karen August 30, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Katy, you and your sister are so cute! It’s nice to see sisters out having frugal fun!


Michelle H. August 30, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Those divided plates are beautiful! I used to collect vintage Fiesta, but sold most of it off several years ago when we downsized to a smaller house and I no longer had room to display it away from little fingers. We use newer Fiesta as our everyday dishes, but I hope to get back to collecting someday!


Ellen August 31, 2016 at 4:12 am

Why would you not list the Fiesta wear, on ebay instead of Craigslist?


Katy August 31, 2016 at 10:26 am

Just easier when I don’t have to mail it.


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 31, 2016 at 7:07 am

These are some awesome finds! How did you get so informed about antiques, furniture, etc.? I think it would be such a fun hobby but I’m not even sure where to start!


Socorrito August 31, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Great information!


Marianne August 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm

The Fiestaware plates are so cool! You have a great eye for finding hidden treasures.


Rachel in Portland September 1, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Katy, you are my Goodwill idol!


Randi September 2, 2016 at 9:41 am

I just finished Cardiac Rehab and I gave my nurse a Tervis Tumbler that says ” Nurses Call the Shots”. She loved it. I hope that was not offensive.


lisa September 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

You have quite the eye for spotting treasures. I wish I had that talent. I think I will spend some time trying to develop it. Smart, very smart…


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