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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thrift Review: Salvation Army on Alpine in Grand Rapids, MI

On Black Friday, I normally run from civilization and crouch in a well stocked, airtight bunker and "wait things out". This year, I thought thrifting couldn't possibly be as bad as a department store...and it wasn' was still a little nuts.

I present to you my first thrift store review...with many more to come!

Thrift Trick Score: 3 out of 5

Today's location:

Salvation Army Family Store
3900 Alpine NW
Grand Rapids, MI

Map it/Location Info

First impressions of the store were that it was quite large and quite well organized. It also seemed fairly clean.

As you can see, the clothes are color organized.

NOW...I like the way this looks, but I don't particularly love the way it affects my shopping. Yes, I suppose if I were looking for a color item, it would be very helpful! And sometimes that is the case.

However, things AREN'T organized by size here. Therefore, it's a crapshoot as you start looking through the racks. Sometimes this doesn't bug me but for some reason, on this particular occasion, it annoyed me. Am I weird? I don't know. You tell me.

The other problem I had was that, right out of the gates, the clothes prices were a little high. The few pairs of shoes I looked at were priced at seven dollars (nothing fancy about them) and a somewhat long vintage blazer (I'd say late 70's) was priced at 19.99. That took my interest down about three notches. All the clothes I looked at were priced higher than what I would have liked to see (and were a hodge podge of sizes) so I started to tune clothes out and I moved on to jewelry.

There was a huge collection of items. I can't say that anything impressed me on a "I have to have that" level, but it did seem more reasonable than clothes. Again, the bottom line for earrings and such were $2. Not terrible but for a tarnished pair of old's a little much. (FYI, Goodwill in Norton Shores prices much of their jewelry at $1, but that's for another entry.) I will say that there was quite a variety. If you were looking for a specific KIND of piece, I would recommend this store's jewelry case.

Housewares started to get more reasonable. This precious little Saki teapot with a cute folding case was $2.99. Darling with the exception of one problem--it was missing a cup. I'm not a Saki drinker but if I were one, I would have snatched this right up anyhow. Too cute!

The catch of the day for me was the Marushka print. I know--you might be looking at this seagull and lighthouse concoction thinking, what??? I can't help but be attracted to these vintage screenprints. They were quite popular in the 70's and beyond and now are very collectible (check out this cool Marushka blog) and I can't stay away from them. I have a small collection that I hope to grow. There are many different Marushka's--some are just downright wacky (like unicorns and penguins) and then others are quite tasteful, like some of the tree and foilage prints you might see on the blog above.

Either way, I've taken to collecting these for the last ten years and there is now a Marushka wall in my home--an idea that I stole from a friend of mine who has a giant and impressive collection in his Grand Rapids bar, "The Meanwhile". I'm so jealous of some of his prints.

The best part about finding this rather large print was that it was quite UNDER priced, at $3.99! Scoreboard! I snatched it up in a second and for me, it made the whole trip worthwhile. I went home and promptly hung it on my livingroom wall (pictured below)! Yes, it is totally hodgepodge and I love it. It makes me look like a crazy eclectic hipster and...I guess if the shoe fits, I'll buy it.

In conclusion, overall impressions of Salvation Army on Alpine in GR are as follows:

--Well organized/clean/lots of parking

--Organized by color, not size (downfall for me)

--Overpriced clothing/shoes

--Reasonable or even reduced houseware prices

--Decently priced and large variety of jewelry

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