Denver Post Past Columns

April 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Denver Post Articles

Barb Tobias is a fabulous columnist for The Denver Post. Check in monthly for a link to Barb’s Column, called…Thrift Talk Diva.

How to purge – and price – your garage-sale items – June 2013

How to price garage-sale items is the biggest challenge for most novice merchants. The key in determining pricing is to fairly assess the quality and condition of resale merchandise. PURGE. Start collecting your merchandise to sell by cleaning out attics, basements and closets. Pull out everything that hasn’t been used in the past year. (Chances are they won’t be used next year either.) Click to read more.

The Art of Garage Sale Bargaining – April 2013

People repeatedly ask where I shop to find such fabulous finds. The answer is … everywhere. Smart shopping is not whether you can find extraordinary things at local garage sales; rather it is a question of how and when you buy. Click to read more.

forsalePenny-Pinching Potpurri: Thrifty Tips – February 2013

With the economy still sluggishly creeping along, more and more smart shoppers are making frugal decisions that meet their budgets. Here are 11 thrifty tactics.

Shop thrift. The resale industry is booming, and for a good reason. People are dressing in frugal chic and decorating their homes with secondhand finds. Over the years, upgrading, as your budget will allow, can allow you to amass many cherished treasures. Hunt around for gently used or unique items at estate and garage sales, auctions and thrift stores. Each venue offers a distinctive adventure and you just might find that the “hunt” is an exciting quest versus the banality of purchasing new. Additionally, there is the environmentally responsible aspect of rescuing or repurposing used treasures. The thrill of the hunt and the art of recognizing a good deal come with time, but the rewards can be great. Click to read more.

Repurpose, Recycle, Paint, Purge: A Home Mini-Makeover for 2013 – January 2013

While 2013 is still fresh, it’s a good time to look around the house and see what needs doing. Homeowners can spiff up their dwellings while watching their budgets. Making better financial decisions while keeping an eye on our buying habits allows us to produce less waste and a live a richer life. Click to read more.

The Happy Marriage of Thrifting and Recycling – December 2012

Thrift stores and recycling go hand-in-hand. But consumers are often unaware that they can recycle a lot more than paper, glass and plastic. Here are three lesser-known recycling agencies that work alongside the thrift store industry. Click to read more.

These Thrift Shops Champion Community Outreach – October 2012

The community programs that benefit from most thrift stores may not be foremost in the minds of bargain-hunting shoppers.

Like many people, my early motivation to try “thrifting” was purely for the thrill of the hunt and the joy of snatching up fabulous items for a fraction of their original retail price. Click to read more.

DSC01243Lessons From a Three-Stop Thrift Crawl – September 2012

Fifty women gathered in the parking lot of the ARC Thrift Store in Green Mountain in August for my first hosted Thrift Crawl.

I’d like to say that philanthropy and the desire to recycle and go green spawned this idea. But it actually came to me last year after my HOA complained, ad nauseam, about the cars and merriment surrounding my annual garage sale. Click to read more.

A Vendors Take on the Mile High Flea Market – August 2012

HENDERSON — Enthralled by the grandeur of Mile High Flea Market, I took the four-day challenge.

As a shopper and as a vendor, I visited this sprawling bazaar, farmers market and antiques fair northeast of Denver on a consecutive Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click to read more.

diva saleIf You’re Selling Toys, Say So … and Other Garage Sale Success Tips – July 2012

A hot marketing campaign can mean the difference between a busy, lucrative yard sale or garage sale and an exhausting event that reaps scant profits.

Granted, many elements go into holding a successful garage sale: the purge, the sorting and the set-up, to name a few. But the pre-sale chore that many people pay too little attention to is effective promotion. Click to read more.

3 Entrepreneurs Make an Art out of Collecting, Recycling and Plant Sales – June 2012

Selling secondhand or recycled items isn’t a novel idea. But here are three Denver entrepreneurs who have added a new twist to the resale game. Click to read more.

forsaleThrift-Store and Garage-Sale Tips Prepare You for Big Finds – May 2012

Years ago, I thrift shopped with complete abandon. Little thought was given to equipment, packing material or how I would get my new-to-me treasures home.

Today, as yard sale, garage sale and outdoor market season ramps up, I plan, and I turn my vehicle into a well-stocked “thrift-mobile.” Click to read more.

Denver Secondhand Store Molly’s Closet Know Its Pluses – April 2012

Thanks to that annoying midlife weight gain, shopping can become a wearisome proposition for women with widening girths. Most second hand shops cater to younger, slighter women. Sure, I was that svelte gal once. As a fashion model walking the American runways in my 20’s, I weighted 127 pounds and stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. I kept that shape until my mid-40’s, when I hit the proverbial hormonal roller coaster, and a size 16. Click to read more.

Barb's Photos 1561Best Spots to Hunt for Seconhand Treasures – March 2012

Most of us have less cash to burn these days, so buying other folks’ castoffs is a great way to save a few bucks.

The Internet, specialty shops, bookstores and going-out-of-business sales carry drastically reduced items that are especially good for occasional needs or events. Here are some of my go-to bargain hunting sites and stops. Click to read more.

As the economy spiraled downward and Americans tightened their belts, secondhand shops made a move onto Main Street.

Thrift shopping tends to increase during hard economic times, according to a recent Brigham Young University study. So it follows that secondhand shops are now among the fastest-growing outlets in the retail world, according to the Association of Resale Professionals. That trade group says the number of thrift stores has grown 7 percent a year over the past two years, with sales climbing 12 percent a year. Click to read more.

Just a Little Love Affair with Thrift

August 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

I am the queen of the unwanted; a collector of “orphans.” The truth is … I simply love to thrift!  Over the years I’ve embraced the flawed, snatched up rejects others snootily passed over, delighted in the blemished and greedily coveted any object that is defined or distinctive.

Like metal to magnets, garage sales, consignment shops and thrift stores continue to lure me into their murky depths. And, on any given day I can be found contentedly combing through the shelves and musty boxes within each hallowed hall of frugality.

Spotting décor that is unique or unusual is not only my delight, but has become my specialty …my signature talent. Dramatic objects that ooze style or demanded attention make me blubber with affection. I’ve learned to ignore defects and concentrate on simply spotting the potential within each item. And, to my everlasting amazement, I even relish fixing broken legs, repairing antique frames or mending holes in tattered throws.

Discovering that a peeling piece of furniture can be transformed with a brisk sanding or a new color is next to decadent. Oil stains have become my best buddies allowing me to renew battered furnishings with a swipe of a color-stained cloth.  I’ve learned what products take off rust, what spray transforms mirrors into bright reflectors, and what oils thirsty furnishings crave.

When considering a piece worthy of purchase, I ask myself, “What can I do with this interesting piece?  How would it look in a different color?  What would it cost to repair?”

In the final analysis, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am a hopeless thrift-aholic. I’ve even perfected the art of forgiving myself for repeatedly falling in love with the latest trashy temptress. Despite my flawed journey, I’ve learned how to live fabulously … yet frugally.  And, I’ve turned my frumpy house into a fabulous home.


Barb Tobias is a professional speaker and inspiring coach who renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of transforming trash into treasure, this savvy mistress of thrift shares her secrets to finding deals, repurposing before tossing, reconstructing the tattered and renewing things others view as passé in her recent release…Tossed & Found; Where Frugal is Chic. Her “tell all” book is not simply a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.

Come on … Celebrities Holding Garage Sales?

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

What do Barb Tobias (The “Thrift Talk” Diva), Tori Spelling and Carol Burnett have in common?

We all have yard sales!  Yes, it is true.  Six degrees of separation be damned!  I’m in good stead.

I was stunned to learn, after reading numerous reports on People.com, Omg.com, and Thefrisky.com, that real celebrities were raising serious money through holding all types of sales; garage sales, tag sales, yard sales, porch sales, divorce sales, downsizing sales, moving sales…and are now moving into the corridors of high-rise apartment buildings where city dwellers are holding “lobby sales”.   And, here I thought that this Thrift Talking Diva had the corner on making good money at my fancy Diva Sales.

Yikes! Little did I know that I was going up against the likes of Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson. I’d been snookered and outclassed.  And, I would have to imagine that my stuff was probably pretty paltry in comparison to their stuff.

Sure, I’ve yakked for years about the benefits of holding tag sales and purging homes of unwanted and unloved things.  And, I’m still a strong advocate for the yearly cleanse (because it’s the only cleanse that’s capable of making a fast buck).  But, I was still having trouble wrapping my arms around celebrities hawking their junk … like the rest of us.

I kept asking myself, “Why would outrageously wealthy superstars hold yard sales?” So, I started doing a little celebrity snooping, and, voila, Diva Detective was born.  True, most stars hold sales through auction houses, but a few, such as Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson actually worked their own sales, albeit with professional and agent assistance. Many of them do it for charity; however, Tori actually pocketed the cash.

Star Willie Aames sold off his belongings at his suburban Kansas City home.  Apparently dozens showed up while Aames bargained with treasure-hunters and even signed autographs. Hundreds of people stood in line to snap up movie memorabilia, taxidermy, antiques, artwork, furniture, and even his piano. And, the shocker…his production crews were even there to film a television documentary.

A cable network recently shot a pilot for the project, titled “Celebrity Garage Sale,” staring actress Illeana Douglas.  Apparently the hook is that Douglas is on a mission to help her famous friends get rid of their unwanted junk by holding, you guessed it, a garage sale. They’ve brought in Tom Arnold to mix it up because his  garage sale is said to have raised $5,000 for Camp del Corazon, a summer camp for children with heart disease.

Scott Baio’s sale raised funds as well as awareness for mandatory newborn screening in all fifty states after his daughter tested positive for GA1, a metabolic disorder.  Fortunately, she is fine, after it was discovered that her results were a false positive.

Teri Hatcher raised $20,000 for her favorite charities through an invite-only, fifty-dollar entrance fee, yard sale and served Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee to her customers!

And, Pamela Anderson was reported have sold one of her homes with all of the contents with the proceeds going to PETA.

Now here’s one that shook the fibers of my “divaness”. Supermodel Erin Wasson held a garage sale  selling off pieces from her personal wardrobe … the likes of  Balenciaga and YSL. Now, rumor has it that these rags sold for under $100.  Where was I when all this was happening?  According to Erin she was attempting to “edit down my wardrobe and be very Japanese, where you have one rolling rack…I love the idea of being super edited.” Awww…

So what’s the difference between their yard sales and mine?  So okay, the autograph signings are probably a draw. I’ll give them that.  And, maybe their furnishings are a tad more elegant.  And then there are the gowns, and posters and the jewels.  Hmmm…

Tossed & Found: Thrift Talk Diva Dishes On Getting Cash And Fab On Thrift

Tossed & Found: Thrift Talk Diva Dishes On Getting Cash And Fab On Thrift.

DENVER (CBS4) – Thrifting is a full-time job for some folks. For others, it’s a way to decorate, dress for less, or simply bring in some extra cash to make ends meet.

For Barb Tobias of Evergreen, thrift is a lifestyle. In her book, “Tossed and Found; Where Frugal is Chic,” she asks, “How would your life look if you tossed out the tired and unwanted … and found a new you?”

Tobias writes of treasures such as a $1,000 vase for $40 and designer outfits for $50. She decorates all shapes and sizes of homes using only thrift items. And she says you can actually thrift shop your way to wealth.

Tobias gives all kinds of ideas on where to find these items — from demolition to estate to garage sales — and how to look for the “good stuff.” She also has a great list of stores and marketing ideas so you can make the most of buying and selling.

Her web site is http://thrifttalkdiva.com/

Three caveats to living the chic life on thrift: Have patience. It takes time to make the best finds. You can’t build your own cheap and chic Rome in one day. Sometimes, a store might be packed with deals, other times, you might not find a thing. Secondly, make sure to purge the old when you bring in the new. Third, keep an open mind. This classic form of recycling has stood the test of time for a reason. Snobs do not find the real treasures.

On a personal note, I absolutely hate the feeling of knowing I left behind a diamond in the rough. As long as an item isn’t too expensive for my budget or too large for me to store, I’ll pick it up to avoid that pang of regret. If I change my mind, I’ll sell or give it away as soon as possible rather than let it collect dust.

And remember, there’s no law that says you have to tell people you bought something second hand. I usually do, just because I get a kick out of getting compliments on my Goodwill shoes. But if someone says they like your new find, you can always just smile and say, “Thank you for noticing!” — wink.

By the way — end-of-season clearance at Payless Shoes right now — I found some really cute styles for the kids (and even some for me!) for $3 to $8! I even bought some school shoes and some of those cool wedges I wanted, but wasn’t ready to pay full price. The sales clerk tells me the deals are going at all Colorado stores.

Happy hunting! Don’t forget our CBS4 Deals of the Day, and please pass along your thrifty tips in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you.

About The Blogger

– In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now.

Thrift Shopping Your Way to Wealth

People often question why I continue to thrift shop … after all, I have more than everything I need.  I guess it boils down to my love of the hunt.   I love to scour the thrift shops and garage sales for items that can be made into something else. I enjoy creating new things out of old or used items. After all, I am a Diva and I love to change my environment … often.

I’m past worrying about whether I’ve made a purchasing mistake because I hold a Diva Sale at least once a year where I sell my “mistakes” and items I’ve simply grown tired of.

Another defining reason I shop thrift is knowing that I am saving so much money. In addition, recycling everything I own keeps my stuff out of our landfills.

On a recent “sale” shopping week I recorded my purchases and calculated the difference between what I paid during the 50% off sale, what I would have paid at normal thrift store prices and what retail would have cost me.  I was astonished…

Item Retail Thrift 1/2 price Sale
Cousances Cast Iron Vintage Blue Deep Skillet $109.99 $   9.99 $   4.99
Cousances Cast Iron Vintage Blue Omelet Fry Pan $    9.99 $   6.99 $   3.49
Pfaltzgraff Gravy Boat $    7.99 $   3.99 $     .99
Smoothie Freeze juicer $  29.99 $ 12.99 $   6.49
CX-CD241 Portable CD with AM/FM Stereo Tuner $  29.99 $   6.99 $   3.49
Audio phase CD and Cassette player/2 speakers $  59.95 $ 24.99 $ 12.49
Video tape rewind component $  15.99 $   3.99 $   1.99
Glass Storage Jar $    9.99 $   3.99 $   1.99
Drawer Divider $    5.99 $   1.99 $   0.99
Men’s Red Handkerchief $    4.99 $   0.99 $   0.49
Auto Flashlight . $    4.99 $     .99 $0.49
6 – Faux Leather placemats (Bed, Bath & Beyond $  35.94 $11.94 $5.94
Ceramic Box $    9.00 $   2.99 $1.49
Long black scarf $    9.99 $   1.99 $0.99
3 – Dinosaur Eggs $    9.99 $   2.97 $1.47
2 – Decorative throw pillows $  32.00 $   8.00 $4.00
7 – (Tag-on new) pairs underwear $  41.93 $ 13.93 $6.93
5 – Variety Cooking Utensils $    9.99 $   2.45 $1.20
2-Books $  49.90 $   6.00 $3.00
7 – CD’s $  90.30 $ 14.00 $7.00
Crazy Horse Ski Sweater $  24.99 $   4.99 $2.49
2 piece silk PJ set by Cerie $  15.99 $   4.99 $2.49
Wise World Sweatshirt $  32.99 $   4.99 $2.49
Pair (NEW) Diane Gillman Jeans $  46.00 $   8.99 $   .99
Pair Liz Claiborne Jeans $  28.99 $   5.99 $   .99
Pair ETHYL Vintage Jeans $  32.00 $   5.99 $   .99
Pair Faded Glory Black Denim jeans $  14.99 $   5.99 $   .99

Totals                                                                                                $824.84     $184.09        $79.17

I call this type of smart shopping “investing”!  Not only am I investing in my home and wardrobe, I am making wise purchases that can be sold at my “Diva Sales” after I’m finished with them or have found something better.   This way my merchandise is almost always recycled and I often recoup my investment.  I have started to put the difference between what I pay thrift and what my items would have cost retail into a savings account.  To hell with retirement! I am dying to take a trip; Africa is calling me, Victoria Island is my spring fantasy and Australia is beckoning me . . .

A Collector of “Orphaned” Stuff

March 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

I am the queen of the unwanted; a collector of “orphans.”  Over the years I’ve embraced the flawed, snatched up rejects others passed over, delighted in the blemished and greedily coveted the imperfect and scarred. 

Like metal to magnets, yard sales, consignment shops and thrift stores still lure me into their murky depths to find wonderfully tarnished bits and pieces that I meticulously turn into treasures.  Spotting décor that is unique or unusual has become my specialty … my signature talent. And, dramatic objects that ooze style or demanded attention make me blubber with affection.  

After years of searching through the dimly lit recesses of garages, junk yards and barns, I’ve learned to ignore obvious defects, and concentrate on spotting the potential in every item. Identifying the latent beauty hidden beneath decaying layers of tarnish and grime became the rule as my skill and artistry grew. 

 

In addition to recognizing and purchasing promising finds, I’ve learned to fix broken legs, repair antique frames and mend holes in tattered throws.  Discovering that a peeling piece of furniture could be transformed with a brisk sanding and a new color, spurred me to reconsider items I would have normally passed on.  Oil stans became my best buddies as I turned the scratched and marred into things of beauty.  I learned what products took offf rust, what transformed mirrors into bright reflectores and what oils thirsty furniture craved.

Before I considered a piece worthy of purchase, I would first consider its assets, examining it from one angle then another, thinking, “What can I do with you?  How would you look in a different color? What would it cost me to repair you?”

Once I made the decision to rescue a waif, I would purchase the item if I felt that its condition warranted the asking price. Otherwise, I would make a reasonable offer hoping for acceptance or at least a friendly haggle.

Over the years I’ve transformed my home using amazing thrift finds that have turned a frumpy house into a fabulous home.  And, my nondescript wardrobe now boasts $20 fashion statements that are the envy of my frugal friends. 

 

 

 

 

Barb Tobias is a professional speaker and inspiring coach who renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of transforming trash into treasure, this savvy mistress of thrift shares her secrets to finding deals, repurposing before tossing, reconstructing the tattered and renewing things others view as passé in her recent release…Tossed & Found; Where Frugal is Chic. Her “tell all” book is not simply a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.    

 

 

Barb Tobias – Guest Speaker for Love, Life and Lipstick

November 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

Barb Tobias – Guest Speaker for Love, Life and Lipstick

We are women, mothers, wives and professionals who share a vision of uniting all women, expanding and creating new opportunities, living life to the fullest and sharing ideas.

 Love Life and Lipstick is a complaint free environment full of support and uplifting hands. Join us each month and meet great new women, hear about exciting business ideas and plan on inspiration from the speakers for each event.

Women are amazing, we have the ability to create, to love, to grow and want more for others then we do for ourselves. When that power comes together into a room, great things happen … that is the purpose of Love Life and Lipstick!

This month we will feature Barb Tobias;  professional speaker and inspiring coach … a woman who renovates lives by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.”

 Barb speaks with candor about her journey; the pitfalls, the heights and the call to reinvent oneself.  She is quoted as saying,  I have sought inspiration in varying level at various times and have found that there is a rich tapestry of inspiration and those that inspire. Prophetic whisperings may come to us in different forms; a song we hear in the background, a headline or even a book title. Maybe the Universe is trying to give us a nudge or some divine spirit is vying for our attention.  Regardless of the venue or purpose of these innocuous inklings, we know at a core level that we have connected with a higher power.

Every guest this month will  walk away with an autographed copy of her book Tossed & Found.

Event Date: Wednesday November 17, 2010

6:30-9:00 p.m.- 26476 E Peakview Drive, Aurora CO 80016

This events Cost: $20.00 Cash event (includes book)- feel free to bring your business cards or brochures to share.

RSVP is needed for this month’s event to ensure that we have plenty of books and seating.

It Was a Diva Moment!

October 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs

Ahhh, another Diva moment! 

An organization called Behind the Moon was celebrating their 7th Anniversary last week and I decided to check out this intriguing networking group.  Aside from the scrumptious cake, some delightful wine and a host of interesting people, there was also a fun photo opportunity. Chris Hibner of Chris Hibner Photography LLC was actually shooting DIVA pictures … go figure!

Well, this Diva couldn’t resist.  After all there were pink boas and wide brimmed hats … not to mention the array of sunglasses.  Darling, the opportunity simply too tempting .  Oh, what’s a Diva to do in a situation like this?    

Go figure!  They had fun shades…

                                                                                    And this sultry pose was just way too Diva….

 

I was just getting warmed up …  too fun!  You know even grown Divas like to play dressup!

FORT COLLINS DIVA TOUR

October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

The Diva Tour heads to Fort Collins, Colorado. Simply Beautiful Consignment Presents … An Evening with the Thrift Diva!

From Farm girl to fashion model to frugal fashionista, Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, has audiences on the edge of their seats with her entertaining and timely presentation …

Frugal Fashions and Decorating Secrets
Have you run out of money or at a loss for new ideas for your home or wardrobe? Enjoy an engaging evening of networking, refreshments, an autographed copy of Barb’s newest release, Tossed & Found and a lively presentation from world-class speaker, author and entertainer Barb Tobias.

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Simply Beautiful Consignment
426 S. Link Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80524
970-691-5645

$20 pre-registration or $25 at the door
To pre-register visit Simply Beautiful Consignment
Or call:  1-877 711 DIVA (3482)
Or: Send $20 via paypal to BarbTobias@ThriftTalkDiva.com – Comment: Simply Beautiful Event

Simply Beautiful Consignment
Edie Barton
424-426 South Link Lane
Tuesday-Saturday 11-5:30, Sundays by appointment
970-691-5645

For more of Barb’s upcoming events, please click here.

An Interview with the Diva of Thrift

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

Q.  Why do you refer to yourself as a Diva?

 A.  I struggled to come up with a title for myself . . . a name that would reflect my journey to the top of the proverbial pile so to speak.  When considering strong, self-actualizing words for women, the English language provides few choices. 

Was I going to call myself a Princess? Well, we’ve all pounded that word into the ground. And, I really didn’t want to defend my title against all the little, fluffy, cutesy dogs named Princess.  

Perhaps calling myself a master of my trade would work. Naw, that term was obviously reserved for men. 

Okay, so how about mistress of my trade?  Well, that one is sure to make the tabloids, and not an image I wanted to portray.  Plus, the word no longer carries (if it ever did) the element of accomplishment that typified someone who has walked the bumpy road to success.

A Queen?  Now, there is a moniker that negates the thought of achievement brought about by hard, creative work.  The term typically refers to a birthright not accomplishment.

Alas, there remained . . .  the Diva.  Strong, accomplished, talented.  That could work.  Of course, I knew that there would be those that would scoff at such a self-proclaiming title, but I would ask.  What word has this culture cultivated to capture the strength, the magic, of talented, smart, resilient women? 

Thus, another Diva was born . . . The Thrift Diva

 

 

Q.  What exactly is Thrift?

 A.  Thrift or thrifting, as it is often called, is the act of purchasing secondhand items at a fraction of their original cost.         

 

                                                                  

 Check out my FAB 99 cent 60’s swing coat . . . 

  

 

 Q.  Don’t most people regard the act of thrifting as a rather seedy, back-alley type of activity? 

A. They used to, but times are changing. With the downturn of the economy thrift has stepped out of the closet . . . so to speak.  Many people furnish their entire homes in fabulous but frugal secondhand finds.  I have.  I just talked to a fellow thriftier that furnished her 3,800 square foot home with used bargains . . . for $8,000 . . . and it looks fabulous.

Others build their wardrobes from posh designer fashions they rescue from thrift stores, garage sales and auctions.

Q.  I find the phrase Thrift Diva to be somewhat of an oxymoron.  Isn’t thrift the polar opposite of being a Diva? 

A.  That is actually one of the reasons I began calling myself The Thrift Talk Diva.  My mission is to take thrift out of the gutter. To show people how to decorate or dress using recycled products.  Think of it.  No packaging, no shipping costs, no advertising.  Not only is thrift socially responsible, but we can all live in wonderfully appointed environments at little to no cost.

 And . . . The Thrift Diva can show them how to do it.

 Q.  Why are you the expert on thrift?

A.    I have been shopping America’s thrifty by-ways and high-ways for 30 years, I have outfitted my home and myself in fashionable thrift bargains, and I have taught countless Divettes how to create fabulous interiors for little to no cost. 

Q.  Am I right to assume that thrift shopping is becoming more in vogue with the downturn of the economy?

 A.  Although the art of thrifting has been around for years, it is definitely in vogue . . . it is the new black. 

Q.  Why does it matter?

A.  There are several factors that make this frugal trend a hot topic:

  • The economy is in the dumper but people do not want to give up their lifestyles . . . and they don’t need to.  What they need to discover is a cheaper means to accomplish their goals, whether it is outfitting their families or decorating their homes.  
  • Women are hard-wired to nest, to create richly appointed, comfortable homes.  Fashioning a home is the primer creative outlet for most women. It started when hides, caves and timbers were crudely fashioned into habitats.  These abodes were adorned with drawings, beads, animal relics and other adornments.  
  • It is fun.  The thrill of the hunt is as alluring in the halls of thrift as it is in the fields of prey. 

 Q.  Do you consider the Art of Thrifting to be a business or hobby?

A. My fascination with garage sales, flea markets, antique and consignments shops started out as a hobby.  I was a single mom on a tight budget and was thrilled at the thought of decorating my home at little to no cost. It wasn’t until years later and the change in perception that I actually turned my passion into a coaching and speaking business with the launch of my book Tossed and Found.

 Q.  Was thrift hunting an accepted activity 30 year ago?

 A.  Absolutely not.  As a matter of fact I write about going to garage sales, incognito.  I used to carry a pair of sunglasses and a scrunchy hat in my car to use whenever I stopped at a yard sale or thrift shop.  At the time I was a fashion model and I was doing a lot of radio and television appearances.  Back then my Divaness had not yet fully blossomed and I would have sooner died than been spotted with my head in a dumpster or in the back of some grubby barn searching for my holy grail. 

Q.  What is the best find you ever found?

A.  I will share my most cherished possession because I feel that worth is not measured by the actual price that is paid, but the value that it holds for the huntress.    

In the infancy of my thrifting addiction, I stopped by a fairly seedy sale hesitating as to whether to even go in. I did a quick scope of the interior of the garage and made the decision to leave when I spotted a dust covered picture propped behind some old boxes.  Its back was facing me and I could only see the old and tattered frame.  Turning it around and wiping the dust off the glass I was enchanted by the yellowed but fetching picture. 

A turn of the century Diva peered out through her mask at a costume ball.  I knew that I had to have her.  Hesitantly I asked the proprietress of this fine establishment how much she wanted.  Her tired reply asked for a mere $5.00.  I knew that day, as I walked my treasure to the car, that I was hooked.  I am a thrift-a-holic. 

Q.  When and why did you begin writing?

A.  I have actually written for years, but I never brought any of my projects to fruition.  It wasn’t until I lost my corporate position several years ago that I had the unfettered opportunity to follow my dreams.  One day in had a serious talk with myself and threw the question out to the universe, “What course should I follow now?”  The answer came back like a bolt of lightning…”Write a book about your passion.”  Hence, the birth of Tossed and Found.    

Q.  Is there a bigger message beneath the clutter (so to speak) of Tossed and Found?

A.    Definitely.  I want to reach women and deliver this message:  No matter how humble your dreams, no matter what your circumstances, you can reach that goal.  You are powerful…own it.  You are creative…embrace it.  You are a Diva.

Q.  Are experiences based on the events in your own life?

A.  Absolutely.  I talk about the experiences I have had on the road, on television and radio, on the runway and in business.  I relate some of the amazing adventures I have had like having a gun pulled on us during a garage sale, finding true treasures for pennies, and decorating my home in thrift . . . at no cost. 

 Q.  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A.  Yes.  I am writing my second book entitled Tossed and Turned. Whereas Tossed and Found is about finding and buying secondhand treasures, Tossed and Turned is about decorating with frugal finds.  It shows, step by step how to turn a ‘noplace’ into a ‘showplace’ at little to no cost.

 

                                                                                    

 

Modeling Picture from the 80’s . . . Was I ever that skinny?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The emerging Diva

Next Page »

MyInstantWidget_Error:Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `logged_in` char(1) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `subscribed` char(1) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_cats` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_posts` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `blog_id` bigint(20) default '0'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `Scope` char(1) default 'p'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `php_widget` char(1) default '0'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `include_cats` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `post_authors` int(11) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `include_authors` varchar(250) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `start_date` datetime NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `end_date` datetime NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_authors` varchar(250) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_roles` textAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_membership` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_users` text NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `url_text` varchar(200) NOT NULL