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As any lifelong thrift shopper knows, you have to believe in shopping karma. Some days on the bargain hunt or the yard sale trail you'll score big with a pirate's bounty of designer treasures, and some days you'll come up with a big fat zero. Many of us have our "Magic Goodwill" or a thrift store that somehow, some way, seems to always come through for us just when we need it. I certainly do. Here's just one example.
About four years ago, on vacation in Grand Cayman with my husband and his company, we went to dinner at Eric Ripert's then-just-opened restaurant, Blue at the Ritz-Carlton, with a bunch of friends. Swank, I know, but we're all serious foodies/former restaurant people and had a Top Chef-watching supper club together, calling ourselves "Uncle Eric's All-Stars," so we'd been saving/planning for a month before the trip to splurge on this special dinner. Here's me being silly at the table somewhere around the main course:
During dessert, I fell in love with the apertif glasses served with our port and asked the waiter if he knew who made them. In typical Ritz-Carlton fashion, the waiter not only researched but presented me with the name and style of the glasses on a piece of letterpressed stationery, along with a printout from the glassmaker's online catalog: Schott-Zwiesel Forte Grappa Glass.
For years, I've had this notecard tacked on the French bulletin board in our entryway, along with baby announcements and wedding invitations and family photos, knowing that someday I would get around to ordering a pair. (I even registered for their big sisters when we married.) Lo and behold, Goodwill read my mind, and last week during our Blogger Sneak Peek event at the Boston headquarters retail store, I found a pristine pair of these crystal glasses for $1.99/stem.
In the past, whether it's been a copy of Alyssa Milano's Teen Steam workout video I needed for our "Retro Fitness" cover story & photo shoot, or a pair of espadrilles I needed for an outfit to wear to a friend's wedding, I would close my eyes and wish real hard and when I walked through the doors of the Goodwill, there they would be. I like to think that it's shopping karma coming back to me because of all the things that I donate to Goodwill, but who knows, I could just be lucky or a practiced shopper. Either way, I love Goodwill. You just never know what you're gonna find!
Do you have a magic thrift store or magical thrifting story? I'd love to hear it!
Story & photos: Copyright 2012, Melissa Massello & Shoestring LLC.