On previous Thrift-Shop Thursdays, I’ve occasionally mentioned a Salvation Army Boutique shop that’s close to where I live; remember the Christian Dior jacket I found there for my daughter? (It would have been for me if I was a few sizes smaller, but at least the jacket found a worthy wearer.) I love this shop; it’s quite small (compared to the usual warehouse-like thrift shops), but evidently someone is doing a major job of editing its contents, because much of what I see there is higher-end quality, including quite a few designer names.
I discovered recently that Goodwill is also opening up boutique versions of its trademark thrift shops; I learned this from my friends over at the Goodwill Hoarding blog, who were also kind enough to let me know where I can find the 2 Goodwill boutiques* in the Portland, Oregon area. There’s one downtown, and another in the Hawthorne district, which just happens to be one of my favorite parts of Portland: eclectic, lively, and high-energy. I’ve actually walked or driven past this boutique many times, but always had something else to do that prevented me from stopping in.
But not today! Today I’m heading over to Hawthorne, excited about what I might find there, and will continue this post after I get back. Wish me luck!
Tip: Even though I already knew where I was going, I put “Goodwill boutique” with my zip code into a search engine, just to see what would happen. Among other things, I found out there’s a regular Goodwill store about 5 minutes away from me! Probably the easiest way to find the Goodwill thrift shops near you is to visit their website and use the shop locator near the top of the home page.
I’m about to walk in. My daughter Valerie decided to come with me (and, as you’ll see in Part 2 of this thrilling saga, she was glad she did), so hopefully we can get some pictures inside. Here’s what it looks like out front:
Inside the doors, the first thing I noticed was that several long racks filled with clothes were lined up, more or less creating an aisle between them and the cashiers’ island; when I later spoke to a woman working there, she said that they get new things in every single night, and those racks always held the newest things, until the employees hung them in their final destinations.
The second thing that struck me was that right in the middle of the shop was a display of Halloween-themed outfits, costumes, props, and accessories. In talking with employees, it turns out that regular merchandise was also part of the mix; the idea was that “regular” clothes worn in creative ways turned them into costumes. Here are some highlights of the ghostly groupings:
Although I admit to neglecting the men’s section of the store (hmm, guess I’ll have to go back…), I did give at least a passing glance to some fun stuff for the kiddos:
At this point, I took a minute to register the actual size of the store. I’m just guessing, but I’d say it was maybe 50-60 feet wide, and about 30-40 feet deep; not huge, but the way the displays are designed makes ingenious use of the space, which includes 2 spacious fitting rooms and 2 restrooms. (And in an area of town where street parking is at a premium, this Goodwill boutique has its own large parking lot!)
At this point, it looks like I’ll have to continue this edge-of-your-seat report in a follow-up post— I’ve got too much to show you all at once! So next time, I’ll have photos of what we actually purchased, and I’ll add some more details then too, like the general price range in this thrift shop. I should have that posted in the next day or so. Don’t miss it!
*Late-breaking news: Just before leaving for the Hawthorne district, I did a quick double-check search for “Goodwill Blue boutique”, since that’s the name they’re using, and came up with this list of locations. Sadly, none of them are in Portland. So I think the shop I visited today wasn’t officially a Blue boutique, but I’m glad I went. It’s Thrift-Shop Thursday, after all, and this Goodwill on Hawthorne in Portland is one amazing thrift shop!
Thrift-Shop Thursdays happen on the last Thursday of every month here on Changing Your Clothes!