Want to go?
WHAT: Grace Episcopal Church Thrift Shop
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri. & 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sat.
WHERE: 301 E. Market St., Sandusky
When I found out that the Grace Episcopal Church Thrift Shop was moving from their old location on Market St., I couldn’t help but feel a little down about it. I have been shopping and finding awesome treasures there since I was old enough to ride my bike downtown. I remember admiring the storefront displays and climbing the historic Art Deco staircase to try on my newly-found treasures in the dressing room. Every trip was like an adventure, the closest thing to a time machine. My memories of that building will be cherished forever, for it was where my blossoming love for vintage first budded.
All nostalgia aside, The Thrift Shop was in need of a change of venue. They had been at that location since 1948 and it was in major need of repairs. Rather than stay during a drastic, expensive renovation of the building, they decided to find another venue. The corner shop on Market and Hancock streets, and former home of Gallagher’s Feed and Seed, was their pick…..and a great one, I might add! They are still downtown, in a building with high visibility and new, more prominent signage. There are big open windows to display garments, similar to the showcases they had at the old location. I also love that they are adjacent to the lot that holds the Sandusky Farmer’s Market every Saturday — sounds like an ideal weekend morning mini-excursion to me!
I made a little visit to The Thrift Shop’s new location at 301 E. Market St. last week to scope out the setup and hopefully score some vintage swag. I noticed that my mood was immediately boosted courtesy of the bright, cheery (and freshly-painted) lemon yellow walls. Some thrift stores are dark and dingy and really not pleasant to be in…this place was well-lit, with a good deal of natural light coming in from the storefront windows. I was greeted by staff as I stood for a minute, admiring how well-organized everything was, especially for the short amount of time they have had to get moved in.
The volunteers working in the store have done a fabulous job of situating the racks and color-coordinating the apparel on them, especially in the main front room. All of the ladies seasonal items were front and center, with a great mix of newer, name-brand labels and vintage pieces from the 1950s through the early 1990s. By the time I had reached the second room, I was delighted to have spotted about 15-20 worthy vintage pieces. There were already six items in my cart. :)
The back area wasn’t as impressive as the front, but I could tell that they were still arranging items. The lady preparing and stocking inventory was busy buzzing around, bringing out new stuff the entire time I shopped. I scanned the men’s items and snagged a couple vintage Hawaiian shirts. I noticed that they have a nice array of kid’s and baby apparel, but the toys were scanty. I finally made it to the dressing room (I stress the singularity of the word ‘room’) with 13 pieces of treasure. I have a personal “thrift store ritual” that includes trying on pretty much everything in my cart before I can push it over the check-out line, so I can narrow my mountain of clothing down to the MUST-have items. Since I was shopping on a budget that day, I desperately parted with a few choice frocks, ending up with four amazing vintage pieces:a 1950’s Austrian floral-printed cotton demi skirt a 1950’s hand-made Autumn floral sleeveless mini shift dress a 1970’s Jane Holly ‘Funfetti’ polka-dotted sleeveless blouse a1970’s hand-made chartreuse tunic with ethnic detail I noticed a minor stain on the tunic and mentioned it to the cashier. She was more than understanding, knocking $2.00 off the $5.00 price tag. She even tried to get the stain out for me with a nearby cleansing cloth; I appreciated the effort! I stood and chatted with the woman for about 5-10 minutes (since there was no one behind me in line) about my shopping experience, the old store, and how much she likes the new shop. I cannot stress enough how important it is to me for small, hometown businesses to exude the personality of such — a warm-hearted conversation in a unique environment beats a trip to a chain store ANY DAY! Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to The Thrift Shop. I didn’t even think to miss the old location because I was too busy admiring and the new one. I recommend making the drive to downtown Sandusky so you too can check out the new shop….and maybe even unearth some one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable history.