In Search of Serendipity

It’s called “thrifting” these days and everyone seems to be into it. First of all, who doesn’t love a bargain? When the search for one also becomes a treasure hunt, you’ve added fun! There’s also the element of surprise tossed in because you never know what you might stumble across. Aside from economic savings and the entertainment factor of “the hunt” think of the positive benefits for the environment by renewing, reusing, recycling, and repurposing unwanted items. Thrifters should get a “green award” simply for freeing up landfill space.

I have been thrifting for years and admit some of my most prized possessions and unique finds have come from a thrift or consignment shop, or a yard or rummage sale. In fact I keep a list of ISO items, along with measurements, in my purse. Currently it contains kitchen items: a 7 1/2” glass lid with a deep rim to replace the one that mischievously jumped off the top of the crockpot; a small, yet deep, mixing bowl that would work perfectly for mixing tuna or egg salad; and a small loaf pan when I really don’t want to make a meatloaf for 8 people. I know I will find them, sooner or later, and probably for pennies on the dollar. In the meantime those items give me a valid excuse to stop when I encounter a previously undiscovered shop. 

We are fortunate here in the Adirondacks. We have a selection of thrift and consignment shops that have sprung up in our small communities. They are a good fit. Adirondack ingenuity has had us repurposing and renewing items for years. It’s in our nature not to be wasteful. One look at our small towns, fields, and forests and you can see we respect our environment. One chat with a “local” and you recognize we are a problem-solving folk and try to be helpful — hence the flourish of the thrift shop.

Origins

Many began as auxiliary organizations, offshoots of churches or goodwill organizations, that sought to help replace necessities for families devastated by tragedy.  Having a collection of goods on hand and being able to immediately supply those for free, to victims, provides a great service to the community. In addition, making previously owned, but serviceable merchandise, available to others at minimal cost fills a need for every household. Some shops are entrepreneurial efforts specializing in distinctive quality merchandise at a fraction of normal cost. Whatever their origin, each shop is delightfully unique, has an ever-changing inventory, and will welcome you with our warm Adirondack spirit.

In that helpful, Adirondack spirit, Elizabethtown Thrift Shop put together a map and guide to assist in your search for that unexpected find, whether it be the perfect décor item, a designer jacket, or the perfect mixing bowl. I recently did a bit of scouting for you to help narrow down your search sites, but since merchandise can change daily, you need to see for yourself.

 

Lady Mary's Consignment Boutique

You will feel privileged, like you entered a unique boutique, when you step inside the Lady Mary's Consignment Boutique. I give this shop an A+. Owner Diane Bouchard offers a warm welcome, but understands the shopping/treasure hunting experience and lets you adventure for yourself. She has a flare for staging and display and it shows in this large former law office. You will not find that beat up sweatshirt to wear while painting, but you may find those designer jeans or even a fur coat! Meticulously organized with room for scrutinizing all merchandise easily, this consignment shop is top notch!

Throughout the many individual rooms, merchandise is themed and carefully displayed to convey the contents. The men’s room exhibits more masculine décor items and accessories; a corner in an adjacent room is specifically themed for indulging your pampered pet, proceeds from which support the local animal shelter! With jaw-dropping prices, you will be able to easily “splurge” on every family member and find selections without considerable rummaging and sorting. Open Tuesday through Friday from 11am-6pm, and Saturday from 10am-4pm, the open hours can easily accommodate most impromptu shopping impulses. A plus: Credit and debit cards are accepted (not common at many of these shops). If you are here at lunch or dinner time, don’t miss the nearby Turtle Island Café. Rated as one of the top area restaurants by the NY Times, you will not be disappointed.  

The Mapmakers

Most shops are limited in hours/days open. Often staffed by volunteers they scramble to do their best for the shopping public. Another shop, that is also open 6 days-a-week despite being staffed by volunteers, is the Elizabethtown Thrift Shop. They're open Monday through Friday from 10am-2pm, Thursday from 11am-7pm, and Saturday 11am-2pm; an amazing amount of hours for volunteer efforts. 

I had a grand time in this shop as well. Organization appears to be the key to a happy thrift shopping experience, and these volunteers have their act together. With a houseware section, children’s clothes, toys and games section, men’s and women’s sections... it’s easy to navigate the shop for your preferences. Also a good selection of paperbacks, CDs, and DVDs are available, as well as luggage and some sporting goods. Don’t worry, you won’t be pawing through boots and coats in mid-July.  Everything is nicely organized with only seasonal items displayed. The volunteer staff is friendly and extremely helpful and accommodating. Remember, these individuals are responsible for the helpful map! Note: this is a cash-only shop, so hit the ATM (at the bank a few doors down on Court Street) prior if you didn’t come prepared.

Specializing

Yet another shop open 6 days is the Trendy Threads Boutique in Ticonderoga. Owner Brandee Goodness will give you a warm welcome. Her shop specializes in women’s and children’s apparel and accessories. Easily accessed off Montcalm Street - the main street in Ticonderoga - parking is available along the street or across in an adjacent parking lot. Aside from top quality, gently used (or even new) clothing and accessories, Brandee’s shop offers Gingersnap jewelry. Create your own custom necklace or bracelet to match whatever outfit you arrive in or purchase. 

Holy Cow!

I must mention a few shops that inadvertently missed the first printing. First is the Holy Cow located at the Daisy Morton Center in Moriah Corners. Only open Fridays and Saturdays from 9am-1pm, you don’t want to miss this shop where proceeds support the operation of this center for the Methodist Church. Housewares, clothing, sporting goods, and some furniture are available for purchase — you really never know what you will find. Tell volunteer staff if you are looking for a specific item. They will be happy to help.

Inside Made in the Mountains

The Port Resale is a section of the Made in the Mountains craft and artists’ gallery and shop on Broad Street in the Village of Port Henry. Again, expect surprises, but spend some time and discover some amazing handmade, crafted, and created works in the Made in the Mountains section. Open Wednesday through Friday from 12pm-5pm, and Saturday from 10am-3pm.

So grab some friends for a discovery adventure and head out for some thrifting! You never know what you may find. Explore some of the local thrift and consignment shops to fulfill your needs and wishes.  Make a day of it following the map and guide. Grab lunch and enjoy the scenic vistas while cruising between shops along the Adirondack Coast.  



This week in unique ADK greening news:

Yours to mine

A mountain for all ski-sons

From engines to ensembles

Mooving to the music

Opera-ting under new management

Upcycling

Tie into the past

Prime Adirondack Coast Pedals
Birding & Exploring around the Four Brothers