Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Up and Running,

Chelsey and I are happy to finally announce we have up and running. It made me stop and think about how this vintage obsession that I have ever got started. And I have to credit some of my friends.

When I was in seventh grade my friend Tiff's older sister owned a store on Center St in Provo. Not sure if anyone will recall it, but it was up some stairs over a little diner that was called 534 or something to do with it's address. There were these little enclosed booths you could sit down and eat in. There were always teen hipsters in black clothes and sailor hats hanging out there. The little store had dressing rooms with hand-prints in different colors all over the walls. I thought it couldn't be more awesome. I would spend every dime I had there. Between those things and the stuff I "borrowed" from my Mom I made up a pretty punk-rock wardrobe. And by punk-rock I mean I got made fun of every single day of my life. Wearing lace gloves with a big tweed man's blazer and cuffed jeans is not cool in Provo Utah in November at the bus stop. It's just not. By the time Tiff and the Grow sisters started wearing cool vintage and Tiff started helping me pick cool stuff I was not laughed at so much and school girls started liking the things I wore. One week I wore a stack of gold necklaces with a German cross pinned at the neck of my collared shirt and by the next week it was a fad. I knew the torment would be over. For a few months at least, until I cut off my hair. That's another story...

After the little store closed down I had to get creative and I just borrowed a lot of clothes for the next few years. Until Sue Andrus took me to DI. I used to pass it and wonder what was going on in there, but I assumed it was some kind of storehouse. Like you had to qualify to enter. But Sue just walked in like she belonged there and we left with some of the most amazing vintage jewelry I still have ever seen, for just pennies. (I still have one of the bracelets.) And that was it for me. I remember shopping weekly in the old DI. When the basement was the best part. Back when the glass cases held all the wonders of the world, like Portobello Road. I miss the old DI. I miss the old pricing structure.

Once DI began to carry new items, (the pine furniture they manufacture), they had to restructure their business. Legally they are required to structure and price their merchandise like Target and Kmart. This is why DI no longer has things priced for a quarter, or fifty cents. It's not because the church needs the money. I personally think it stinks for shoppers. They are too overpriced to want to shop there anymore. It's not any fun. I used to find designer merchandise for two and three dollars. Now dresses can be fifteen to twenty bucks and tables, couches a hundred bucks. It's a rare occasion I find something great for the price I want to pay.

DI originally opened directly after the depression. They realized a need to try and pool extra resources from the saints and begin to redistribute these assets. There used to be drives to raise items. Men would come by weekly and haul stuff away. The church used to ask their members to give as much as possible and gave out DI bags to fill. Not we have so much stuff the DI problem is processing it all and figuring out what is garbage and what is not. I do so enjoy DI dumpster diving. (The sorter's idea of trash is not always my idea of trash.) I wish I could go in every day. I should buy their garbage... I'm looking into that.

So, with this love of mine for old things I hope to bring some joy to people who may love old items as well, but not so much the dumpster diving. I get that that part is an acquired taste. I guess I've acquired it.


BrettM said...

You are brilliant and I love you.

Kacy said...

Do you remember Truman Edsels downtown? I grew up on Columbia Lane and would walk to DI every week. I still make regular runs and find the occasional treasure. Best recent find: 2 pristine powder blue leather jump seats from the back of an old car. One is in Sam's room and one is in the mud room. Cool!

I hope you are serious about looking into buying what DI doesn't sell at DI. I heard that a huge portion of welfare square is funded by the stuff DI sells to vendors such as Black Honey. Count those purchases as your tithing and you'll be set.

Amelia Merritt said...

I LOVED Truman Edsels. My sister bought me a little crocodile clutch from there for my Birthday long ago. I still think it's the best named Thrift Store of all time.