Shop Local Rochester: Splurge + Save and Have a Thrifty Holiday.

{ Thrifted! Red velvet vintage dress from Treasure Trove Vintage on Park Avenue. }

GET

look good

THRIFTY

feel good

THIS HOLIDAY

#shoplocalroc

{ We have to do something for ourselves. Especially during the holidays. And we still want to save time + money, feel festive + fabulous! That’s why thrifty shopping in your holiday routine spices up the season, adds value to your time and money, + lets you do you. Something fierce. }

Get Thrifty.

HEART
And by heart, I mean appearance.

Appearance is the outward expression of our hearts. These 3 looks + 3 thrifty shopping spots show you how to save + feel flippin fancy while doing it.

#PROTIP: “Vintage” is defined as 20 years back. { 1994 is vintage! }

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Rest of my dress! Adorable back { butt } bow. (Not pictured.)

THE LOOK: MAD MEN – Pin-Up. Vintage Boutique.

WHY VINTAGE

  1. Quality. Vintage is higher quality. Better fit. Better wear. Bottom line.
  2. Affordable. The imitation is too expensive! Especially if you seek quality comparable to the original.
  3. Trend Factor. You want to look great, but you don’t want to go crazy on some trend you might never wear again. These pieces have stood the test of time for a reason! And, you can afford to buy more than one or get fancy with all the fixin’s.

THE PLACE

  • Treasure Trove Vintage: 121 Park Avenue, Suite 10 (Facing Meigs Street)
    • Dresses + Jewelry
    • Coats + Fur Coats
    • Jackets + Blazers
    • Hats + Gloves
    • Boots + Heels

{ BONUS: Owner, Morgan DeLapa, walks-the-walk, talks-the-talk, + can dish really sweet make-up recommendations! }

Louboutin at Panache.

Louboutin at Panache.

THE LOOK: BEYONCE / OLD MONEY – Glam. Consignment Shop.

WHY CONSIGNED

  1. Designer. Champagne tastes on a { fancy } beer budget? Panache accommodates + dazzles.
  2. Variety. Row upon row upon row of flat, wedge, heel, boot; fur coat, blazer, shurg; wristlet, clutch, bag. It’s never-ending .. and all so inviting!
  3. Fashion. Fashionista’s paradise. Whether you like vintage, disco, ’90’s, or now – Panache has your number. { Flower City Fashionista would know! }

THE PLACE 

{ BONUS: Designer-Designer labels. We’re talking Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Coach … you name it. }

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Brand name wrap dresses from VOA on Lake Avenue.

THE LOOK: STREET STYLETrendyThrift Store.

WHY THRIFT

  1. Quality. Thrift stores don’t take garbage. Know what you’re looking for, keep an open mind, + you will find gems that you boast about the rest of your known life.
  2. Get the Look. Create 3-5 new looks, easily, for less than the price of 1 at retail. Who doesn’t want a new holiday: skirt + top, dress + shrug, pant + blouse with matching shoe + bag for each?? With styles that cater specifically to the look you want.
  3. Price. Pay attention to tag sales + deals of the day so you know how to optimizes these options + still capture rock bottom prices.

THE PLACE 

{ BONUS: $.89 of EVERY DOLLAR goes toward VOA initiatives like the VOA Children’s Center + various Community Outreach. … Plus they have crazy low prices + incredible sales. }

OTHER GREAT SHOPS:

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With bff Laura (nee Reardon) Wagner, in 1950s handmade replica Bette Davis dress from film “All About Eve.”

#PROTIP: Don’t be scared to purchase gifts at consignment, vintage, + thrift stores.

HOME
Home is where the heart is … make it look good + feel good!

There are innumerable reasons I shop thrift for home goods + wares. And even more for why we all should thrift for holiday home goods + wares. Here are my top 3 reasons + spots:

Cheers! Wine glasses from Panache.

Cheers! … with a hint of charm. Wine glasses from Panache.

KITCHEN UTENSILS

  1. Serving Spoons. Potato Masher. Tea Kettle. These are just some items I find at almost every thrift store I go to.
  2. Bye-Bye Big Box. Why go to a big-box when you can easily find what you need, for less?
  3. The Character Factor. Come on. Who doesn’t want a story behind their kitchen ware??

{ BONUS: Check-out any local thrift store. One of my favorites is Ruly on Monroe Ave. }

  • Ruly: 270 Monroe Avenue (Between Union + Alexander)

FESTIVE DISH WARE + GLASSES

  1. Unique. Find glasses + mugs, place settings + cake plates that you just won’t find anywhere else.
  2. Host + Gift. What better way to decorate a holiday table than to allow guests to take home their glasses at the end of the eve?
  3. Mix + Match. Get creative with your decor when you can pair several different pieces for an occasion with your unique stamp.

{ BONUS: Panache has a Home + Design store, too! … With 3 designers who curate. }

STATEMENT PIECES

  1. One Time + Timeless. You don’t have to feel guilt about using these pieces just once! Go crazy + buy the trendy piece. Or, at the same time, find a classic vase or candle holder + relish that it can be used any time of year or every holiday season.
  2. Love Each Room. Deck the halls, y’all. All of them. No need to feel proud about just the mantle over the fireplace or just the “Christmas Tree Room.” Get your deck on the whole house through!
  3. Get a Lil’ Funky. It’s okay to experiment. Add a pop of color with a thrift store pieces – and the fear associated with “failing” completely melts away. It’s true.

{ BONUS: Hidden gems exist. Rochester has them … and I also love Canandaigua! }

  • Main Street: My fav antique shop closed! (But Main St. Canandaigua has some true gems.)
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Brande new glass ornaments from Panache. Great for party favors!

be merry, be bright

Make a Pledge to You. Treat yourself this holiday. And give back to your community. This can be your Shop Local Rochester pledge!

#getthrifty

#roc the holiday

#shoplocalroc

XO.

Fashion Denial Spiral: Fight The Polar Vortex.

{ What up Polar Vortex. My name is Barbara Ellen. }

THE

fall

POLAR

rochester, ny

VORTEX

{ All of these things are taboo here in snow-central, Lake Ontario, upstate Rochester, NY. And yet all are incredibly palpable + anything anyone can ever talk about. … Lucky for me, I ♥ winter! (I do.) However. I do not ♥ when my fall fashion is disrupted by seasons that try + steal the spot-light before another season has ended. }

Whether you’re a season stubborn fashionista like me OR a weather despising winter wonder-nope (unlike me) … I have some tips + tricks for you. 

be a snow bunny 

with a fall coat

{literally}

  • Winter blues got you down … and it’s technically not even winter yet?
  • Hanging onto fall like the gold + orange + red leaves on the trees??

No need to let Polar Vortex dictate your fall fashion sense. { No need to let anyone or anything dictate your fashion sense. } Below is an info-fashion-graphic to show what I did to lay claim on the fall that is still here + that I still love!

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Yeah. We’re calling this an: infographic.

This is how you thwart winter + delay dragging out all of your winter clothes until you say when. (Read – locks on your car door freeze.)

Fashion Denial Spiral

Tips + Tricks

  1. Snow Coat – Trade it in for a super thick heavy sweater or a supped up fall jacket you already have out + about. { Canadian accent. }
  2. Winter Scarf – I love them. But it’s just not their time. Get extra miles from the pashy that { let’s be honest } you probably already wear every single season of the year, including summer.
  3. Snow Boots – No.  No need until there’s accumulation on the ground or unless you’re still addicted to Uggs. { Come on. } Warm-up the fall riding + combat boots with a super cute + super thick sock. Promise you feel cozy + cute + not controlled by winter weather.

where can you shop for all of these??

Great question! Here are my top picks.

  1. Super Thick Heavy Sweater – Vintage + Thrift! I purchased this one while thrifting with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage. In fact, TTV has one in brown { I do believe }. I’ve also seen a ton of great items at Far Out Vintage on Monroe Ave. My top 3 are:
  2. Winter Pashy – Boutiques! Fahsye in the North Winton hood on Blossom + Winton along with Peppermint in the Park Ave hood on Park + Meigs are both known for their incredible selection of beautiful, classic, and unique scarves. Before you go anywhere else, I highly recommend both of these spots.
  3. Riding + Combat Boots – This place has a shoe room, so. Peppermint has to be the spot. With selections raging from knee-high riding boots to calf-level combat boots to fashionable + durable ankle booties … the question isn’t – Will I find something? – it’s – How do I choose just one?? Thing is, with prices generally always below $40 … you can buy more than 1! Love how that works.

insider tip

Each of the above stores + boutiques have prices comparable to–often lower than–your favorite store that … inconveniently doesn’t rhyme with any words { Co-Targe-ugh }.

#polarvortex

#shoplocal

#roc

XO.

Shop Local: VOA Thrift Stores – Upstate New York.

VOA

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA UPSTATE NEW YORK

THRIFT STORES

Break The Cycle of Poverty

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER

WHO: VOA Upstate New York.  Serving: 6,000+ people plus throughout Upstate New York.

WHAT: Over 100 years old! Non-profit. Serves our community and sells some wicked good duds, home wares, shoes + accessories, and more.

WHERE: Flagship Store: Lave Ave (near downtown). 10+ Store Locations throughout Rochester. Shop Online.

WHEN: Founded in Rochester, 1901.

WHY:  Because why not. You should become passionate about VOA. See my list below. To really get it, watch this video:

Rise Out of Poverty, Move Toward Self-Reliance, Reach Toward Full Potential

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Crop Top / Vintage / Wrap Dress / Fashion Jacket – All on my MUST list. All found at VOA.

1. Incredible Deals. 

  • Everyday Low Prices: Recently Dropped Prices on Most Popular Clothing Items! (Prices exclude better brands. … But trust me, those are inexpensive too.)
  1. $.99 Sunday’s + Monday’s
  2. $1.99 Regular Tanks + Tees

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    Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash out! Earn + Redeem Points.

  3. $3.99 Regular Tops
  4. $4.99 Regular Shorts
  5. $5.99 Regular Bottoms
  • Sales: Change Daily.
  • SUPER SATURDAYS – Everything is 50%. Go THIS SATURDAY, 6/28!!
  • Rewards Card: Ongoing. VOA Rewards Card gives you points (turns into real $$) on each
    purchase you make. Can be used on sale items!

2. Excellent Selection.

  • Brand Names
  • High Quality
  • Unique Finds
  • Women’s Wear
  • Men’s Wear
  • Office Wear (not including Working Wardrobe)
  • Casual
  • Going Out
  • Lounging

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    Neatly organized + some brand new ones to select from! Like those boots on the end.

  • Junior’s
  • Children’s
  • Children’s Books
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Home Wares
  • Furniture
  • Seasonal Attire

3. Convenient.

  1. Batavia
  2. Brockport

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    Spotted! 2 dresses I donated to VOA. Patterned halter from HM Toronto + black lace from Target.

  3. Canandaigua
  4. Culver Road
  5. Elmira
  6. Endwell
  7. Fairport
  8. Lake Ave Store  
  9. Lake Ave Outlet
  10. Palmyra
  11. Warsaw
  12. Webster
  • Parking is Accessible
  • Changing Rooms
  • Vending Machines at Lake Ave!

4. Arranged Like Retail Stores.  

  • Thoughtful Layout

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    Formal Wear. Prom dresses + gowns. … I should really donate mine. Also seems like a great place for old Bridesmaid’s dresses.

  • Clothing Organized by Color / Size / Style
  • Clearly Marked Sections + Sizes
  • Enough Cash Registers

5. Specialty Selections. 

  • Formal Gowns
  1. Wedding
  2. Prom
  3. First Communion
  • Vintage

“We’re here to serve each other. We change lives. We restore hope and dignity. We put others first.”

~JoAnne Ryan, President + CEO (taken from Agency Video)

Thrifting will always have a special place in my heart. From suits to blouses to slacks and shoes to bags: I gave my mom the hardest time, while growing up, for never buying anything new. For never being like the other moms. But she was right. She scraped together just enough change to buy me McDonald’s fries {we have her to thank for this infatuation} and paid for my older brother’s and my grade school tuition. She, a newly graduated full-time engineering UR student, and full-time mom with a new baby boy in the crib, interviewed for jobs out of university. She taught me value. She taught me style. She taught me what it means to be proud of what I have, who I am,  and my community. She taught me to do what I do, whether it is popular or not. She taught me all of this. And she taught me it through thrift shopping.

My aunt, as well. Aunt Katy, my mama’s older sister, is an antique dealer and thrift shopping maverick. With just 1 scan of the perimeter, Aunt Katy knows exactly what’s treasure and exactly what’s … not. Aunt Katy’s taught me, not just the value of a dollar, but also, the value of a flea market, the value of a garage sale, the value of an estate sale, the value of a church sale, and the value of the people behind them. Shopping is fun. Fashion feels good. But thrift shopping, the values and the culture and the people behind thrift shopping, is immortal.

When we thrift shop, yes: we give immortal lives to the things no one wants. More, we give immortality to the spirit surrounding our communities. This is why I thrift shop.

I thrift at VOA because they support and empower our community.

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VOA CHILDREN’S CENTER

Last Thursday I shopped with Marketing & Media Director, Megan, at the 214 Lake Ave. location, centrally located between Lake Ontario and Downtown. Passersby cannot miss the neatly blocked tan building with familiar red, white, and blue sign that flags down shoppers, outside of this Upstate New York VOA Flagship store. Convenient parking flanks both sides of the Retail Center.

When I finished devouring aisle after aisle of shorts, denim, blouses, tanks, dresses {I even ran into a few of my own that I donated!}, Megan was kind enough to take me next door to the VOA Children’s Center.

My jaw never closed.  A bright jungle gym set-up donated by Top’s. The Universal Preschool that is associated with RCSD. Beautiful, jubilant children, pre-school aged and up, who attentively listened to aids and harmoniously played together, both inside and out. Brightly painted, mural-ed walls. Classrooms fully equipped with sitting spaces, learning areas, bathrooms, books. A full dental center in partnership with RGH. Even more medical services, including Telemed equipment to web conference with doctors as needed.

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Dental Room in partner with RGH at the VOA Children’s Center.

 

My eyes squeezed in tears. Seeing these happy, healthy children and the facilities imparted to teachers and aides to keep these children happy + healthy. These are the programs that improve our world. Programs like these, with the research and altruism and partnership and innovation and heart, are what change our world.

I am so proud that the VOA Children’s Center serves 280 children, between 6 weeks old to 12 years old, 98% of whom live in the most impoverished parts of Rochester. I am so proud we have VOA to serve a number of populations and communities in this exact same manner.

SHOP LOCAL

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If you didn’t want to shop before {and who doesn’t want to shop}, you want to shop now. {Or this Saturday, 6/28 at SUPER SATURDAY.} Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash-out. I promise, the reward to both you + to our community is not just worth it. It’s immortal.

Thank you to Megan + to VOA for hosting me this past Thursday! See you guys soon.

#shoplocal

#donate

#giveback

#breakthecycleofpoverty

#VOA

XO.

Shop Local. Thrifting: Volunteers of America 14604.

Thrifting. Recycling. Shopping. Donating. Vintage-ing. Hipster-ing. And it’s always a great deal! What more do we need? And moreover … Why don’t we do this more? Despite my best efforts, even I could stand to check out more of our local thrift stores & sales, more. And after this shopping expedition, I will. (As well as take some cues from this thrifting beauty!) Lucky for me,

 this hidden gem’s on the way to work, home, the lake, Donuts Delite. You name it. For the rest, 12 surrounding Rochester, NY stores & even online shopping abound. With additional community services, child care services, residential services, and spiritual growth services, your donation–clothing, foot ware, furniture, home goods, money, or time–certainly goes noticed. Volunteers of America on Culver Rd, a bridge between Park Ave (current hood), the Beechwood Neighborhood (old hood: think Johnny’s Irish, James Brown Place, The Golden Fox, L&M Lanes), and East Irondequoit (old school & home to Donuts Delite, shout out #2) has superb service (…Elayne! See below), unique finds, & is just around the corner. No need to be jealous. Just check it, or the other 12 area stores, out. 

* * *
Classics.
Clockwise from Left: Chambray Abercrombie. Linen Chartreuse.
Floral Surplus. Sherbert Shirts.
Classic Picks: Patterned & Sassy.
Colored Shorts!
Biggest. Trend. of the. Season.
THEY HAVE OVERALLS!
#hipsterhip .
Shoes.
Shoes with great Soul.
Steals.
Discounts & Discount Programs.
Elayne, most helpful sales person everrr, clued me in on even more.
(And suggested a killer shorts tip–elastic, low-rise–which could save me.)
Thank you Elayne at Culver Rd #VOA !
My Buys.
Mary Kay Compacts ONSALE.
Lefty purchased for Momsly’s Birthday
which is TODAY.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA!!!!
Floral & Cropped.
Wear it EVERY DAY.
Leather. $4.99. EEEEEEEEE!!!
Park Ave Fest, meet my newest best friend.
Volunteers of American on Culver Rd. 14604.
Great for gifts. Or yourself. Guilt free. Give back.
There are no limits to caring.
Or shopping.
Or giving.
Or looking great.
Or going local.
GO!