Thrift Store Heroes: Customer ‘chalks’ up ability to be fashionable for less, & realize dream, to Goodwill

shelley13When a friend discovered chalk paint as a quick way to paint furniture without having to sand it first, Shelley, a Goodwill customer for 40 years, had no clue how it would evolve. From the very first piece she painted – a mirror – she was hooked.  She even took a chalk painting class to learn different techniques, including waxing after the piece is painted, to achieve a different effect. She quickly began frequenting the Ashland store, where she shops most often because it’s close to her home, as well as other Goodwill stores in the area. She broadened her horizons from furniture to candlesticks, mirrors, picture frames, vases – anything that had good style but needed to be repainted. Shelley says every time she sees something that needs a little tender loving care, her first thought is that she can transform it into something wonderful.

To date, sshelley12he has painted well over 100 pieces! Now, you might wonder what an individual might do with that many chalk painted items….Shelley admits she’s kept a lot. One of the most meaningful pieces she has is a table she received as a gift from her mother she has in her kitchen. She also painted a table and chair set for her granddaughter, who absolutely loves it. But she’s also given many other items as gifts, and sold some as well. One of the best sales she’s made was a buffet she found at the Ashland store she bought for $65 and later sold for $300 after painting!

What began as, and continues to be, a fun hobby has become a dream to own her own furniture and accessories store when she retires in two years. She’s always had a love for furniture, but says the chalk painting inspired her even more to make her dream a reality. While she already has quite a collection of pieces she’s acquired from Goodwill over the years, she plans to continue to shop at Goodwill for future items for her store.

Why shelley14go to the mall when you can go to Goodwill?
In addition to her love of chalk painting, she also enjoys hunting for deals on clothing at Goodwill. She initially began shopping at Goodwill to obtain professional clothing for work. Happily, she discovered that she could purchase a wide variety of clothing, as well as items for her home, at a very low price. As Shelley says, why go to the mall when you can go to Goodwill, right?

Now about 75 percent of her wardrobe is from Goodwill. Shelley says she has found many articles of clothing with tags still on them. She prides herself in her ability to find name-brand items, and her keen sense of putting outfits together. Oftentimes, Shelley has been stopped by other women for advice about what looks good – something she is always eager to help with. When she receives compliments from others, she enthusiastically replies the items are from Goodwill. And people are always surprised that such up-to-date clothing can be found at a thrift store.

Shelley believes you don’t need a lot of money to look nice or have nice tshelley5hings for your home. All it takes is a little time to shop for a bargain. But she warns it might be addictive!

Thanks to Goodwill, Shelley has not only found a fun hobby and a beautiful wardrobe, but she’s discovered a way to enjoy her retirement doing something she loves. Sounds like a dream to me!


~ Kim Rohr