Guest Post: Behind the Scenes with International Thrift
Have you ever browsed your favorite thrift store, antique shop, or market booth and picked up an item that “sparked joy,” as Marie Kondo would say? At International Thrift, we revel in the joy of unique objects, and the stories they tell. Our story starts when three girls became best friends on a summer-long adventure in Uganda, Africa.
Our names are Lisa, Cassie, and Annie. We have a lot of things in common, including a love for thrifting, getting to know new peoples and cultures, and humanitarian projects. Two summers ago, we found ourselves doing all three as we romped across Uganda with an international aid team.
During the week, we would participate in girl empowerment seminars, business classes, and health outreaches. On the weekends, we would travel around, getting to know Ugandans on a personal level, and often browsing the various artisan shops.
Often, in the process of exploring shops and negotiating prices, we would hear the story of how something was made, what it represented, or even a little bit about the life of the artisan. We began to collect objects, and hatched a plan to share the joy and stories of the beautiful people and cultures these items carry with them. We realized that the same adventure shoppers feel when they handle thrifted or antique items from their local areas, could also be felt if people had the opportunity to own unique items from abroad. The idea for International Thrift was officially born.
Fortunately, all three of us have had a passion for international travel for a long time, and Uganda was far from the only country we had visited. Between the three of us, we had already made our way through Peru, Bolivia, Iceland, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nepal, Japan, and Mexico. As fate would have it, each of us had also brought back distinctive items from each of these places.
Then, this past summer, we decided to make our second trip all together – to Greece, where we worked in Moria Refugee Camp. We travelled frequently between Greece and Turkey, and continued to collect fascinating objects.
We are proud to say that our shop debut will be at the Salt and Honey market. International Thrift as it stands offers thrifted and antique items from around the world, including from the United States. Many of our items have a story, and you only have to ask to learn more. A few of our products are also handmade by us, thanks to the inspiration we received from our exposure to so many international artisans. We are so excited to share this adventure with you, and hope you get as much joy from the beauty and history of our thrifted objects as we do!
Follow us @internationalthrift for some sneak peeks of our products!