Feb 17, 2013

Chamber of Thrift

 As an avid thrifter, I’m always on the lookout for new places and events where I can pick up some of the random retro junk that sets my heart aflutter. I recently discovered Sidney Street Sales

 They are a fantastic group of people who put together a once a month super sale. Located in an old church, the atmosphere adds to the fun of rummaging for that perfect item. Pictures of new items are posted on their Facebook profile, which gives you a glimpse of the treasures to be discovered. One such picture was sent to me by a friend who apparently knows my taste in odd furniture quite well:

Sidney Street sales original photo

 The picture displayed what was possibly the most loud, gaudy and tacky sofa set I’ve ever seen. That’s coming from a man who owns a set of lime green velvet parlor furniture. The sofa was a gold velvet sectional with carved wooden accents. The love seat was round with similar wooden accents. I decided right then and there that the sofa would be mine. About an hour later I recanted my decision as there was no chance in hell I’d ever get it. 

 Sidney Street had made the photo their profile background and there was a swarm of interest in the comments section. Ever being the optimistic, I noticed that Sidney had an exceptionally large amount of good looking mid-century sofas to choose from and I would be sure to get something I’d love. 

 I made plans with friends, marked the date and time in my calendar and began counting down the days. As time slowly passed, Sidney Street posted more and more beautiful pieces all at incredible prices. For reference’s sake, I’d put their prices above thrift store but well below resale shop. Very affordable. 

 The day of the sale finally arrived. I woke up at what can only be called stupid-thirty and jumped out of bed with entirely too much enthusiasm. Grabbing my requisite crappy breakfast of energy drink and toaster pastry, I started my beat up truck while praying the cold winter night air wouldn't cause me trouble. Luck was on my side and the high millage engine coughed and wheezed into action. 

 Along the way I picked up my friend Adam who as a peruser of random stuff can always be trusted to go along on crazy thrifting adventures. Arriving at our destination we were pleased to see there was almost no one else there. Only two other people where insane enough to get up this early in hopes of being first to enter this chamber of thrift.

 Suddenly, I realized I had a chance to get the sectional that had first led me to this place. I had a damn good chance! All I had to do was locate the sofa and remove its tag before anyone else. This was a tag sale after all, I only needed a simple tag to claim my prize. I quickly turned to my cohort in crime and suggested we update our battle strategy. Our new plan was to casually wait in line, sip our coffee, and at the appropriate moment, meander in buying whatever interesting things we come across. Ok, ok. I know, not what you were expecting, but I do this for fun. I don't resell. I’m just out to have a good time looking through vintage stuff. I can have a good day even if I don't buy anything.

 Thankfully, this day I was able to part with some of my hard earned money. When the time came, we were let in and I did what I always do. I took advantage of my 6’5” stature and scanned the room looking for something awesome to catch my eye. Bingo, there it was... 

 I could see the gold velvet gleaming in the morning sun. Attempting to remain calm, I headed in its direction. I could hear people spilling in behind me. If someone shot past me to get there first, they deserved it. I kept waiting to get pushed out of the way, but it never happened. I continued to causally walk towards my prize and suddenly I was there, tag in hand. The excitement set in and I whipped around to show Adam, only to see a group of strangers, all sad that some beardo beat them to their delicious golden sofa. I felt a little like a jerk. Instead of expressing my excitement to my missing friend, I did a little victory dance for the people I beat out. 

 Attesting to the quality of people you cross paths with here in St. Louis, no one yelled at me or started a fight. They just congratulated me and we began reveling in tales of our thrifting adventures. I count myself fortunate to be part of a community of such kind strangers. I also feel pretty fortunate to be the proud owner of a stellar vintage sectional and love seat.

The sofa and love seat in their new home


  1. I'm so excited you got this! I saw it in on the Sidney Street FB page and was wishing I had room for it. Can't wait to see it in person :)

  2. If you ever want to sell it let me know. :)

  3. This looks great in that room. I saw this online and thought it would look great with a gold and green striped "throne" chair that I have been meaning to repair ( upholstery is great- just a bit wobbly structurally) Well if you are interested in a chair for that corner- let me know:)
    This was a great read, by the way. Your writing style kept me interested to the very end. Thanks for sharing.