Thrifty Chicks Vintage

Before she gets to this review the Thrifty Snicker would like to address a few of the questions that have come in midst an avalanche of fan mail. The burden of fame rests as lightly upon her shoulders as her latest thrifty acquisition: an Anne Klein cashmere sweater!

Q: When are you going to review one of Austin’s many Salvation Armys and Goodwills?

A: Indeed, there are many of these fine and thrifty institutions but your Diva of Discount will not review them. She shops them on occasion and her peace-loving heart wishes them no ill will as they support many marvelous programs. But generally their stock is over-priced and of low quality and there are so many other excellent stores that clamor for a shout-out. Similarly, she won’t review Austin’s City-Wide Garage Sale or any other event that charges an admission. Nope, nope, nope.

Q: Can I email you about my thrift store adventures or charity garage sale event?
A: Of course you can, darling, and The Thriftstress welcomes your messages sent through the blog. Just remember she needs about a month’s notice to mention a special event.

Q: Is it true that you are often mistaken for Sandra Bullock’s younger sister?
A: Oh stop! Pretty is as pretty does and while Austin’s favorite Academy nominated sweetheart appears to be someone who would be as comfortable in a Saver’s dressing room as on the red carpet, the Thrifty Snicker has not had the pleasure of making her acquaintance and comparing countenances.

Now for the review…

It’s not hard to pick out fellow thriftologists and you may well have noticed Melanie Wassell at one of Austin’s thrift emporiums stalking a vintage purse or snatching up a particularly delectable bargain. Perfectly understandable given that she’s leveraged her love for history and its accoutrements into Thrifty Chicks Vintage on North Lamar – a two story mecca to clothes and home furnishings from bygone eras.

Melanie confesses that when she started out with a single booth at a local antique mall she never suspected it would grow to eleven booths…then her garage…then several storage units…making opening a store practically essential to saving her sanity, not to mention her real estate. In business less than a year, this savvy as well as thrifty chick is already eyeing a 2,000 square foot expansion in order to clear out some of those aforementioned storage units more quickly. But Melanie’s bargain fetish is your thrifty fortune with rooms full of interesting house-wares, vintage clothes, and period furniture nicely displayed and, glory be!, reasonably priced.

Thrifty Chicks Vintage stands out with its blue awning and mod exterior décor – a blessed contrast to several blocks of insurance storefronts and warehouses. More rustic pieces are placed outside when weather allows and upon entering, shoppers are immediately drawn to the furniture, much of it set up in comfy clusters. On a recent visit a groovy velvet end table tickled the Snicker’s home fashion funny bone and a compelling wood and metal sculpture in the shape of the US of A came very close to being purchased. Whether or not your nose needs to be powdered, be sure to visit the powder room in the corner of the first floor for a whole ‘nuther design vignette!

The second floor features half dozen delightful rooms with an emphasis on vintage and formal ware. You’ll find lots of lovely wedding gowns, many priced at $50, evening gowns of all sizes and cocktail wear. On her last visit an especially nice Aracadia Italian purse could be had for $48. An unusually nice selection of fashionable and couture handbags reflects one of Melanie’s indulgences although the vintage Gucci she just picked up last week won’t be showing up in the store anytime soon! But Thrifty Chick really does focus on thrift so there’s absolutely no reason to pay retail for your next party frock.

The men folk aren’t forgotten and have their own “men’s room” with vintage fashions and boys’ toys. House-wares lean toward the Betty Crocker kitchens of the ‘60s and ‘70s and daughter Tara brings in the ‘80s with toys, games and LPs. The Thrifty Chicks themselves acquire all the fast-moving merchandise; no consignments or vendor booths here.

The Thrifty Chicks provide a fun shopping experience without the sticker shock. The Thriftstress was pleasantly surprised again and again by reasonable prices, a theme echoed by shoppers who have left Yelp and Yahoo reviews. In fact, the only hiccup is the parking – you’ll have to back into traffic on north Lamar if you don’t park in such a way as to work yourself around to a front forward exit.

Like ‘em on FB and check out their website at http://www.thriftychicksvintage.com. Happily they’re open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. so you can visit the chicks in their thrifty coop (6701 North Lamar) almost anytime the mood strikes. All major credit cards (and soon PayPal) are accepted.

As much as it pains the Discount Diva to admit it, she doesn’t know everything thrift. What are your favorite places and best bargains?

Until the next find!
The Thrifty Snicker

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