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Striking Thrift-store Gold

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Lauren Modery of Hipstercrite talks about finding gems at the local vintage store.

By Madison Matous, Photos courtesy of Lauren Modery

Austin is well-known for its funky style, laid-back vibes and array of vintage stores. It’s part of what gives the city its undeniable charm. Austin Woman caught up with blogger Lauren Modery of Hipstercrite to learn just how to find unique items for the home at a fraction of the price.

Modery is a blogger and freelance writer who settled in Austin nine years ago. She grew up in New York, working at her family’s clothing store, which sparked her love for all things vintage. She distinctly remembers the beautifully handpainted 1950s mannequins on display at her parents’ store, and today, Modery collects similar mannequins she styles with her many hats, wigs and glasses.

Modery’s home is an extension of her personal style, just as eclectic and unique as she is, and many of her favorite items have been sourced from Austin’s vintage stores. From her unique mannequin collection to accordions to an old record player, she is constantly on the lookout for new things to add to her home.

“I mean, [the best part of vintage shopping is]that moment when you realize that you’ve found the thing,” Modery exclaims, “where you’ve found the gem in the pile of crap and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I found it, and I’m only paying five bucks for it!’ ”

There are a number of vintage places to shop in Austin, but depending on your shopping style, your strategy for finding the perfect pieces for your home will differ. For those willing to roll up their sleeves to find that special something for a steal, Modery recommends stopping by Goodwill, Savers and other large second-hand stores scattered throughout town.

 “I would probably do research to see which ones are close together, so you could hit up three or four places without having to travel all the way across town,” Modery suggests.

One of her favorite spots is the North Loop area, where there are a handful of thrift and vintage stores.

For those more interested in vintage boutique stores, it’s all about the research when you are looking for something specific.

“Honestly, I think [knowing what something is worth]is just living,” Modery says. “The older you get…you just gather more knowledge.”

She believes someone who grew up in the 1950s or ’60s is going to recognize higher quality brands people younger than 30 wouldn’t necessarily pick up on, unless they’d done their research. Nevertheless, for those lacking experience, a quick price search is never a bad itea. It’s not all about finding something valuable, though; it’s more about what’s special to a particular individual that gives something its value.

For more help finding vintage pieces for a steal, Modery suggests taking a look at the Austin Vintage Around Town Guide, which lists both furniture and clothing stores. Modery’s personal favorite is Room Service Vintage, but to get the best price, it’s best to shop around. Whether you make a day of it or take a quick peek, you’re sure to find a treasure.

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