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Cheap thrills

August 1, 2011

A quick shout-out to a thrift store I’ve been going to since I was in diapers: Cheap Thrills, in Mad River Valley, Vermont. They don’t have a website, you can’t find them on Yelp, and they’re not tweeting about their latest sales. Every summer my family and I go to Vermont for a family reunion; the ladies always make a pit stop here. I am never disappointed.

I am a sucker for the convenience and massive discounting of the big chains (love you, TJMaxx), but I really just adore the rare no-frills thrift store that doesn’t give a damn what anyone else is doing to keep up with competition.

The first section of the store is a collection of knick-knacks and jewelry. What caught my eye this year: an old antique painting of Fox Theatre in Atlanta, DVDs with titles you forgot about, jars full of tacky buttons, kitchen appliances from the ’50s. The back of the store is a massive closet with endless racks of clothes. You don’t have to dig for too long before you find something that’s “you.” It lacks the outrageousness of a Beacon’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange in NY… in a good way — entertaining as it may be, who really needs a leopard-print pantsuit? Give me cute shirts that I can wear to work!

I ended up leaving with the three items above, “Singles” (great, overlooked rom-com from 1992 with Kyra Sedgwick, Matt Dillon), a birdie brooch, and a leather-bound book of poems with an original publication date of 1871 (scribbled in cursive inside: “to Mary Curtis, awarded for your excellence in spelling”), all for a little over $30.

Vermont’s not a big tourist hotspot, I know, but if you’re ever in the area, you should definitely drop by. The store name’s promise won’t let you down.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    August 2, 2011 6:19 am

    You don’t know me (I’m a friend of Shannon’s), but I recently moved to Vermont, and this is so very true. There are random little places like this all over, and it’s fantastic. Being away from a big city and suburban familiarities has been a bit of an adjustment (there are no Targets here!!), but the character of the towns and independent shops totally makes up for it.

    • Jenny permalink*
      August 2, 2011 7:25 am

      Yes! Where in Vermont did you move if you don’t mind me asking? We stay in Warren, about an hour from Burlington.

      • Laura permalink
        August 4, 2011 4:25 pm

        We’re living in South Burlington, and working at the hospital in Burlington. The whole state is pretty much an hour away though 🙂 It’s been pretty great thusfar, especially when watching the weather for the family back in GA, and the friends we just left in the midwest.

  2. Lisa permalink
    August 4, 2011 9:04 am

    Wait a minute, Vermont IS a tourist hotspot and much of Vermont’s economy depends on tourism!

    • Jenny permalink*
      August 4, 2011 9:08 am

      I stand corrected! 🙂


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