By now, it should be a well established fact around these parts that thrifting is a 100% legit form of therapy. #canigetanamen  Lord knows I’ve needed a lot of it over the past several weeks.  I am very blessed to have met some wonderful people here in Houston including my new friend Mary who not only wasn’t hesitant to meet me after my recent losses, she insisted on it!

Kindred spirits!

Mary patiently shuttled me around Goodwill and little local thrift shops and it was like salve on my soul.  Mary even packed me cookies for a snack!!  #friendsforlife  Allow me to share a little about the shops we visited and the scores I found and then at the end, I’ll share two ideas – one happening right now, and one coming up in 2018 as inspired by my epic thrift therapy session!

We started off at Goodwill and got to know about each other over the racks!  Mary has 3 kids, like me, only hers are grown and accomplished.  She is happily married and enjoying the urban life.  She moved to Houston a couple of years ago from Friday Night Lights Texas and has learned to navigate the thrifting scene in this fourth largest city in the USA… and is willing to share her knowledge with the likes of me.  I was pleased to discover that Mary and I have a similar thrifting style – we like to browse the whole store, we have a dynamic closet with lots of comings and goings of thrifted pieces, we remark on the interesting objects…

We saw a ton of miniature cups. Random.  I’d need 400 of these.

I saw plenty of nice labels at Goodwill – Rebecca Taylor, Anthropologie, AG and the perfect mustard flats…

That were a smidgen too small!!!!!! Insert broken heart emoji.

I left with one item – a $5 sleeveless Cynthia Rowley blouse in a pattern that’s not too boho and not too boring.

With nice button detailing in the back!  Love the colours!

Next we hit The Guild Shop – “Houston’s Best Resale Shop.”

Mary and I agreed that we could spend the whole day in this shop alone.  It had everything from men’s and women’s clothing, to shoes, to jewelry, to a designer section, to vintage, to furniture and art, to housewares, a Christmas section and an outdoor area with outdoor furniture and decor.  I can’t share all the shots I took because I took about a hundred and we still have two other shops to talk about!  But let me assure you that The Guild Shop is a must for any thrifter in the area and I will be back, especially as I get more into home decor.

My initials in the furniture section was surely a sign.

The Guild Shop has an interesting pricing system.  Each item is priced for three different dates that get successively cheaper.

It’s absolutely brilliant if you ask me and definitely adds to the allure of this shop.  They had some serious designer pieces including Chanel, Gucci, Equipment, J Brand, Theory, Vince, Ferragamo, Anthropologie and more.  If you are willing to gamble on the date, you could score some amazing finds!!  I ended up leaving with just one piece, bought for the highest price at $9.74 because I loved it so much!

The Guild Shop is a non-profit little thrift store that supports various community partners.  Basically, shopping there is a good deed so you have to go!  You’re welcome.

Next we headed to the Assistance League of Houston Thrift Shop.

The building hosts many services with the thrift shop on the right end.
AND they have cookies – good ones – for customers! Why thank you, I don’t mind if I do! #cookiesaremylovelanguage

Like the Guild Shop, the Assistance League Thrift Shop had a little of everything!  I love seeing the fruits of the volunteer efforts…

I LOVED the fitting room styled outfits! And the volunteer staff gather your selections and “start a fitting room” for you just like in Anthro. AWESOME

Again, I saw great labels and unique pieces like a Willow Tree nativity set and…

A Sousaphone!  You just don’t see that every day!

They had a great section of books and home decor.  The prices were already awesome and they have regular sales and clearance racks.

Love this little tray of last-chance treasures!

I tried on a lot of things but settled on just one piece because I am very reasonable at all times and only buy what I need

I *needed* a cashmere-silk tee!

The brand is Algo which is a Swiss label. If the website is in USD, then my $6 for this piece constitutes a hall-of-fame score!  Even aside from the price, this top is like wearing a hug.  NOW I get it about cashmere!!!  I spotted thousand dollar suits for ten bucks, Ferragamo shoes and other designer labels.  It’s a thrift hunter’s paradise!

As with The Guild Shop, proceeds from The Assistance League Thrift Shop support various philanthropic efforts.  This is why I love “little” thrift and was so excited to move onto the next little thrift shop that Mary and I decided to forgo lunch margaritas.  There you have it, I love thrift more than margaritas.

Mary and I had to prowl for parking here but it was worth it!  The Cottage Shop was filled with amazing things for an amazing cause – it serves as a job training site and helps to fund The Women’s Home which supports women who are homeless, vulnerable or in crisis to regain their lives.

I was sorry that we had only a few minutes to browse this shop.  I felt like Cinderella at 11:55pm!!

These Manolo Blahnik flats almost came home with me – the shoe fit (!) but they had significant wear on the back so I left them behind.

I even broke one of my cardinal rules of thrifting and bought a piece without trying it on.

How could I resist this gorgeous shade of green for $4?
Also scored mustard glass strands for $6.
Knotty! 😉

The prices at The Cottage Shop are the best for regular rack items – for example, $7 dresses, $5 shoes, $4 tops, $3 skirts and pants – with vintage and specialty pieces individually priced.  Ladies, with what I saw in a few short hours, I am more convinced than ever that thrift shopping is the way to go.  It serves your pocketbook and the community!  Speaking of the thrifting community, let me share some future plans!  At The Assistance League Thrift Shop, I purchased a calendar in support of their fundraising: “The Finest Thrift & Consignment Stores Calendar.”

Mary and I looked at each other and immediately hatched a plan to thrift our way through 2018 using this calendar as our guide!  Starting in January, I will set a thrifting date to visit that month’s featured secondhand shop and y’all are invited!  Stay tuned!

The other special spirited event happening right now is the Second Annual Closet Minimalism Game!

Each day, I will post a #purgeprompt on Instagram and Facebook – a prompt to declutter something from your closet with the end goal of lightening your wardrobe by at least 30 items and honing your style!  I definitely need it after all my, er, therapy!  Here are a few more of my therapy items:

$6 teal tee
$8 leather Franco Sarto teal flats in perfect condition. I wore these with the teal tee when I went thrifting with Mary.
$10 Steven by Steve Madden suede mules.
New condition Poetic License flats for $15.

Er, you can expect a shoe #purgeprompt later today!!!  😀  All total, my thrifting therapy cost far less than a single hour of regular therapy.  (I’m not knocking counseling by any means – I’ve had plenty of that too!)  I have “new” pieces that remind me of my new friend and thrifting sister, Mary, as well as the kindness and acceptance that she embodies.  I have a couple new projects to guide my course for the next little while.  I feel so much better…  I think this is healing, truly.  Thank you Mary and thank you Houston thrift for being there for me when I needed you!  xoxoxo


  1. Lynette James

    Very entertaining read. I am a firm believer in retail therapy and thrifting makes it exponentially more effective. Thrift on!

  2. Keep thrifting! Anything that boosts the spirit and is legal works for me. Glad to see you had a good day with a new friend!

    • nicole

      I like those caveats! Thanks for the comment!! Boosts my spirits! 😉

  3. The desk that those initials were on is amazing! It would have come home with me…

    • nicole

      I needed the E and a smaller d just to be funny. (NER-d) hahahahaha I should go back, the Texans are all about the monograms and initials. I think you would like it, please move here ASAP.

  4. LOVE everything about this!!! Happy Tears…..! Can’t wait for 2018!! (in fact, i really can’t…..let’s go again SOON!)

  5. Thrifting is 100% a form of therapy.

    Thrifting allowed me to move from baggy / ugly to well-fitting and professional while I was working at a nonprofit for a low salary. It now allows me to rehabilitate cast-offs. They often get re-donated when they are no longer of use to me, in better condition than before. (Did this with 3 cashmere sweaters — had the tears professionally repaird, enjoyed them, re-donated.

    • nicole

      That is wonderful!!! YESSSSS to all of it! There is no reason to suffer in clothes that don’t fit your body or style when there are secondhand options. I don’t have skills to repair but always donate/swap unless I’ve truly worn it out which is rare, then it can be repurposed or recycled. We could stop making clothes now and be fine for years, I bet.

  6. Sterling Roddie

    Omg! I can’t wait to join y’all! I’m Mary’s niece and fellow thrifter! Woo hoo!

    • nicole

      Sounds AWESOME!! Can’t wait! (Stay tuned for the January destination!!)