It’s been three years since the rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis first waxed poetic on the joys of “thrifting” with their hit song aptly titled, “Thrift Shop.” Even today, “thrifting,” vintage shopping and re-sale shopping are all having another moment. From Vogue to CBS, everyone’s writing about the art of shopping archetypal products, and luckily for us, Northeast Ohio and the ClevelandPlus region boasts many awesome, nationally-recognized, award-winning, vintage, re-sale and thrift shops!
After all, there’s nothing more chic than finding awesome deals on trendy labels you might never have been able to afford otherwise, helping the environment, and then having all that extra moolah to spend on experiences (and by experiences, I mostly mean dinner. Dining in Cleveland rocks. (Mabel’s BBQ, I’m coming for you!!!)
With so many local vintage shops to choose from, more than likely, you will, as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis say, be able to find one just down the road from you.
Here’s some of our favorites:
They say everything old is new again. Luckily, you can find lots of old/new things at Flower Child, an eccentric vintage two-level store in Lakewood that sells furniture, accessories, clothes, shoes, vinyls and random goods and from the 1930s to the 1980s (we love the 70s era presto electric curlers – it’s just too bad my hair has the natural texture of a poodle). The thrift store also functions as a museum of (somewhat modern) history. Customers can walk through rooms authentically stylized to look like a 1950s living room or a very neon 1970s era bedroom.
Cleveland’s oldest thrift shop is also one of its biggest. Tucked inside a 10,000 square foot warehouse off Miles Road in Bedford Heights, are racks of dresses, jackets, pants, athletic wear, and purses—some with the tags still on. Shoes with spiked heels and jewel tones, are placed atop pedestals, and displayed like miniature sculptures or pieces of modern art. On a recent outing, we found Jimmy Choo shoes, Vera Bradley handbags, and Lululemon leggings and tops. The store also sells furniture (including complete bedroom sets and sofa sectionals!), artwork, and one-of-a kind jewelry. The merchandise is re-stocked at the beginning of each week to ensure fresh inventory.
And the best part: All of the purchases go to help NCJW/Cleveland, a non-profit that advocates on behalf of women, children and family in Cleveland. (*A very cool organization – I know. I’m the Director of Volunteers there)
Shopping at Unique Thrift is a little bit like walking through the basement of your hoarding – but loving – great Aunt Thelma’s house (the one who kept every single birthday and Easter and New Year’s card she was ever sent). The place is filled to the brim with gently used appliances, kitchenware, electronics and books and clothes – but if you ever needed, say, a girl scout uniform! or a suede fringe vest to complement that new cowgirl style aesthetic you’re trying out, chances are you’ll find it here! And for the devoted shopper, half price Mondays, each week, are practically a religious occasion.
There is nothing common about Common Threads. Cleveland’s newest thrift store (opening June 24th) features 11,000 square feet of clothing, furniture, housewares, and art work. With labels like Joseph Banks, Calvin Klein, White House/ Black Market and Tommy Bahamas, Common Threads is kind of the “middle child” of the thrift world – it’s neither super high end, nor neighborhood garage sale style. They do, however, have a small branded section where you can occasionally find gems like Jimmy Choo shoes and a Coach purse with the tag still on it. Bonus: One of Common Thread’s mission goals is to provide jobs, training and a living wage for some of Greater Cleveland’s most marginalized and disadvantaged adults.
Love vintage toys? Visit the famous Big Fun toy store in Coventry, Ohio! Northeast Ohio residents and visitors, alike, feel like kids again when they visit this iconic Greater Cleveland staple. As their Facebook Page aptly states:
Big Fun is a veritable cornucopia of delights, a cathedral of counter-culture, a warehouse of nerdabilia and nostalgia. We carry everything from vintage toys to whoopee cushions to wacky t-shirts. Big Fun is stocked from the floor to the rafters!