Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Burnsville Salvation Army

Reviewed March 22, 2014

So, I'm now comfortably ensconced in my new Lowertown St. Paul digs, spring is in the air (sort of), and my good friend Dorene invites me to do lunch and some end-of-season thrift shopping. Did I jump at this chance? Well, duh. I needed all kinds of stuff for the new place and, like most of us at this point, I have major winter cabin fever. Time to bust out the single dollar bills and fill up the Hefty garbage bags with lots of new second-hand stuff. (Ok, I don't really use Hefty garbage bags. I just said that for dramatic effect. No offense to Hefty. I actually use my fire-engine red Dooney tote when I shop ' cause, you know, I be stylin'.)

The first place on our list was the Salvation Army located on Fairview Drive in Burnsville, (formerly 14101 Irving Ave.South), a side of town I had never shopped before.  I came in looking for lots of stuff - bedding, bath mats, sheets, spring tops and whatever else I could find to add some spring zest to the new place. I found almost everything I was looking for  - two high thread count sheets (one of which was brand new) each for around $5.99, two beautiful white embroidered linen pillow cases for a couple of bucks, a lovely pink bath mat (let's face it, the best place to find cheap furry bath mats always seems to be the Salvation Army), a perfectly tailored, beautifully fitting Express spring jacket for $6.99 and a great Target leopard print top for work days for about the same. Dorene made out like a bandit in the purse department, picking one faux Kate Spade color block number that easily could have passed for the real thing.

Now, at this SA I really didn't see anything much in the way of "designer", such as you can find over in the Bloomington SA if you look real hard, but this one certainly won the top award in several categories: merchandise care (both Dorene and I were impressed -  no grubby, wrinkly stuff to be seen here), cleanliness of the facility and the simplicity of the layout - do you hate going to places where there is no rhyme or reason to where they place things, just throwing all the stuff willy-nilly on racks for YOU to figure out? Me too. Well, here the merchandise was placed politely by size, type and color, and I found grabbing things to throw in my cart very easy - all I had to do was roll it down the aisle, jump, grab and pull, and before I knew it, I had my shopping cart full to overflowing.

Which, when all rang up, came to a grand total of $37.00 for two king sheets, a bath mat, two tops, a blazer,  two pairs of workout pants, two pillowcases and a great pair of comfy black slippers. Not high-end label stuff perhaps, but perfectly usable just the same. More wonderful still, that feeling of triumph at a superior thriftdogging experience, long missing this cold and barren winter, washed over me anew like liquid sunshine.

The Salvation Army in Burnsville is a great place to start your spring thrifting romp. If the selection is still as good as it was on the day we went, then you, too will surely feel a bit of sun under your pits as you raise your arms to grab stuff. And that, as we Thriftdoggers know, is a great way to start the spring.

The Salvation Army
13901 Fairview Drive
Burnsville, MN 55337                                                                                                                         

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji  EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji
Salvation Army Thrift Store on Citysearch

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hey, There!  Hi There! Ho There! It's Spring Shopping Time!

I'll bet you thought I dropped off the face of the earth, didn't you? Well, it sure felt like I did - didn't YOU feel like that this horrible-ist of horrible winters??

My apologies, Thriftdoggers, but it was just too damn COLD these last few months to go anywhere but to work and the grocery store and then back home and under a blanket or ten. But guess what?? It's now above freezing, the snow is melting, I need tons of new spring clothes and I'm heading to the Burnsville thrift stores this weekend! So beware and watch out and whoa Nelly!! New reviews up sooon--------

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Holidays from the Donut Queen!

Hi there. You may be wondering where I've been these last few weeks. (Or maybe not. Maybe you're too busy thriftdogging merrily through the chilly weather to notice.)

Unfortunately, I've been unusually busy with some other projects which have left me with very little time to post. My apologies, for in addition to this blog and my "day job", I have some outside gigs I do to feed my thriftdogging pockets which have been taking up all of my time lately, and will do so until after the holidays. So you might not see as many ThriftDog updates as usual in the next month or two. I am trying to put up a couple for the month of December though, and hope to be able to bring you some reviews of places closer to the St. Paul area after the New Year.

In the mean time, here are my top three recommendations, from ThriftDog's current list of reviews, for finding great gifts this holiday season...

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji Clothes Mentor, 7585 France Ave S., Edina, MN

An awesome place to buy something special for the fashionista on your list for mere bucks. Great stuff, great condition, great prices. I practically live at this place.

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji75% Salvaged, 50th and Xerxes, Minneapolis MN

You can find wonderful, vintage  gifts of all kinds at this fun store for very reasonable prices.


EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiFashion Avenue, 4936 France Avenue South, Edina, MN
(952) 929-7919

Ok, dudes. Are you ready to buy your special one and only a Louis Vuitton bag?? Almost every woman wants one. What? You can't afford two thousand bucks for a brand new LV? Well, head on over to FA and pick up a gently used one for mere hundreds! (Women have been known to put out extra, um...cookies for one of these, you know.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clothes Mentor, Edina MN

Reviewed October 20, 2013

Ah, fall. There is simply no better time, IMHO, to shop thrift and designer consignment for all the yummy cold-weather castoff's from well-heeled and generous women's closets. It's heaven
for this Donut Queen, especially if I find some place that always seems to have a fresh new crop of better-label merchandise to explore every time I go in there. This fall, that place for me has been Clothes Mentor in Edina.

I LOVE this store, for many reasons. First, it's located on France Ave., right down the street from Southdale and in the same strip mall as the Whole Foods where I shop, and second, because it's in Edina, and let's just say they have a bigger slew of higher-end donations in this part of town..

I was actually at Clothes Mentor TWICE this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, that's how much fun I was having. On Saturday, I picked up a luscious, camel-colored Ralph by Ralph Lauren shearling vest for fourteen dollars that is beyond cozy to wear and - wait for this - a North Face - yes, THE North Face - fleece pullover, in perfect condition, for eight bucks. On Sunday, I found some like-new Gap basics and a lovely DKNY sweater, for around thirty bucks total.

(To be fair, when I came back on Sunday hollering to any employee who would listen that I'd purchased a North Face top there the day before for eight dollars, they all graciously congratulated me but said that that piece was almost certainly mismarked. So while they do get North Face here, apparently due to a pricing error I got uncommonly lucky with my purchase.)

Still, their prices, while not Salvation Army low, are extremely reasonable given the styles and condition of the merchandise. The shop is clean and roomy and, though not high-end couture, still carries everything from J. Crew to Ralph Lauren to Citizens of Humanity and all kinds of great brands in between. Everything I saw on the racks was clean, expertly pressed and sanely organized for customers according to size, subsize, color and category. It's very easy to find what you are looking for here, which is one of my pet peeves about the Salvation Army-type stores. I hate having to try to find my size in row after row of jeans just pushed onto the racks unorganized. It's such a pleasure to be able to go right up and find my size without hassle, even if  doing so costs me slightly more than $4.99 a for pair of Gap 1969's.

Do they carry Dooney & Bourke and Coach bags? Yes. I know because I've sold some of mine there. When you sell with them, you get cash on the spot, as opposed to waiting for a consignment sale. You might get slightly less than if you sell for consignment somewhere else, but you don't have to wait for your item to sell to get paid, and compared to the jack-sh*t returns some places give you on your used clothing (ahem, Plato's Closet), you'll get a fair price here if your stuff is in tip-top condition.

So if you're in the area and you need some new fall threads on a budget, I highly recommend the Edina Clothes Mentor. You 'll probably catch me there, hunting for more North Face stuff or chatting with my new employee friend Ashley, who loves to talk fashion and will bend over backwards to help you. And when you're finished, you can trot across the parking lot to Whole Foods and make a healthy snack of all the free Saturday and Sunday samples they have out. Who said you have to spend big Edina bucks to rock Edina? Not you, sista.

Clothes Mentor
7585 France Ave, S.
Edina, MN 55435

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiClothes Mentor on Citysearch

Friday, September 6, 2013

Minneapolis Salvation Army

Reviewed August 26, 2013

I love it when readers give me suggestions on new shops to visit. The Twin Cities is such a huge hodge-podge of thrift, designer resale and vintage stores, each one more fun than the next, that's it's impossible for even the most seasoned Thriftdogger to sniff out all of them. Even so, you ask, how could I  possibly have missed the granddaddy of all the TC Salvation Armys, the one right downtown at 900 N. 4th ? Heck, I dunno. I live in West Bloomington, people. Like most of my tribe out here, I'm a bit of an ostrich in the sand when it comes to going downtown.

However, the delightful Melinda S., recently relocated from New York, is no such sloth, and alerted me to the store as one of her favorites, and with good reason. Quite simply, the place has just about everything. Well, except air conditioning, but I'll get to that in a minute.

I went down there on one of the hottest, sultriest of days of the summer with a gentleman friend who I was dating, now deceased (meaning his identity as my boyfriend is now deceased. As far as I know, he's still breathing), and without a thing to wear for our dinner and a movie later on. But duty had called, and I (rightfully) put ThriftDog before laundry, figuring I could easily find a little something to wear from the shop. Which of course, I did.

The place is huge - two full floors of stuff. On the main floor is the standard vintage, gently used and one of a kind finds you will discover at most Salvation Army stores, and where you just might be able to find a unique treasure or two. Melinda N. mentions rounding up a pair of genuine Manolo Blahniks from the shoe aisle for 12 dollars, and although I had no such luck on my visit, I did buy a great pair of white satin ballet-style flats with leather soles for 3.99. The size of the place means that there is some of just about everything - shoes, luggage, dresses, kids wear and a decent sized men's section, where my male friend found a few things he was interested in, but ultimately decided to wait in the car for me without buying anything because it was too hot to try stuff on.
In terms of high-end designer finds, unlike the Bloomington SA I didn't see much that was  outstanding. It's really more of a place to go if you've just moved here and need stuff - but boy, can you get some. The downstairs, especially, is a real treat for Target addicts, because it's all Target off-stock, brand-new off-the-rack items that Target has cleared to make room for their new merchandise and donated. (It was there that I purchased my evening's outfit, a black, brand-new Target sun dress for 10 bucks and a cute overshirt for 12 dollars, also brand new.)
In addition to the Target clothes, the downstairs also offers off-stock Target furniture that you can buy for up to 75 percent off, as well as kids clothes, sporting good, shoes, underwear and toys. I'm even told you can even get a great deal on cosmetic items (Melinda N. did), although I didn't see any when I was there, so perhaps they sold out.
This downtown Salvation Army is a great time-passer if you are in the area. But I didn't spend nearly as much time there as I would have liked, and I recommend that you wait till the cool season to go there yourself, because it was hot as a furnace in there and they have no air conditioning.
Why this is I don't know, because the SA in Bloomington does, and a few measly fans simply doesn't cut it when the heat index is hovering around 107 degrees outside. The people working behind the counter all looked like they were going to be sick. When I mentioned that they really needed AC, the poor guy ringing me up shook his head and sort of half-moaned, "I know. We keep telling the manager, but..." I didn't hear the rest of the sentence because I think he choked on a sweat blob.
So, manager at the Downtown Salvation Army: Please do yourself, your employees and your customers a favor and invest in  central air. If your place was actually recommended by one of my readers, imagine how much wild fun your cash register will have if you provide both your new and  loyal visitors with a more comfortable shopping experience.
Salvation Army
900 N 4th St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 332-5855
Salvation Army Thrift Store on Citysearch

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ThriftDog, Where the H-E-Double Miley Cyrus Tongues Have You Been???

Well, I'll tell you...nowhere. It's just been a busy few weeks. Between obligations of the day job (the one that pays for my thrifting), the oppressive heat which has made me a bit under the weather (pun intended) and numerous summertime obligations, I haven't had time to post a review...until now. Watch for some new ones in the next couple of weeks.

AND...ThriftDog is going to Madison, WI next weekend! So stay tuned for reviews of two popular places from my cheeseland home town. Any of you who live, work or travel to the Mad City, I 'll give you a nod on a few shops you might want to check out.

So don't get your Coach bags in a wad. I'll be back soon.


---The Donut Queen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

June Resale, Minneapolis, MN

Reviewed August 5, 2013

The other day while I'm in the checkout line at Sephora, the young lady ringing up my moisturizer compliments me on the lilac-colored Longchamp tote slung over my shoulder. We proceed to get into the discussion that handbag people always have about how ridiculously overpriced new Longchamps are - "Sure, they're trendy, but come on, a hundred and forty five bucks for a parachute-material bag with leather straps??"  I tell her that I just bought mine, which also happened to be brand new, for about a hundred dollars less at June Resale. Her jaw drops halfway to the floor. Whereupon I give her my ThriftDog card and tell her to watch for my upcoming review of said miraculous store where I purchased said lovely lilac bag. And here it is.

Haven't been to June Resale yet?  Oh, it's a gem of a place, located down in the trendy 34th and Lyndale neighborhood of Minneapolis. And when I say a gem, I mean that walking in there is like entering a pristine little music box of designer consignment. Everything is lovingly, almost reverently tidy. You can tell that the owners and employees really value their merchandise by the meticulous way everything is displayed. Shined Stuart Weitzman, Burberry and Chanel shoes laid out in perfect formation on the dust-free shelves, Rag and Bone jeans neatly pressed and hanging with military precision on the racks with other, pressed designer brands; bags by Gucci, Coach and Dior placed in eye-catching corners and on hooks to be seen in their best light. This is the kind of shop you may first just wander into because it's so darned inviting, browse a bit and then come back later to buy that one thing that really caught your eye - as I did with the lilac Longchamp bag, which someone bought in, brand spanking new, and lucky me got for only 50 bucks.

And there were lot of other things I would have bought, too, if my budget had been bigger. A divine pair of clear Stuart Weitzman plexiglass pumps. Sperry black patent loafers that would be perfect for fall. Adorable summer tops ranging from Jean Paul Gaultier to J. Crew. All reasonably priced  and all in excellent condition. And did I mention Chanel? Lots of Chanel. It's worth a visit just to be able to lay eyes on some of these exquisite vintage pieces.

Dawn, the store manager, couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating, even selling me a pretty jute Ballard bag, which was to go on sale in a week, for the sale price while I was there. She pointed out other great shops to check out which I will take her up on, and we had a nice discussion about what a treasure chest of amazing designer consignment the Twin Cities has become.

June was voted "2012 Best of the Twin Cities Designer Consignment" by Minnesota Monthly and  "Best of the Twin Cities - Best Insider Shopping" by Mpls St. Paul Magazine, so I'd say all these other Twin Cities shops have a pretty high standard to live up to. I'm giving it a blue ribbon myself, and just might have to return to buy one of those vintage Christian Dior pins to celebrate.

June Resale
3406 Lyndale Ave. S.                                                        
Mpls MN 55408


June on Citysearch