Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tips to Help Clean and Restore Your Designer Handbags

We all love our designer or vintage handbags, but over time they start to show signs of aging. Through the years of owning Le Thrift Consignment, I have learned some valuable tips through my consignors and customers to help achieve the best outcome for cleaning and restoring your handbags.

Before trying any of these products or tips, please test them on a small, unnoticeable part of the bag. If the color changes, lightens or lifts, refrain from continuing.

Magic Erasers 
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser  is a great cleaning product and is perfect for Vachetta (Louis Vuitton) or light colored leather on your designer bag. I would not suggest using it on a darker colored bag, as I have not tried it yet with a darker leather. The Magic Eraser gently lifts any dirts or oils from the leather. I do advise that you are gentle with applying your magic eraser on the bag. Use warm water in a bowl, dip the magic eraser in the water, wring it out so that it is damp. Gently blot the magic eraser on the leather. Do not rub too hard as it will lift the finish on the bag and ruin the texture of the leather. Please note: I have tested this technique with generic brand magic erasers and they fall apart quicker.

Metal Polish
To brighten up metal hardware, use a metal polish cream. I would suggest
Flitz Polish or Blue Magic Polish Cream. Find an old toothbrush and dampen it. Apply a sparing amount of polish to the toothbrush and then in a careful circular motion rub the polish on it. Be careful not to get the polish on the leather. Use a clean, damp rag and gently wipe the polish off. You may need to repeat these steps a few times to get the grime or scratches off the hardware.

Leather Conditioner
Leather conditioner is a great way to keep canvas, leather and even exotic skins supple when restoring a handbag. Make sure you wipe with the grain of leather or skin. Apply the
conditioner lightly, a little goes a long way. Some products that I would recommend are Leather Honey, Cadillac Leather Conditioner or Chamberlain's Leather Milk

Use a clean soft rag when applying the leather conditioner and gently rub in a soft, circular motion. If it is an exotic skin such as snake, rub in the direction of the skin, not against it. Use the conditioner sparingly as if you use too much, it will leave residue that will attract dust over time. Allow time for the leather conditioner to sink into the leather or skin and dry. Do not use any hand lotions after cleaning and carrying the bag. The oils of the lotion will immediately soak into the leather you just cleaned. Leather conditioner can also be used with canvas bags to keep the material moisturized.

If you have used the Magic Eraser beforehand, I would recommend that you use a leather conditioner after cleaning to protect the leather. Be sure that the cleaned leather is completely dry before applying the leather conditioner.

Baby Wipes
What is gentle enough for baby is also good for your handbag. These are
great to wipe or clean fabric, leather or vinyl interiors. Apply the baby wipe to the interior and lightly rub. Repeat a few times to get most of the grime out.

Rubbing Alcohol 
For stubborn stains on interior fabrics, try using rubbing alcohol. Use a damp,
clean sponge and literally apply rubbing alcohol to sponge. Dab alcohol on to lining and repeat steps until the stain starts to lift. Make sure to rinse the sponge with clean, warm water as the stain starts to lift. If you can pull the lining out of the bag, this is better as it prevents the leather or canvas from being touched. For more stubborn stains you can try soaking the affected part in the alcohol. Carefully rinse the cleaned area with water after the stain has been removed.

Stuffing the Bag

Make sure when you are not using your bag to stuff it to keep its shape. This prevents the handbag from getting warped or loose its shape. I usually use old, clean, soft t-shirts that I don't wear anymore. Any acid free, colorless or white tissue paper also works very well. Do not use newspaper as it may transfer the ink to your lining.

Duster Bags
Ladies, the last advice I would like to share with you is to use the dust bags that come with your handbag when storing them. They protect the bag from fading and dust. If you don't have a dust bag you can purchase one second hand on Ebay or buy a new one on Amazon. I prefer the fabric ones over the plastic ones as they allow the materials on the bag to breathe and protects them from UV light. 

I hope that this information on this blog helps you with restoring or maintaining your designer or vintage handbag. If you have any questions feel free to email me at christines@lethrift.com.

Ciao for now!
Christine Sanderson
Owner - Le Thrift Consignment

Continue Reading

Monday, October 3, 2016

Restoring Vintage Canvas Designer Handbags

Recently, a vintage, Gucci cross-body handbag came into the store on consignment. I was so excited to have it in the store as I am a big fan of the vintage designer bags. They are made so well and the craftsmanship rivals the designer handbags that are made today.

There is nothing better than a perfectly restored designer, vintage bag. However,  this bag and many of the canvas bags often come with stains or discoloration that comes with use and age. The great news about this is that most bags like this can be easily restored to their natural glamour and inexpensively.

With this handbag I used an old toothbrush, a few soft fabric rags and Oxy
Clean Laundry Stain Remover Spray. You can buy cleaner this online or any large retailer like Target or Walmart. Before starting, I would suggest finding a small area to test, to make sure that it works well with the canvas before applying it to the bag. Especially if the bag has something sticky to it. Take a lightly wet rag, then spray the Oxy Cleaner on to a concentrated area. Slightly rub the test area in a circular motion to see if the spray reacts well to the canvas.

If the test is successful, amply spray the Oxy Clean to the rag and slowly, in a circular motion start working on the stain. Do not rub too hard, as you are restoring the bag and don't want to wear off the design on the canvas. Also, be careful to keep the Oxy Clean away from any leather trim on the bag. 

The vintage Gucci Cross-body handbag that came in with discoloration from aging.
Once the Oxy Clean is on the area, let it sit for a few minutes. Take a wet toothbrush and again in a circular motion brush the canvas. A used toothbrush or soft bristle toothbrush would work best. At this point the stains or discoloration should be lifting from the canvas.  You may need to repeat these steps if the stain is really set in.

Immediately after this step take another rag, wet it with slightly warm water and wipe off the Oxy Clean. Make sure it is fully cleaned off, thoroughly hand dry it and you will see the results. It should look like new again.

This hack does not work with all stains or discoloration, but in my experience of restoring and cleaning bags, it has worked with most.

Although not perfect, you can see a dramatic improvement of the canvas after cleaning.

Although, I have use this method yet, I have heard baby wipes work well for this type of project as well. I will post another blog after I have tried baby wipes and if it is effective.

This Gucci 1970's cross-body is now available for sale at www.LeThriftConsignment.com.

I hope that this information helps with restoring your designer canvas bag. Email me at christines@lethrift.com if you have questions about your handbag. I love to talk shop with our customers and clients!

Ciao for now,
Christine Sanderson
Continue Reading

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

West Town Artwalk - Meet Chicago Artist Layne Jackson

Le Thrift Consignment is excited to be a part of West Town Art Walk and Food Truck Social this weekend. The Artwalk will take place this Friday, November 30th from 5 to 10 pm and Saturday, October 1st  from 12 to 6 pm in the West Town Neighborhood. We will be hosting the amazingly talented, Layne Jackson with her latest works of art at the boutique.

Having been a long fascinated with Layne's work, I wanted to share with you more about the artist that is living and working in the Ukranian Village neighborhood of Chicago.

For the West Town Art Walk 2016, the artist is exhibiting large scale paintings.
What childhood influences do you think shaped the way to you becoming an artist? How did you find your calling as an artist?

One of my childhood friends' father was a well known race car painter. He seemed to have a good life and got to sit in his studio with all of that color around.  I would venture in and always loved the smell of the turpentine and oil paint

What type of style would best describe your work?


What type of work are you currently working on?

After twenty years of large images focused on figures in interiors and exterior
environments, and working and teaching in public studios, a move last year back to my 

 New Botanical Nature Drawings + Paintings - http://www.laynejackson.com/walking-libraries

private studio is yielding new work that is small and exploratory, painting the natural world around me, called Walking Libraries. 

Who are your favorite creative people? 

Paula Rego (painter), Martuis (botanical painter), Mary Lou Williams (pianist/composer), Werner Herzog (director)

What is your favorite Chicago place to go? 

I love Millennium Park and go every chance I have. Love to hear music in the Pavilion and the new Maggie Daley park is terrific. The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is a rare and amazing museum, and their very strong support base makes thei shows powerful and diverse. A treasure! And I will take a cocktail at Mott Street any day

What is your favorite part of being an artist in Chicago?

Chicago is an great place to work in the arts--an abundance of research and opportunities and a strong coalition of talented and professional people. There is strong support and a wealth of ideas for collaboration.

Prints at Special Art Walk Prices - http://www.laynejackson.com/buy-prints/
What are your plans with your artwork for the future?

The new direction is exciting and am pursuing ideas that have been in sketchbooks and my head for many years. Currently am planning a series of Walking Libraries that identify different areas, printable as books, and enlarged in scale for public art work.

What piece of advice can you offer to budding artists that would help them grow?

 Only you have your voice and there should be nothing that stops you. Work on something everyday. It's not original to me, but I will say 'Be Yourself, Everything else is Taken'.

Where can people find your work online? (Ex: Instagram handle, blog, web site)



Continue Reading

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Sunnies this Weekend!

Come visit our store and see our fall new arrivals. Spend $100 and receive a free pair of Mercury Fashion Sunglasses. 

These stylish sunnies were a huge hit for us this summer and we have new styles for fall. Accessorize and find ah-mazing, one-of-a kind designer and vintage to complete your fall look!

Continue Reading

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Le Thrift Consignment is Now Offering White Glove Service to Detroit

Le Thrift Consignment is coming to the Detroit area and Southwest Michigan! 

Calling all Michigan Fashionistas! Looking for a place to sell your designer items? For the remaining of September and October, Le Thrift Consignment will be offering White Glove Services to Southwest Michigan, Detroit and the Detroit Metro area. 

What is White Glove Service?

Consignment has never been easier. Book an appointment with us and we will conveniently pick up your items, inventory and price them on site. Le Thrift Consignment will then invite you to your own personal portal where you can watch your items sell.

How does the process work?

Consignors now receive 60% for their fall items and 70% for items valued over $2000. This offer is valid until October 31st. 

Your items will be brought to our boutique in Chicago and sold on the sales floor and online. Le Thrift Consignment sells on a variety of online platforms that guarantee the best sales outcome for your items.

Payments are made quarterly by either an electronic check, Paypal or a traditional check.

To qualify for White Glove Service, please make sure that the items you want to consign are found on our brand list here -

Do you have finer vintage clothing and accessories? Le Thrift Consignment accepts those as well. Please contact us to see if the items will qualify for consignment first at christines@lethrift.com.

Have an estate full of clothing?

Le Thrift Consignment offers an hourly service that can help you process which items are worth selling and which should be donated. We can access value, organize and inventory these items on site. Le Thrift Consignment will also assist with removal of unwanted and donation items to the charities that we partner with. You will receive a tax receipt for the items that are donated. 

Ready to get started? 

Contact Christine at christines@lethrift.com to answer any questions and to book an appointment.

Continue Reading

Friday, September 16, 2016

50% Off Sale Shoes & Bags - Mention #Riotfest and get 10% Off Your Entire Purchase

Receive an additional 10% off sale if you mention #riotfest.
Receive 10% off regular merchandise if you mention #riotfest.

We have a gorgeous selection of designer and vintage handbags and shoes for sale at the boutique. Stop by and check out what we have new for fall!

Friday 9/16 – 12 PM through 8 PM
Saturday 9/17 – 12 PM through 8 PM
Sunday 9/18 – 12 PM through 5 PM

Le Thrift Consignment
1821 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Continue Reading

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Calling all Creative, Kick-Ass Vendors to Sell at Our Boutique

Le Thrift Consignment is looking for lovely ladies or gents who have kick-ass gift products that they would like to consign with us during the holiday season.

We have noticed a spike in sales of gift items at our retail location, hence wanting to give our clients more options. We would also like to feature these products online at our e-commerce site.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for items fashion, beauty, home decor related. Items that are handmade or original. They cannot conflict with the vendors that already sell with us.

Chicago Candle Factory's amazing candles
What have we sold in the past that has done well?

We have had success stories with Chicago Candle Factory, Mashallah Jewelry, Mercury Sunglasses and Balmies Lip Balm.

How does consignment work? 
You bring us the goods, we sell them for you. You will receive a handy portal that tracks your product and sales so you know your balance. We pay you out monthly.

Mashallah Chicago bracelets
What do we expect from our vendors? 
If you are a cosmetic or beauty line, we need samples for our customers to try the product. We also need branded displays that tell our customers who you are. If product gets low or stale, we expect you to refresh the inventory monthly.

Be realistic with your pricing. If the product is priced to high, it's not going to move. Also, remember that consignment means that we take a cut of the sales. We are offering our vendors 60% of sale with this promotion.

Mercury Sunglasses vintage style
Along with selling at our boutique and online, you will have a feature on our blog about your product.

How do I submit my product?
Email Christine at christines@lethrift.com with links or photos of your product, price point and information about you and your brand. 

Don't take it personally
If you submit, and we decide that your product is not a good fit, there may be a million reasons why. You might have the best product ever... but it may not be a good fit for our customer or niche. 

That's it for now!

-Owner of Le Thrift Consignment
Continue Reading