Thursday, October 28, 2010

Low on Holiday Ensembles? Try having a Swap party!

Yes, it is that time of the year again. You're invited to all these wonderful holiday events, but you have nothing to wear. You already are living off of a tight budget and don't have that extra cash-o-la to buy a few alternatives to look your dashing throughout the season. What is a girl to do? 

The answer: Have a swap party! 

Before I begin explaining what this is, let me take you back to a time when there was another economic recession in the 90's. This time I was a teenager and dependent on the bank account of my parents. With my parents both hard workers, they still could not avoid the economic ripple that everyone was feeling. To my dismay, this meant that it left little alternative to going to the nearest department store to buy a dress for the dance I was asked to. The alternative, borrow my friends. Yes, we swapped dresses that we had worn to previous dances... and NO ONE knew! We managed to look cute without breaking our parent's budgets.

Now on to the current day scenario. As an adult, I see many people making their way out of the difficult economic recession. With the holiday season looming, I hear many of my friends wondering how they are going to find outfits with their limited bank accounts. Here is the answer.

Invite your nearest and dearest over to your place that are closest in size to you. Tell them to bring a few of their dresses and accessories they have tired of.  Offer a few great bottles of inexpensive wine, the TV on with the season finale of Mad Men or your trashy reality show of choice with some finger food, then swap away! Not only will you get time with your posse, but you will all of the sudden have new alternatives to wear at your next event. Just make sure to be a good friend and dry clean and RETURN the items after the holiday season is over. All of a sudden you save money and have a new look for everyone to admire. Just make sure you keep it your little secret.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Symbiotic Nature of Retail - When it Works

Today is the day of the Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe Event. I am excited to be working with such a great friend who is also fearless, balls to the wall, creative and savvy enough to create a successful retail store in one of the worst recessions our country has seen in a long time. This person is Emilia Dlugolecka of Mr. and Mrs. Digz in Andersonville.

It is refreshing to find another woman who is willing to work together to help each of our businesses grow and flourish. With each of us eager to share tips and ideas we constantly are improving our retail path to success. I would suggest it to anyone, as long as the person you are working with is truly going to give what you put in it as well. This is a time where if you want to succeed in retail, it is better to work together. I see this type of symbiotic nature happening in the retail strip of Andersonville.

Retail stores are helping each other. Why? It is the same mentality that success is easier achieved in numbers than one man standing alone.

Even though I am not planning on opening a retail store in Andersonville, I will take this experience with me to the Ukranian Village. I will help out my neighbors, and refer people to one another. The biggest lesson I have learned it to be kind, especially in an industry that is not.

If you are in the Andersonville neighborhood tonight, (Thursday, October 14) stop by our event.

20% off the entire store of merchandise from Mr. and Mrs. Digz and With light appetizers and sparkling wine.

Mr. and Mrs. Digz
5668 North Clark
5-9 p.m.
Check our event out on Facebook.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Basic Wardrobe

A lot of people ask me about resale stores. They share their feelings about feeling overwhelmed when shopping at one. The experience can be quite daunting as there is mountains of cheap, synthetic man made fabrics of stained and torn dismay crammed into one aisle at a time.

I answer... it takes patience. A lot of it. And also a basic understanding of what you need in your wardrobe before entering a place like this. Otherwise, you might end up looking like a misfit garbed in something that might be from your great Aunt Erma's closet.

When starting out "thrifting", it is always important to get the essentials down first. Do you have a great pair of black pants, a pair of jeans that fit you well, a crisp white blouse, a go-to cover up sweater in a neutral color, a functional purse, a classic blazer, sweaters made out of natural fibers in classic silhouettes, a pair of everyday shoes comfortable for your feet, a basic little black dress? These are all things that can make your wardrobe great and can mix effortlessly.

These items CAN BE FOUND IN A RESALE shop. It just takes a little patience. Look for well known brand names that have a good reputation for quality. Fortunately, this is a time when a lot of estates are looking to lighten their personal belongings, including large scale retailers! Which in this case, you might have the chance of finding clothes that still have tags on that have never been worn. This I would categorize as the ultimate score!

If you are into designer brands, you would be surprised about how much is actually out there that people actually give away. I have run across gorgeous, to die for, vintage Yves Saint Laurent leather heels, Jbrand Jeans, Chanel earrings, Gaultier dress and dozens of Coach purses.

The best part of shopping for items like this is the enormous amount of money that you save and also the earth conscious benefit of taking something and reusing it instead of discarding it into another landfill. All is takes is a good dry cleaner, tailor, and a washing machine and you will have clothes resulting in as good as new.

Coming from a personal experience, where I left a messy marriage and even a messier divorce, I have saved a ton of money to accelerate myself ahead financially in a shorter amount of time. There is something to be said with having the ability to put money away at the end of every month.

The best way to get started in your neighborhood is to check out Type in "resale store, vintage shop, thrift store" and you will get a ton of information from reviews of people who have shopped there before. That way you can get a good idea of where the best stores are.

In the end, with a little patience you can end up with a wardrobe of an empress. I have seen my wardrobe slowly evolve from Gap and Old Navy mass produced items to gorgeous Chloe, Diane Von Furstenberg, UGG, Alice and Olivia, Coach,Gucci and much more.

I wish you luck with your next thrift adventure!
Christine Sanderson
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Le Thrift Turns One! has been around for exactly one year. And within that year, I have learned so much about this business. It is my fledgling that I have nurtured and watched grown into a business that I see potential in to grow to the next level.

I have surrounded myself with veterans of the fashion industry, those have tons of expertise about online businesses, computer programers and .com entrepreneurs, fashion retailers to learn everything I possibly can about having an online consignment business. To sum it up, to be an original idea... not a copycat, and not be afraid of what others might think. To admire those who have had successes and use them as inspiration to create my own. To forge ahead as so many others young budding entrepeneurs before me in this great country who worked to make their idea a reality.

So far this has been a year of learning. A year of building a dream. And I feel more fulfilled now more than I every did with my career path before.

This blog will soon be changing. As I acquire more great product and knowledge of saving money for a fashionable lifestyle, the posts will be left here. I will attempt to dedicate myself to this blog on an everyday occurrence to share and appreciate the love of fashion!

My press release for my One Year Anniversary is below.

Christine Sanderson
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I have learned so far...

Living in the city. It offers a sense of excitement each day as I pass through the many amazing neighborhoods going about my business. I enjoy the varied ethnicities and walks of life that I meet. It gives life a sense of purpose to me that everyone is not alike and that the world is such a colorful and beautiful place. The downside of course, is the cost of living in the city. Here in Chicago as a single mother my pocketbook is constantly tried as I shop for everyday necessities.

That is the main purpose why I started Le Thrift. It has been six months since I opened my online consignment and resale business, Le Thrift, and it has truly been an enlightening experience. Forever obsessed with fashion since my early adulthood when I encountered Gianni Versace at Club Hollywood in Milan (during Milan Fashion Week in the 90’s), I have now found myself immersed in a business that truly makes me happy. Now I can offer fashion to everyone on any budget. A friend of mine once said that “fashion is not about price or brand, but truly an art and a way to express creativity.”

Le Thrift is growing, like a tiny seedling that needs lots of care and sunlight. In a tough economy many might have thrown in the towel, but I see potential in all of this. I hear compliments from my customers who are happy with the condition and price of the clothing, the consignors who receive a check when their item sells, and the fact that a huge part of my business is green.

Of course I have my audience of doubters as well, that question the purchasing of resale clothing when they can go buy it for new and cheap at Old Navy and or The Limited. But in refuse, I am not expecting those customers to shop at my store or win them over.

The customers that shop at my store are accustomed to shopping resale understanding the savings they experience for a better price or quality piece of clothing. For those shopping on a budget it pays to buy resale.

It is also no surprise to me that most of my customers are from the East Coast. Shoppers there have long understood the idea of resale shopping a good value. As usual the East Coast is ahead of the Midwest on this trend, but slowly there is a shift in shopper’s buying habits as the economy has fallen. Hopefully, this will make all of us more conscientious shoppers in the future.

Along the six months of learning and stumbling about with my business I have met amazing people in the fashion industry who have inspired me to continue on to success. I never imagined such kindness from people that I had once perceived as such a competitive type of business.

As I grow, Le Thrift will constantly change and mold into something bigger, I am always looking for new trends, improvement and inspiration from others. But, oh has this been the most amazing journey so far. I look forward to what the next six months will bring!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

New Jewelry at Le Thrift

At Le Thrift we are always looking for fashionable deals. Check out our new jewelry in our Haute Shop!

Looking for that one of a kind piece to make a statement? We have some new jewelry designers that are now selling their beautiful, hand made jewelry at Le Thrift!

The Lovelace Necklace - By Sue Lovelace

Bronze Desert Earrings - By Naomi Durham

Check it out at our Haute Shop!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Second Base Camisols

Introducing our Haute Shop at Le Thrift.

Where a savvy shopper can find great deals on NEW fashionable and trendy fashion items.

Out Featured New Item
Tired of wearing tanks that ride up underneath your strappy dresses and your favorite shirts? Second Base Camisoles are an inexpensive, comfortable and stylish solution!
We love the Brittany Style!

Second Base Camisoles now featured in the Haute Shop.

More about Second Base Camisoles
Second Base is a collection of camisoles tailored for wearing under dresses and form-fitting tops. True to its name, Second Base is meant to be layered on top of your first foundation: your bra. Second Base's design offers the comfort, invisibility, and breathability that regular camisoles lack. If you don't normally need a bra, you could wear Second Base as your first layer. 

Interested in consigning your products with us?
Contact us at

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