Amy Yetman, is the mastermind behind the Horseshoe Market (Denver’s premier indie craft vintage market), Horseshoe Holiday Market (coming up November 26th and 27th) and most recently the co-founder of the Jefferson Park Farm & Flea. She was also named one of the top 100 Creatives by Westword Magazine. She started out as a client and today, I’m proud to call her a dear friend. There are even rumors of a collaboration between us. But that’s still under wraps. ;)
Amy is also a busy mom so my first question to her was when the heck do you find time to go? Much to my surprise, she said, “I go at night after the kids are in bed. It's my quiet time”
Pure. Genius! Not sure why, but it never occurred to me to go at night!? Thrifting with kids is a bad idea in my opinion. It takes time and patience and therefore, does not lend itself to bringing children along.
Amy's signature style is all things vintage. She has an incredible eye for spotting #luckyfinds. During our most recent work together making over her personal design studio, (Stay tuned for that reveal soon!) I begged Amy to let me tag along on one of her thrift store shopping trips and share all her secrets. She did. And now I’m sharing (almost) all of them with you. Thank you Amy.
Amy's Thrifting Tips
Kate: What do you take with you before you go?
Amy: Here is my list:
- Blanket to cover fragile items like a mirror or art
- Straps to tie down the back of your vehicle
- A charged phone to Google unfamiliar names and brands
- A tape measure
- Measurements from home (i.e. Looking for a desk? Know what size will work within a range like 30-36”wide)
- Cash to tip if you have someone help load your car.
(I’d like to add to that list...Sophia Sparkling Wine in a can. Because what other beverage is more appropriate? No one will be any the wiser.)
Kate: When is the best time to go?
Amy: The ARC is 50% off on Saturday. Avoid the crowds and go in the evening.
Kate: Where are your favorite thrift store locations?
Amy: Avoid the thrift stores in trendy neighborhoods or anywhere hipsters congregate. They are picked over and looted every day of the week. I recommend going to stores in older neighborhoods.
Amy is like the drug dog of thrift stores. She can hunt down, sniff out, and zero in on major scores that amateurs (like me) usually pass right over!
Kate: What do you shop for first?
Amy: When I arrive, I always look at the large items (i.e. furniture) first. Those items are easier to see and therefore more likely to go quickly. Bonus…if you see something you like, you can have it loaded while you continue to shop. Work your way down to smaller items starting with art and lamps, then “tchotchkes” and don’t forget linens!
Kate: Any other little secrets you want to share?
Amy: Yes. Google is your friend. I always turn over items to look for labels, tags, emblems, or anything that indicates its origin. It can tell you a lot about the quality and value of the item.
Amy's right. I watched her habitually turn items over and research each piece. In fact, she was wearing the cutest pair of shoes. They were a Danish brand, relatively unknown here, and retail for $100's. She scored them for $5 on her last thrifting trip.
This Broyhill Sofa was my big #luckyfind of the evening. Amy and I instantly fell in love with it's shape and size. It was listed for $120. Because it was Saturday at the ARC, everything...including this sofa was 1/2 price. I paid $60 bucks. (It felt like I was doing something wrong!) We soon fell in love with the simple dotted pattern...felt very J. Crew to me. It was in near perfect condition. We both recognized the Broyhill brand, but Amy popped out her phone and Googled "Broyhill Furniture History". What we learned deepened our respect and admiration of the #luckyfind.
Here are a few more of my #luckyfinds!
Kate: Where else can people find you?
Amy: Ha! All over the place!
The Horseshoe Market is held 3 times a year (spring, summer, and fall) at the corner of Tennyson and W. 44th Ave. in the Olinger Chapel parking lot. The Horseshoe Holiday Market at the Highlands Masonic Temple. And all summer at the Jefferson Park Farm & Flea!