I don’t need to remind any of you that times are kind of tough right now. And being self-employed in retail, especially the antique business where many consider this type of shopping a non necessity, the economy can be frightening. After all, it has gotten so expensive to buy groceries and gas these days, so how do we justify buying something we may not necessarily “need” but we really “want”? And also, how do we justify buying the “extras” right now when so many people are losing homes and jobs? Those things are overwhelming to me at times.
The way I feel these days is, first, if you have any extra funds or resources to spare, please think about the people that really need help right now. Even if you give a homeless guy a few bucks and a smile, or contribute to a food bank, or even bring us (Country Roads) a gently used purse filled with personal hygiene items and some extras, you will have made a difference someone else’s life by such a simple gesture. Our purses are collected, as many of you know, for the Orange YWCA’s program called, “My Sister Joanie’s Purse Project”. They distribute these purses throughout the year to women in shelters in Orange County. And I know how much this means to these women and I also hope you will help us help the “Y” by donating some purses filled with goodies. It’s that simple to give back when we can.
It is, at times, difficult to buy for ourselves when we are aware of the things that are going on in the world around us. But the one thing about antiques is if you buy right, you have an investment in the future. If you need money to pay a bill, or you lose your job, you can always sell those treasures that are so dear to many of us. Those treasures hold their value even in the worst of times. Antiques are one of a kind, and as I said above, it’s usually not about “needing” them, but “wanting” them as you know if you don’t buy it when you see it, chances are it won’t still be there when you finally do decide to make your purchase.
The other awesome thing about antiques and vintage items is that we are reusing and recycling! No trees have been cut down, no furniture factories are polluting our air to mass produce new furniture, along with many, many other reasons to make antique and vintage merchandise a part of your daily lives. Not only do you have a piece of history, but you are using your antique dresser to hold your clothes, it has a necessary function in your life. Or if you into vintage clothing, that is probably cool and cheaper than a new stuff, you have your own sense of style. Try putting your books in an old shipping crate rather than buying a new book shelf, save some trees. Plus, by reusing and recycling, your own homes will show some decorating style that isn’t like everyone else’s. Be an individual, be unique and stand out in the crowd with your own style while at the same time helping save our world by recycling.
So, next time you out shopping for antiques & vintage stuff, don’t beat yourself up when you think you don’t really “need” that totally awesome chandelier but you really, really “want” it. Do what I do. You know, every time I soak in my old rescued, clawfoot bathtub, with my shelf above it that was made from the old Laguna Beach boardwalk we have in the store and held up by some vintage architectural pieces, I feel good. I’m happy to be able to look at my old pottery on that shelf, and my recycled vintage ceiling tins above my head on my bathroom ceiling. I’m thankful I made the decision to buy that old chippy white painted chandelier that hangs above my bathtub. I know that it will light up my little grandchild Riley’s life as much as it warms my own life. As Riley’s generation, I hope, will be the most aware of the importance of our earth, life and giving back to the world.