Goodwill has been around since 1902, but with the help of hipsters, new trends, and the lingering poor economy, their network of nonprofit thrift shops have seen a new revival that not only helps shoppers save money, but contribute towards a great cause as well.
Working to provide job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack job experience or face employment challenges, Goodwill uses 84% of its total revenue to enhance the dignity and quality of live of their employees. Last year alone, 9.8 million people were able to train for careers in industries such as banking, IT, and health care just to name a few while getting the supporting services they needed to be successful – such as English language training, additional education or access to transportation and child care. Goodwill supports such a wonderful cause that it’s alluring and rewarding to shop at their locations (with over 2,500 stores and growing), however depending on what you’re looking for, sometimes finding gotta have deals can take a few hours. If you’re anything like me, I don’t always have the time or patience to go through an entire thrift store from front to back looking for great purchases, and that’s why I was so thrilled to hear of their latest endeavor store, Keepers.
Keepers offers well-known and well taken care of apparel, housewares, home furnishings and accessories at the same discount prices, but with less unnamed selections filling up space. Perfect for bargain hunters, label lovers and decorators, Keepers is structured more like a boutique high end store, featuring everything from Coach and Jessica Simpson to Zac Posen and Tommy Hilfiger. While easily comparable to stores like Ross or Marshals, Keepers is different; since all items are donated, their selling price is lower than competitor stores as well. Not only can you find a pair of barely-worn Steve Madden wedges for $7.99, but they frequently hand out discounts ranging from $10 off $25 purchases, and other awesome incentives as well.
To see all that Keepers has to offer, and to test out my own repurposing skills, I was invited by Goodwill for a fun afternoon of browsing their new location in Lake Forest, California to see what I liked as-is, as well as repurposing items from their Goodwill store next door!
Keepers had so many wonderful items for sale, and with the continuous flow of new donations, there’s always new, fabulous finds located throughout their store. I was able to find a baby pink Tiffany’s & Co tea set for $18, a new Tommy Hilfiger men’s shirt for $4.99 and unworn Aldo shoes from their Summer 2013 collection for just $9.99! While there are less items at Keepers than Goodwill, it still can take some time to find clothing in your specific size (I tried fitting into size 4 Seven for All Mankind jeans just because they were new and only $5.99) but once you find deals, they truly are treasure hauls.
Furniture wise, Keepers truly is a designers dream. Between designer chairs, fabulous picture frames, antique trinkets and gorgeous fabrics, I actually began talking with a fellow blogger who does designing on the side, and she absolutely loved the store. Keepers is able to offer a great selection of beautiful items, stocked daily and with no sales tax, creating a designers paradise. Whether you want to redesign a room, a house, or give an awesome gift, Keepers has thousands of items to fall in love with.
After getting our retail shopping done, myself and other bloggers headed next door to try our hand at repurposing items from the store to make excellent new items at discount price.
Goodwill truly offers a great selection of discounted thrift shop items, with amazing customer service and while aiding the better, more amazing mission statement of helping those in need.
Our hosts were amazing during my afternoon repurposing, and as Goodwill employees themselves, it was awesome knowing that this non-profit was helping turn shoppers savings into life-enrichment opportunities for others.
Goodwill and Keepers are located across America along with 14 other countries, and helped raise over $4 billion in 2011 alone. If you have used items you no longer care for, I strongly suggest considering donating to Goodwill, and likewise, if you believe that one man’s trash is another’s treasure, you can find your treasure haul anytime at these community-based organizations.
There are an unlimited amount of ways you can repurpose your way through Goodwill, and the best way to find them is to begin looking! For a list of Goodwill locations, visit their website at http://www.goodwill.org/ or shop online at http://www.shopgoodwill.com/.
Huge thank you to Goodwill to hosting our repurposing event. A Goodwill t-shirt and bracelet were provided, but as always, all opinions remain my own.