There’s an air about Sheila Fortson that everyone seems to love. She reminds you of your sister or best friend who smiles all the time, is there when you need her, and is always dressed like a fashionable diva. And what makes her unique is her uncanny ability to find those outfits you admire for less than you can imagine. This woman is absolutely “The Glam Thrifter”. Sheila is a radio and TV personality who proves that no matter what your budget, looking and living glam is always within your reach, and thrift store shopping can be fun and exciting! Through her blog, GlamorousThrifting.blogspot.com, and her brand new Facebook fan page: www.Facebook.com/TheGlamThrifter, Sheila shares tips for getting the most out of your thrift shopping experience, and looks that mirror what’s in style now, for less than half the price! The “glam thrifting” movement is catching on. From college students who are low on cash, to brides on a shoestring budget, and new home owners looking to decorate for less, Sheila shows people from all walks of life how to walk out of a thrift store with the ultimate haul and money left over to go out and celebrate!
We at www.shalenadiva.com just had to interview Sheila! Here are her responses. Welcome to her world, the world of sheer fabulousness for less. The world of Glamorous Thrifting!
Q: What got you started with thrift shopping?
(Always bubbly, she even starts the interview with a laugh!): Necessity. I was young, broke, and had a passion for all things fashionable. After working in retail for many years, I came to enjoy the perks of the employee discount, but even those prices were still sometimes too high for a college student with an apartment, car, and bills. I remember walking into a thrift store alone for the very first time & thinking I would never come back. It was all so overwhelming, and part of me had the nerve to feel ashamed. But I found a bracelet, and I do love accessories, so I figured I wouldn’t give up on the first try. Over time I realized there were tons of items that were trendy, in good shape, and of course, dirt cheap. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Q: You say your thrifting system is a combination of the old and the new. What does that mean?
That essentially means there are some things I always try to buy new, but even then, it’s never full price. It’s a rarity that I pay full ticket price for new clothing, unless it’s less than $20.00-$25.00. There are very few exceptions to that rule. In general, I thrift most of my shirts, outerwear, accessories, & dresses. My shoes are typically purchased new but inexpensive or on sale and that’s just because even though you and I may wear the same size, the shape of our feet aren’t the same. So it really can be a pain to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. Used shoes also require anti-fungal cleaning and insoles to protect your foot sole from the shoe’s interior surface. Those are extra expenses on top of the shoe itself, and I like to keep my money (laughs!). Now, shoes are my weakness so I do own a few pair of used ones that are in excellent shape. Every pair of thrifted shoes I own cost me $8.00 or less. Most of my clothing and accessories range from about fifty cents to a few dollars, up to about $10.00 or $15.00 for a coat.
Q: And what do you always buy new?
I have a list of forbidden thrifts, if you will. Underwear, swimwear, or anything that would come into bare “crotch contact” is a no-go. I also tend to avoid used hats, bedding, and hygiene items like tooth brushes (you’d be surprised), towels and wash cloths. I might make an exception for truly fabulous hat if it’s NWT (new with tags), and I always wash down sunglasses since they come in such close contact with the eyes.
Q: Ok, now, I have seen some of your finds. Especially that AMAZING colorblock dress for a $1.99! (pictured). We know you enjoy the thrifting experience, but is it easy for you to actually find these items?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s hard or easy. I just happen to have what I think is a trained eye, and things just pop out at me. I usually go for color or patterns, or items that are embellished in some way. Then I will make my way through the store slower, combing through various sections. I am a very big advocate of trying it on if you think it’ll look good. This is especially true in a thrift store. You may walk away from something that looks god-awful on a hanger, and it could’ve looked perfect on your frame. These tactics don’t make it easy or hard, but just fun for me to thrift.
Q: How much time do you spend thrifting, and about how much money each month?
A: Oh wow! You asked the money question. My husband won’t read this, right? (laughs!). Seriously, on a normal thrifting day, if you include trying on items, and taking my time, I’m usually in the store for a minimum of an hour, and a max of about an hour and a half. I love new thrift stores, so I take more time in them, feeling my way around. As far as money, I would say I spend on average about $70.00 per month on thrifted clothing.
Q: So your closet must be huge! Getting all that stuff for so cheap!
A: You know what? I can say that my wardrobe has never been this varied and extensive in my life. I’ve created something of a glamorous diva-style space in my home. I have an entire room decked out like a clothing store, with roll bars, a wall of shoes, mannequins, and even a little seating area with a TV. I’m not really into materialism or labels. I just like having options, and when I’m spending a dollar on a shirt, I’m able to have quite a few.
Q: Do you ever splurge?
A: Oh sure! I think everyone does. It depends on what it is, especially since I get a lot of name brand items from the thrift store anyway. But since I typically spend very little I don’t go broke when I do indulge in something like an expensive piece of jewelry. However, I will say, many of those kinds of things are gifted to me by my husband or friends and family. Shalena, I’m so cheap I don’t even like filling my gas tank up all the way. It makes me feel like I’m spending less if I do half on Monday, and the other half on Tuesday (laughs!).
Q: Are your tips and ideas just for women?
A: Absolutely not. I have tips and ideas for men, your home, kids, parties, special events, and so much more. I think my biggest money saving moment had to be my own wedding. We hosted 85 guests at a gorgeous venue, paid for the clothing for 3 people who were in the wedding, travel expenses for another, a DJ, invites, cake, florist, my gown, his suit, rings, and a weeklong honeymoon to Bermuda plus all those little extra bells and whistles: $6,000, nothing on credit, and it was absolutely beautiful. I even helped a friend who only had $500 to spare for her wedding. I always make it work. So, I can help you do just about anything for less, and I assure you that you’ll be GLAM!
Join The Glam Thrifter Fanpage: www.Facebook.com/TheGlamThrifter (giveaways, tips, pictures and more!)
Follow Sheila’s Blog: www.GlamorousThrifting.Blogspot.com
Check out some of Sheila’s Glamorous Finds
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