Thrifty Christmas: a way to gift more with less

Published 7:57 am Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price  Tiffany Buchanan shops for her daughter at her favorite consignment boutique, Baby-Go-Round in Elizabethton.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price
Tiffany Buchanan shops for her daughter at her favorite consignment boutique, Baby-Go-Round in Elizabethton.

The holidays are a stressful and expensive time for many families, but there are ways to dodge costs without cutting corners. Local consignment, liquidation and thrift shops offer affordable and original gifts for the frugal shopper.
In fact, Tiffany Buchanan discovered that she can get high-end clothing for her daughter for lower prices by exploring the treasure trove behind the doors of local consignment shops, specifically at Baby-Go-Round.
“By shopping here, I save money and can get brands that I would otherwise only find online for full price,” she said, listing names like Mustard Pie, Persnickety Clothing, Lolly Wolly Doodles, Bowtique and Mud Pie, among others.
She first began shopping for her nieces at Baby-Go-Round when it was located in Stoney Creek and now shops regularly for her 14-month old daughter at the newer Elizabethton location.
Though there are similar shops in the region, Buchanan said she prefers Baby-Go-round because of its cleanliness and quality selection. She also saves by reselling clothing and by purchasing formula and food for significantly lower prices at Baby-Go-Round.
Shop owner Angie Holly carries children’s clothing from birth to size eight, as well as maternity clothing, baby supplies, strollers, toys, mobiles and an assortment of custom bows, onesies and outfits.
“We’re pretty picky about what we buy and closely inspect each item for quality and condition,” said Holly.
She recently starting custom printing shirts, which she said has been a holiday hit along with custom applique.
Her clients like the variety and affordability of her collection, she said, adding, “You never know what you’ll find.”
This is also true of shops like Lisa’s Thrift Boutique, Vaughn’s Liquidation, Red Legacy Thrift Store and Reece’s Pieces in downtown Elizabethton.
At Lisa’s Thrift Boutique, owner Lisa Vatterott has more than 250 purses from brands like Louis Vuitton, Guess, Etienne Aigner, Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Nine West, Vera Bradley and many others. Many still have tags or are in like new condition.
She also has new and vintage jewelry, name brand women’s clothing, home decor, and other items.
Vatterott said some husbands have come in searching for stocking stuffers and left with jewelry, watches and purses for their wives.
“You can find items at thrift boutiques that you won’t find anywhere else, while supporting the local economy,” she said.
Unfortunately, she said the holidays are a slower time for her business, which may be a social indicator of people’s preferences or a symptom of the economy.
“Most people are under the impression that gently-used items are not high quality, but it would make sense that people shop my items and save on brand names before going elsewhere,” she said. “People shouldn’t discount thrift boutiques, because you never know what you’re going to find.
Similarly, Brian Vaughn of Vaughn’s Liquidations is always getting in new merchandise that shoppers would find at Walmart, Target, J.C. Penneys or other retail chains, but his items are priced at 50 percent or less of the market retail value.
He said he has sold a lot of toys, including Monster High dolls, and other merchandise for gifts. “People love the prices and often comment on how much we have,” he said.
For last minute gifts that don’t lack originality, consider giving something new or gently used from your local consignment or liquidation shops.

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