TheDiscerningHoarder

Weird Finds From My House to Yours

Des Moines, Iowa · 1523 Sales

TheDiscerningHoarder

Weird Finds From My House to Yours

Des Moines, Iowa 1523 Sales On Etsy since 2016

5 out of 5 stars
(416)
shakeyourtail

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shakeyourtail

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Updates

All September long I'm offering 20% off my vintage linens! No limitations or minimums.
I'm having a sale through 11/30/16! Enter the code "monday" at checkout to receive 20% off any order!
Trying to get caught up with all the things I've bought recently. Isn't this candy dish heavenly?
Come on, I need someone to be my 100th customer!
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About

I’m a teacher by trade. I have my masters in literature from Northwestern and my main gig during the day is teaching composition at a community college in Des Moines, Iowa. I’ve been in the field of education for about 12 years now and while there are aspects of it that I love - the kids are great - I’ve never felt 100% comfortable standing in front of a group of people. I find myself frequently daydreaming of going back to my favorite job that I’ve ever had. From the ages of 15-18, I worked with a crew of irresponsible teenage punks at Goodwill. We were horrible employees, but we had a lot of fun! I had always been intrigued by vintage stuff and used to check out price guides for antique toys from the library and pore over them creating a database in my mind of things from days gone by that I wanted, that I needed to own. My love of vintage grew to outrageous proportions when working at Goodwill. People would bring us bags and bags - entire truck loads - of formerly cherished items, and we would sort through them setting aside things for our personal collections (which was not actually allowed, but I said we were irresponsible, right?). After 3 years of working at Goodwill, the act of rifling through piles of mystery goods became second nature and somehow the rush of finding a treasure never lessened. For me, thrifting is not just a hobby, it is part of my identity. It’s something from my formative years that shaped who I am today.
Over the years, I have slowly built my own personal collection, from rubber bats to Victorian memento mori bubble glass pictures - I have curated my home into a museum of weird. After ten years in Chicago, I moved back to Des Moines in 2015 and found myself in the center of this sort of thrifting sweet spot. In Chicago, I was competing with hundreds of thousands of people to get the 3 or 4 cool items that had made it to the thrift store rather than being sold for big bucks online. In Des Moines though, I became completely overwhelmed by how much I was finding at every stop I would make. I would fill my trunk and then fill my living room and finally every shelf and piece of available wall space. I was buying entire collections that had been separated from their owners and absorbing them into my own. Once, at a Salvation Army, I found a cart load of ceramic dogs each with a piece of athletic tape on the bottom revealing their given names. There was Tramp and Donovan and Steve and Topper and, most importantly, Poops. These items had lived side by side for years, and here they were: tossed in a shopping cart. Abandoned. I couldn’t leave them there. I bought a new shelf, and now they live together once again on the table beside my bed.
The amount of items I would buy started to be a problem. My family began jokingly calling me a hoarder. Now, I’m not saying you need a shovel to see the floor of my house or that there are smushed, dead cats under mounds of garbage. I’ve seen hoarders, I am not to that level yet. I needed to do something with all of the items I was rescuing from thrift stores and didn’t have room for. I decided on a whim to start my shop in 2016. I needed some extra cash - being an adjunct isn’t lucrative - and it seemed that people were responding positively to the items I was posting on Facebook so maybe I could stand to part with some of my treasures. What first was a hesitancy to let go transformed into a joy from sharing items with people who want and need them too. I see objects as having personalities and little inner lives. Only certain items speak to me and have a presence - this is where the discerning part of my name comes from. Knowing that people would open boxes I had sent and pull out new friends and future heirlooms gave a purpose to my idle hobby. Not that I was making some sort of huge difference, but finding out that I had sent someone the bed sheet they remembered from the cabin their family would stay at when they were a child was something. I want you to have that moment, too. So, come in; look around. You never know what you will find.

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  • Allyson

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