Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

My sweetest find


By Liz Witzler, Marketing Director


ong before I started working at Goodwill, I was a thrift store aficionado. Some believe it is a gene you are born with, and you either possess it or you don’t. Having personally witnessed many converts to thrifting, I know this is to be false.

My love of secondhand clothes began the week before the start of first grade when my mother hung five school dresses in my closet that had belonged to my sister and announced, “These should fit you now.” I idolized my older sister (still do) and remember how thrilled I was that her dresses were now mine. I couldn’t wait for school to start!

In college, I started collecting and wearing “vintage” clothing … acquiring intricate 1950s-era beaded cardigans (so cute with jeans) and 1960s-ish swing coats (I still have a blue velvet one that I wear to the symphony) at small thrift shops and church rummage sales. I admired the quality and craftsmanship of these pieces, and fantasized about their former glamorous lives.

After graduating from college and starting my first serious job, consignment shops helped me build my professional wardrobe beyond my single “interview suit.” Wearing brands beyond my financial means gave me confidence, as if through textile osmosis I would inherit the success of their previous, more accomplished owners.

In addition to clothing, I like old things … furniture, books, artwork, jewelry. As many of you thrift store-types know, it’s exciting to unearth a treasure you find at a Goodwill store. There’s something wonderful about finding something discarded or forgotten, and giving it new life and value through your own adoring eyes.

Then there’s the bragging … let’s not overlook the glory in that! Quite often, when I tell a new acquaintance that I work at Goodwill it is followed by the sharing of their greatest find story. Like the fisherman who caught the biggest fish, or the golfer who achieved a hole in one, all Goodwill shoppers have a story about their sweetest find.

For me, it is a raku-fired piece of pottery that I found at the North Muskegon Goodwill store for $3.00. It is one of my favorite possessions and resides on my living room coffee table where I can see and enjoy it every day. I don’t know who made it, or what its value is, I only know that I love it.

Do you have a sweetest Goodwill find story? We would love to hear about it! Please share a photo of your treasure on our Facebook timeline and you will be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate for some Valentine’s Day sweets!