It’s Big, Red and Leather

I’ve missed out on a lot of good yard and estate sales lately because of other commitments, but I did manage to get to a few thrift stores last week. A couple of the stores were near my dentist appointment in another city. I rarely go to them because they are pricey boutique thrift stores, but I thought, “Why not? I’m up here anyway.”

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been successful at them in the past…and by golly I wasn’t on this trip either! I only found one item to buy…a small ceramic tray with a hand painted (and signed) Art Nouveau motif.

AN-tray

There is a tiny scuff to the glaze on the rim, but otherwise it’s perfect. Isn’t it sweet? This could be used as a small serving tray or on a nightstand to collect rings, eyeglasses, coins, keys….

Going to these posh thrift stores helped me appreciate my scrappy neighborhood Goodwill all the more. On Saturday, after volunteering at a 5K race to raise money for victims of human trafficking (a shout out to Freedom House San Francisco), I stopped by my Goodwill. I wasn’t going to because I was aching to get home and warm up (it had been 44 degrees with the wind chill factor and I wasn’t prepared!), but I’m glad I did. Found a couple of great things. 

Like this purse. I always peruse the purses, but rarely find any to buy. Usually the displays are filled with cheaply made items, faux leather bags or purses with egregious damage. But the other day I spotted this leather messenger-style purse that had just been put out.

red-purse2

Hmmm. Thick, soft pebbled red leather. Lined with leather inside! Made in the USA! Other than two small spots (which I removed later with a few wipes of a wet cloth) the purse was in very good condition. I didn’t recognize the designer’s label, but the purse had the look and feel of quality. My gut was screaming “Buy it!!!” So I did.

Later I did some research on the designer’s name and discovered it’s a bag by Julia Duren. An old “Entrepreneur” magazine article I found about her was just fascinating. (Not often you come across a German divorcee who was once married to a San Quentin prison “lifer.”) Her company is still producing quality leather purses and accessories and I found my purse on her website (which admittedly needs some redesign help!). They call this design the “Santa Clara” and it’s priced at $329. I paid $18.35.

I could make a nice profit selling it, but I’m going to keep it for myself…at least for now. 🙂 I appreciate its simple, classic style and it’s a perfect cross-body bag for air travel, estate sales and running errands because it has lots of room for…well, everything! Plus I love red.

red-purse1

So I’m a happy camper. 🙂

How about you? Any good finds this past week?

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