House of Style: A Fashion DIY Event

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 28, 2016

House of Style: A Fashion DIY Event

Earlier this month, we hosted House of Style: A Fashion DIY Event at our flagship Seattle store. We joined forces with Sydney Mintle of Gossip & Glamour, and local designer Jordan Christianson of Jonquil & Mr. Black to spend an evening with local fashion and DIY (do-it-yourself) bloggers, talking about ways to modify your Goodwill-found fashions to make them your own. Scroll through photos from the event below! 

L to R: Brenda Bryan, Designer Jordan Christianson of Jonquil & Mr. Black, and Sydney Mintle of Gossip & GlamourLeft to right: Brenda Bryan, Jordan Christianson of Jonquil and Mr. Black, and Sydney Mintle of Gossip & Glamour played a huge part in organizing the event, and shared DIY inspiration as well as tips and tricks with attendees. 

Bloggers work on personalizing their Goodwill-found fashions. After shopping the store for a few minutes, bloggers returned to dismantle and upcycle their chosen pieces Bloggers took Goodwill finds, and transformed them into something new.Aimee from Savor The Thread took scissors to her original garment - and we're looking forward to seeing how it turned out! 

Jordan Christianson and Megan Pribble (Diary of This Girl) talk DIY options with a garment.Megan from Diary of This Girl and Jordan Christianson talk about ideas and options for one of Megan's finds. Heidi Eng (New Day Northwest - King 5) and Darcy Camden (Styled Seattle) work on their DIY fashion projects.Heidi from King 5's New Day Northwest and Darcy Camden from Styled Seattle hard at work on their creations. See Darcy's finished distressed jeans here! Jenn (Hello Rigby), Megan (Diary of This Girl), and Katrina (Demure Muse) sift through decorative pieces for their projects.Friends who blog - we can't wait to see what they created! Left to right: Jenn from Hello Rigby, Megan from Diary of This Girl, and Katrina from Demure MuseOne of Jordan Christianson's DIY designsSo simple, and so cute! One of Jordan's designs that he brought in as inspiration was a vintage Levi's jean vest that he trimmed with a lacy embellishment. Stay tuned on our blog for his jean short examples! 

Thank you to all who joined us! Check out all of the attendee's websites and blogs for fashion, lifestyle, and DIY tips! (And don't forget about our Goodwill DIY page!)

Crushing on Clothes | Styled Seattle | Demure Muse | Diary of This Girl | Doreen Style Diary | Gold Standard Workshop | King 5's New Day Northwest | Hello Rigby | It's My Darlin | Jojotastic | Lindsay Living | Lucia K Jewelry | Lovin Styling | Minted Method | Modern Mosaic | Paper Panduh | Savor The Thread | Simply Darling Duo | Seeking Alice | Stuck Near Seattle | Style & Cheek | Thrifty N Seattle | Tiny Cup of Cake

Photos by Elizabeth Kathryn.

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10 things you might not know about Seattle Goodwill

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 26, 2016

Original founders and employees standing outside of the first Seattle Goodwill store in 1923.When most people think of Goodwill, they think of one of the thousands of stores nationwide—and that’s understandable with over 120 years of brand name history. At a more local level, however, there are a lot of things that make Seattle Goodwill unique—and uniquely able to serve our community. Here are ten things you might not know about Seattle Goodwill:                                       

  1. Seattle Goodwill is a local, independent non-profit organization. On a national level, Goodwill is composed of 165 different independent organizations. Seattle Goodwill is one of them. We have our own CEO, and our own board who set the policies for our organization.
  2. We’ve been in Seattle since 1923. Our very first store was at the corner of Boren and Virginia, and was started by a group of local business people who saw a need for job training and employment for those who lacked in skills. Now, we operate 24 stores, 10 job training and education centers, and over 40 donation sites.
  3. 93 years later, we’re still working on the same mission—to provide job training and education opportunities for those experiencing significant barriers to economic opportunity. The funds raised in our stores support these programs. Last year, we helped over 8,700 people in our community.
  4. Our President and CEO is Daryl Campbell, an alumni of our local Seattle University School of Law. He’s been leading Seattle Goodwill for almost two years. You can learn more about him here.
  5. We put out over 100,000 unique pieces across our 24 stores every day. (That’s an average of over 4,100 per store!)
  6. Last year, with the help of generous donors throughout our community, we kept over 50 million pounds or reusable and recyclable goods out of landfills throughout our seven-county region in the central and northern Puget Sound.
  7. Every year we host a large sale focused on designer brands, vintage, and all things fancy and classy! This year will be our 33rd year hosting the Glitter Sale! People come from all over the country to shop it.
  8. We sell online! About 3% of all of our donated goods through a number of online stores including, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.
  9. If you see retail staff in our stores in blue collared shirts that say “Retail Trainee” on them, they’re part of our Retail & Customer Service Training program.
  10. We have over 150 years of Seattle fashion archived in our Vintage Fashion Collection. We use it to educate people about our mission—and have some fun while we do it. 
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10 Budget-friendly DIY Wedding Projects

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 11, 2016

Goodwill DIY Wedding

It is officially wedding season. Dates are set, venues are booked and you’re probably spending a lot of time meeting with wedding cake bakers, caterers, photographers, officiants—and deciding what your perfect wedding will look like.

Thanks to the endless wealth of DIY projects found on the internet, those wedding décor projects don’t need to be difficult or break the budget to create the perfect look for your big day. Here are ten of our favorite wedding DIY projects, and below you’ll find a list of items used in them that you can find at Goodwill:


Ok, so this one isn’t a DIY project, but we thought it would be a helpful read before you worked down this list.


Rustic Wedding Chic - 15 Ways To Use Plaid


15 WAYS TO USE PLAID – via Rustic Wedding Chic
As responsible citizens of the NW Washington, we couldn’t skip this one. Since plaid is engrained in our local culture, it’s fairly easy to find at our stores in attire and linens!  



Intimate Weddings - Eco-Friendly Favor: Plants in a teacup


This blog specifically talks about planting herbs in the teacups, but don’t forget about succulents and other more resilient plants. Have your guests take them as a favor! 



Rustic Wedding Chic - Using Wine Bottles as Decor


USING WINE BOTTLESvia Rustic Wedding Chic
There are probably a thousand excellent ways to use bottles in wedding décor—and this blog lists 15 wonderful ways with links to specific DIY projects. 




The Knot - Hot Air Balloon Wedding Centerpieces


This one might take a little time—so be ready to assemble the bridesmaids—but it will be well worth the time to have these whimsical centerpieces on your guest tables! 



Project Wedding - DIY Photobooth


DIY PHOTOBOOTH – via Project Wedding
Photobooths are all the rage at weddings still—but might be too much for the budget. If you’ve got a point and shoot camera and a tripod, it is fairly easy to build your own—especially for outdoor weddings where there’s natural light. The backdrop can be as simple as a flat bed sheet with a pattern that fits your theme—or you can try this dip-dyed coffee filter backdrop


The Vault Files - Color Dipped Cork Place Card Holders


Cute, simple—and super inexpensive! This is another project that can easily be knocked out while catching up on your favorite show—or with your favorite friends!  



Project Wedding - Yarn Ball Toss


YARN BALL TOSS – via Project Wedding
Skip the rice, bubbles, and birdseed—and check out this super cute idea! Have your guests throw tiny yarn balls to add a splash of color to the “getaway” photos. It is a super simple project, and could easily be done from the couch as you binge watch your favorite show. 


Rustic Wedding Chic - Use Vintage Suitcases as Decor


There are many ways you can use vintage suitcases as part of your décor. A small stack of them on a bench or stool makes a nice little table surface, or they can be put out to collect well-wishes from your attendees. If you find one that you love at Goodwill, but want to clean it up a bit, check out this article


Intimate Weddings - Easy Distressed Glass Vases


It is as easy as 1-2-3-(4). 1. Thrift vases. 2. Paint vases. 3. Sand vases. 4. Varnish vases. 




Teacups & saucers, wine bottles, assorted bottles, baskets, yarn, string, twine, bed sheets, photo booth props, plaid shirts and linens, bags of bottle corks, vintage suitcases, vases, a variety of craft supplies

And while none of the projects we listed use them, you can absolutely find mason jars, a DIY essential, at Goodwill. 

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Planning your Memorial Day Sale thrift store tour

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
May 28, 2016

Who’s excited for our Memorial Day sale? Our stores (outlets excluded) will be celebrating with 99¢ red tags and 40% off blue and green tags—and by opening at 8 am! Memorial Day—and other Goodwill sale days—are an excellent time to go on a thrift store tour, treasure hunting at multiple locations in a day. With 24 stores to choose from, we know it can be difficult to map out which stores you want to go to—and where you want to start and finish. Fortunately, we’re pros at this—so check out our five tips for preparing your thrift store tour below:

If you’re going thrifting with hopes of finding something specific, knowing what you’re looking for can help determine which stores to go to—and which departments to peruse. All of our stores have a little of everything, but some stores have their own strengths that might bump them up a little higher on your list. Keep in mind that stores tend to reflect the local community that they’re in. If you’re hunting for larger items like furniture, drive a vehicle that will fit your finds. (Need more space? We’re partners with ZipCar.)

If you’re not hunting for something specific, planning geographically is the way to go. Using our store locator can be a big help. We recommend starting at the farthest away store that you’d like to visit—and working your way back toward home. It’ll feel nice to have a shorter drive when you’ve been out shopping all day! Bonus points if your thrift tour involves a ferry ride! Don’t have a car? Check out this blog.

If you’re going on an all-day thrift tour, plan your lunch break. Google Maps is an excellent resource to not only help you find our stores, but find nearby restaurants and coffee shops to keep you fueled. Our store employees also tend to know the local area well—so feel free to ask them while you’re checking out. (And don’t forget to Round Up!)

Before you bring the spoils from the day home, do a check through your home (and closet!) to see if there’s anything you need to get rid of first. Drop your donations off at your first stop, and you’ll have space at home (and in the trunk) for your new finds!

Finding amazing new clothes, trinkets, household items, furniture and more is a great reason to go Goodwill hunting on a sale day—but our favorite reason for it is what shoppers and donors help accomplish when they support Goodwill. The proceeds raised in our stores fund our free job training and education programs in our community. Last year, thanks to shoppers like you, we were able to help over 8,700 people! One of those students was a woman named Leah, who graciously allowed us to share her story—watch below:

Happy Memorial Day – and happy thrifting!  

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Budget-Friendly Camping in the PNW

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
May 25, 2016

Here in the great Pacific Northwest, camping is a favorite pastime. We are surrounded by some of the most amazing campgrounds and backcountry that the country has to offer. (We may be biased, though.) Washington State is home to 186 State Parks, three National parks, and hundreds of other county and privately-run parks with camping options ranging from easy-access sites to backcountry-permit-required hike-in areas with an incredible variety of environmental features and vistas.

Camping can be an easy and affordable way to get out of the city for the weekend, unplug, and enjoy some relaxation and rest time. Gathering the gear needed can be expensive—if not done right. Here are some tips on how to camp in the PNW on a budget:

  1. Of course our first tip is going to be to look for camping gear at Goodwill! Because we live in a region with a huge passion for playing outside, we also see a lot of camping, survival, and outdoor gear donated—making us a great place to shop for that high-end gear at an affordable price.
  2. When you go gear-hunting at Goodwill, peruse the whole store. Certain items will be grouped together—like sleeping bags—or you’ll usually find camp stoves, tents, foldup chairs, and lanterns on the same aisle—but other items might fit in different categories. For example, you can often find those last-forever vintage pieces—like backpacking packs, Stanley thermoses, and old school Coleman items in collectibles.
  3. It is often less expensive to have a piece of quality camping gear repaired, or to order a replacement part, than to buy the item new. A lot of high-quality camping gear brands sell products that will last for years—and have amazing repair options that you can take advantage of even when you’ve thrifted the item. (Check out REI’s Repair services, too!) Companies like Coleman have standardized a number of pieces to their products to make replacing parts easy. So, if you see that $15 Coleman stove on our shelf, but it’s missing the pressure regulator—you’ll save $30-$150 on a camp stove by buying the thrifted stove, and ordering the replacement part.
  4. Camping with a group can help cut down on individual costs. For example, only one member of the party needs to bring a camp stove—and another can bring a pot and pan—and another might bring a big-enough-to-share tent. It might even be a fun pre-camp-trip event to hit up your favorite Goodwill and divide up the items needed for your trip.
  5. Stick to government-ran campgrounds. Private campgrounds, while they may have more amenities, tend to be a little more expensive. By staying on national, state, or county land, you’ll save anywhere from about $10-$30 per night for your site.
  6. Camping on a holiday weekend, and can’t find an open site? Have a passport? Go north. Keep going into Canada. Many of the holidays we observe here in the USA are not observed in Canada, and their parks aren’t as busy on those weekends. British Columbia is Pacific Northwest, too—and has many of the same stunning costal, mountain, and east-of-the-Cascades environments that Washington State does. Access to camping in the BC Provincial Parks is similarly-priced to domestic national and state parks.
  7. Buy your campfire wood locally where you’re camping. Because there are often restrictions on what types of wood you burn in different areas—especially if you’re crossing state or national borders—it’s a good idea to wait to purchase wood locally. Planning for this will help you avoid needing to buy wood twice—or ditch the wood you’ve already paid for at the border. Check with the campground you’re heading to to see if they sell wood bundles on-site!

Not an experienced camper, but want to start? Here’s a list of some items you can hunt for at Goodwill to start building your camping gear collection: tents, sleeping bags, tarp, rope, camp stoves, lanterns, flashlights, foldup chairs, a “camping kitchen” (pots, pans, cups, utensils, etc.), your morning coffee mug, moka pot/French press (coffee is important while camping), coolers, water bottles, hiking shoes/boots, outdoor/active wear, backpacks, towels, and more! 


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