The fastest way for me to get “alone time” is to ask my family if they want to go hunting for treasure. They know this is code for thrifting and everyone single one of them will say, “no thanks!”
Then I pretend to be disappointed while skipping out the door.
My latest adventure for the Happy Thrifting series took me to the small town of Andover, New Jersey. Andover is located approximately an hour and fifteen minutes west of New York City.
I didn’t get a firm count on the number of antique or thrift shops in the Andover area, but I went into four shops. I’m fairly certain I skipped two or three stores just because I don’t have the thrifting stamina. I need to build up my endurance!
My first stop was Scranberry Coop. It’s a 10,000 sq. ft. bright yellow building with a seemingly endless number of vintage booths tucked inside.
Some of the things that caught my eye at Scranberry Coop were the robots made out of old parts, vintage milk containers and old board games.
Handy Husband and the kids are really into board games. Playing isn’t always my thing, but I do like the graphic design element of the game boards and pieces. I’m fairly certain the game board below with the ‘dunce corner’ is not something that would be marketed today. It was priced at $2.
There is always something in a thrift or antique store that makes me go “hmmmm.” Does this happen to you too?
One of the things at Scranberry Coop that made me pause was an 110-year-old telegram. I understand why telegrams have historical value. I don’t understand why someone other than a museum would want a telegram that announces Clarence was hit by a trolley and died. It’s so sad!
For those of you who aren’t local, Scranberry Coop has a super cool feature called Remote Personal Shopping. For $20, you can reserve an hour of time to FaceTime or Skype with a personal shopper. $15 of your $20 reservation fee will be applied to any purchases you make. And, yes, they ship. That’s a pretty neat service!
Consider me your Remote Shopper and let’s continue on this journey with some more treasure hunting of the thrifted, antique and vintage variety.
My next stop was The Great Andover Antique Village. I believe it is deemed a ‘village’ because there are three buildings of vintage goods for your thrifting enjoyment on site. Only one of the buildings was open when I visited, so I’ll need to go back!
The Great Andover Antique Village had an eclectic mix of items from different vendors. You could find jewelry for a few bucks and that female pirate in the below left corner of the collage was $1,250.
As a nod to the customer service in the store, I happened to fall in love with the one item, a basket, in the entire shop that wasn’t priced. The super nice lady working the cash wrap texted the booth owner and got me a price ($7) within just a couple of minutes. I loved that basket, but I let it go.
It wasn’t my only shopping regret of the day!
Excitement is not a big enough word to describe my feelings on the next shop on my tour called Made in the Shade. Treasures were overflowing out the front door and down the side of the building. In other words, there was a lot of potential!
What was particularly unique about this store is their focus on lighting. Hence, the play on the name Made in the Shade. The shop’s entire first floor was devoted to chandeliers, lamps, and lamp parts. You name it, they had it.
The upstairs of this shop had the usual collection of household goods, knick knacks, and furniture plus upholstery fabric.
Did you spot the round wicker basket with the lid in the lower left photo of the collage? It was the quirky type of thing that appeals to me and was priced at $20. I did not get it though.
Like I said…regrets!
The last shop I went into was called Grey Barn Antiques. At this point in my thrifting adventure I was running into the same people that I’d seen in the previous three shops. It was becoming awkward not to acknowledge the fact that we were making the same rounds. So, I chatted with a few people who came to Grey Barn Antiques solely for the booth in the very back of the building.
It’s the booth that had the old doors and the horse picture in the below collage. It also had vintage cabinets and tools. One of the men I spoke to was buying a hatchet that was priced at $80.
I could have bought a lot of baskets for $80! Just saying…
Also, this is a weird observation, but Grey Barn Antiques smelled really good. Do you know how some antique or thrift shops smell musty? This one smelled like a delightful candle factory and I was all there for it.
Since I told you about my thrifting regrets, you might be wondering if I actually made any purchases. I did, surprisingly!
I spent $25 on a wooden Carrom game board. I’ve been idling keeping my eye out for one for over a year. I probably overspent since you can buy a new Carrom board (yes, the Carrom company still makes them in the USA) with the game pieces for $64.
However, I really like that this board has a history and was presumably loved by some other family. We don’t have all the game pieces yet and I’m hesitant to get them because my son and I have invented some fantastic games using pencils for the cues and game pieces from other games. I love that this game board sparked my son’s imagination and ingenuity.
In my research I discovered if you need replacement pieces or game instructions for your Carrom board, you can get them direct from the company here.
To make a long story short, if you are ever in northern New Jersey, you will not be disappointed with a trip to Andover. Happy Thrifting!
Here are some other posts in the Happy Thrifting series:
Oh, and here’s a post of the things I should have bought on Facebook Marketplace, but didn’t.