Gotta Love Big Bear

A few weeks ago, my dad and I went up to big bear for two reasons. 1. For me to practice my driving. And 2. To check out the thrift shops!

My mom isn’t a fan of the twisty roads, and my little brother hasn’t embraced the true thrifting experience, so it was just the two of us. And boy do I have a story for you.

We had just stopped at a Denny’s to have lunch, and on the way my dad noted a thrift store we had passed. So we backtracked, parked in the wrong parking lot, and walked the rest of the way to it. (No there’s no reason behind the parking. We just went into the wrong parking lot. Lol)

My dad went inside the shop while I flicked through a little wrack of clothes outside the window. It was looking a little expensive for me, but I wanted to see what was inside too. I strolled to the front door, and before I stepped foot inside, a blond woman with pink streaks in her hair and an eyebrow ring instantly appeared in the doorway looking flustered.

“Hi can I ask you a big favor?”

Big Bear has that small town feel. So I quickly got over the shock of a stranger asking me this and said, “sure.” I was kind of curious what it would be, too.

“Can you watch the store for me until I get back? It’ll only be a few minutes.”

“Um. Okay.”

“Thank you so much! It’ll only be a few minutes. I’ll give you something when I get back!” She was walking out of the shop as she talked, then she was gone.

I smiled, but it wasn’t until I walked into the shop that I realized what I agreed to. Honestly, I have no idea what that means “watching a shop.” Do I sell to people? I looked at the cash register. I wouldn’t feel right opening it and selling to people like I knew what I was doing. I finally figured my job was to make sure no one took anything without paying for it.

I stood awkwardly beside the front counter. Then felt stupid and started wandering around a little, just so I wasn’t just standing there. Then I over-thought myself and realized I didn’t want the owner to come back to find me useless at the back of the store so I hung around the front again.

A lady asked to see some Pez candy dispensers in the glass case, so I told her the owner would be back in a few minutes and felt so helpful.

Then a few minutes passed. And a few more. My dad had finished browsing and asked if I was ready to go, but I told him I couldn’t, that the lady had asked me to watch the shop.

Soon I started wondering if I was part of candid camera or a prank show that just left customers stranded, supposedly watching a shop. I pictured them all huddled around and giggling at a little video screen, watching as I reacted to the situation.

A little blond girl burst through the front door suddenly and plopped herself behind the counter, smiling and breathing hard. I asked if she was gonna watch the store now and she nodded and started helping the lady with the Pez, so I was ready to leave.

I headed for the door with my dad, then the owner rushed right back in, seeing me. “Fifty dollars store credit, thank you so much!” Just as quickly, she was out the back door.

I stood there dumbfounded. “Was she joking?” My dad shrugged and asked the girl.

“Was she joking?”

The girl laughed. “No. . At least, I don’t think so. .”

Heh. Well I had enough standing awkwardly and was ready leave, like some mysterious hero, but my dad stayed to ask again when the woman came back.

“Where you joking?”

“Oh, no no. You helped me so much.” She made it sound as though someone next door had just helped her immensely, or maybe it was me the helper, I wasn’t absolutely sure, and she wanted to return the favor, or pass on the joy.

I felt kind of uncomfortable. Fifty dollars is a lot, but the woman said “go shopping!” Which were words I could understand, even in my shocked state.

Here’s my $52 store credit (she threw in the $2, wasn’t that sweet? I was just gonna give her the two bucks) haul from Hudson Trading Co. in Big Bear, and how I wear it.

Jean strapless dress. With pockets!!
Pinch and pin on the side to keep it tight and in place
Added the half sleeve blouse for more coverage, and red belt and shoes to tie it together

As cute as the first arrangement is, it’s pretty short for my taste. And I really got the dress to make a jean skirt out of it. All I did was fold the top under and zipped the side as far as my waist would allow. The belt covers any strange fold lines.

Long, zig-zag skirt
Kind of an Aztec/Gothic mix. BUT it complies with church dress code, so yes!
Flowy purple floral skirt
Pinch and pin
Add cool printed and rhinestone tank top
A nice dressy-casual outfit. Add a purple cardigan and it’s church approved!
I’m calling this my gray “ship wrecked” dress. Doesn’t it remind you of little mermaid?
Now you can tell why I was holding the neckline in the first picture. I felt like walking on the beach
To make it church-approved, here’s a black and white version
And red.
Note the shoes. Not second hand . . but they were on sale!

And finally. .

Super cute Forever 21 rose sweater

I am ready to go out. Anywhere. Ask me to go somewhere. X-)

I’m really thankful to the owner of the shop for making and continue making my day each time I get excited to wear one of my new outfits. It’s a fun and happening little place there, I’d encourage you to visit if you’re ever in Big Bear. As I was there, she was making a trade with a guy, some video games and a pocket knife for clothes or something. And just the whole experience has awakened something in me.

Owning my own thrift store/vintage clothing shop. How awesome would that be? I shop thrift stores enough. . Who knows? Maybe years down the line, when I either finally have enough money to start a shop, or have reached the end of my rope and in some last-resort epiphany remember the dream I had of wanting one, I’ll have the same thing she’s made for herself. I’m so glad this shirt had a business card as a price tag (that’s genius by the way). The card says:

Hudson Trading Co.
SHOP OUTSIDE THE BOX
Negotiate, Barter, Haggle
Buy – Sell – Trade
Recycle, Re-purpose, Reuse
OPEN @11:00am

And an e-mail address. I’m going to e-mail the owner and thank her. Hopefully she remembers me, and hopefully she is the owner and not someone else, like filling in, or else I’d feel kind of silly. X-) Though I’m thankful to whoever.

Actually when I thanked her as she gave me my bag of clothes, she said “oh no, if it wasn’t for you and your trustworthy face, I wouldn’t have known WHAT to do.” “Trustworthy face” reminded me of an episode of I Love Lucy.

So, I guess in the end. We’re both thankful for my trustworthy face. . How about that.

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