Mimi daydreaming about thrifting
Mimi daydreaming about thrifting

A little about me.  This is my ambitious journey as a thrift store junkie single-mindedly bent on documenting every, single thrift store in the San Francisco Bay Area.  While this task may appear daunting, you’ll be comforted in the knowledge that I am up for the challenge, having been genetically predisposed to finding bargains from a tender age.   Plus, I was a Geography major, so that’ll come in handy.

Map of California highlighting SFBayArea

A little about me:  My name is Mimi, and I am an avid collector of all things vintage and a clever re-purposer, sometimes accused of being cheap.  And, yes it’s true: I do save alot of money shopping at thrift stores.  But that’s not the only reason I do this.    

Why thrift stores?  I can’t remember exactly when or why I began frequenting them.  Some of them clean and bright and organized by color or item.  Others smelling slightly of body odor or old carpeting.  But, this has become a type of excavation for me.  Searching, uncovering, pulling back, scanning the racks and shelves because they could hold a buried treasure.

I can lose time in these places, exposing the remnants of other people’s lives.  Observing the hidden gems that tell countless stories.  The personal photographs in black and white and kodachrome of weddings, family portraits, leftover souvenirs from world wars and world travels.  Why did someone donate this portrait?  I sometimes wonder when I see a painting or a photograph of a man or a woman, someone’s mother or father, aunt or lover.

Thrifting, thrifted, thrift – these are all terms that may delight some and that others may revile.  But perhaps it is because I once wanted to become an archeologist that I now find great pleasure in combing these receptacles of our modern, throw-away culture, of other people’s personal detritus.  I always wonder what I’ll find around the bend…

This thrift store project was a long time in the making.  It is really only because of WordPress, Tara Brennan – and because I am tenacious – that I was able to give it wings.

My goal:  to document in words and photographs every single non-profit thrift store in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.  It is the perfect intersection of three of my favorite activities:  writing, thrifting and photography.  I hope it helps you find many of your own hidden treasures, and I hope that it helps the non-profit stores by bringing them more visitors each and every day, which in turn helps further their mission to help those struggling in our society.  That is my wish.  Added bonus:  it’s good for the environment.

Please share your thoughts about this blog, thrift stores or any other related topics posted on this site by emailing me at mimi@thriftstorejunkies.com or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/@thriftymimi.

Stay tuned for more thrifting adventures with Mimi …single-mindedly bent on documenting every, single thrift store in the San Francisco Bay Area.      

  1. FANTASTIC!!!! I love the combination of your creative interests and how they are so easily woven into the treasures of “thrifting.” This site is beautiful!

  2. Thank you for making this website!It’s really lovely and great.

    1. Well hello Elena: Thank you for the nice compliment. It really made my day!

      Take Care,

  3. What a great website, just found it while hunting for the store hours of a local thrifit shop that I did not know the name of… I too love thrift shops, salavage yards, flea markets and garage sales, I rarely buy retail. I love the hunt and even more thrilling, love a good price. One of my favorite finds: a 1950 white Kitchen Aid mixer for $2 (and it works). And have you heard about the New Treasure Island Flea Market, small and a good mix of new and old. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

    1. Hi Judy! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words! Sounds like you scored on that mixer! I have one of those too in my kitchen but it was definitely more than $2, so good work! Thanks for the tip on the Treasure Island Flea. I’ll check my listings and be sure that one is on there.

      Happy Thrifting!


  4. You and I have a lot in common, Mimi. I was a geology major, so I too am predisposed to dig! Plus, I am also trying to make my way through all the thrift stores of the bay area! I especially enjoy reading your impressions of each one and comparing them to my own. Thanks for the great blog!

  5. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve truly loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  6. Wow, I just stumbled across this blog and it is so fascinating. It combines the things I love about thrifting. I was not an Geography major but I love to speculate on why things are there and where they came from. I love to people watch in the thrifts too! I will be following his blog.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I love to hear from people, and you’ve made my day! Hope to hear from you again. Take good care,

    1. Hi there: Thanks for stopping by! I believe I have listed some of your stores, but I’m sure that there are more to visit. I only list stores that I’ve actually visited already, so as soon as I get to more of your stores, I’ll be adding them to my directory. Thanks so much! Mimi

    1. Hey there Ben: You are very welcome. You can just reply here with any changes and I’ll update my site.

      Take Care,

  7. Hi, Mimi! You have a great site. I am a part time historian. I go to sales and stores looking for vintage history books, military memorabilia, and old records. Thank you for the info.

    1. Hey Erick~

      Thanks for you’re kind comments. It’s so nice to hear from a fellow thrifter.

      Happy Thrifting!

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