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8 thrift store tips from a pro: ‘Thrifting is literally my livelihood.’

Catherine Muccigrosso, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Fashion Daily News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sarah Ramberg of Belmont, North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, makes her living from thrifting, or as she calls it “junkin’.”

Known as Sadie Seasongoods in her blog, Ramberg offers tips and tricks encouraging people to upcycle and shop at second-hand stores. Her motto is “living a firsthand life using secondhand things.”

“Thrifting is literally my livelihood,” she said.

A Chicago native, Ramberg moved from Florida to Greenville, South Carolina, 11 years ago when her career as a marine biologist led her to work for an environmental engineering company. “It was very technical and I needed a creative outlet,” she said. She started blogging about crafts she’d create from her finds at thrift stores.

When she was laid off five years ago, Ramberg turned her hobby into a career. She’s been featured on the television network HGTV and in magazines like Good Housekeeping and Country Living.Why thrift shop?

It’s an inexpensive way to scratch the shopping itch, Ramberg said. And, “your dollar is going to go further at a thrift store.”


For example, she and her husband picked up a vintage midcentury Broyhill cabinet in Hickory, North Carolina, for $200 that would normally sell for about $1,500 new.

Thrifting also is good for the eco-conscious. “To me, it’s a much smaller footprint for decorating my home. I just feel better than buying new everything.”

The Rambergs’ home is about 80% furnished from finds found in secondhand shops.

“We genuinely like the thrill of the hunt,” Ramber said. Each piece is a conversation starter and has its own story of how it was found, why it was chosen or how Ramberg upcycled it.


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