Too many thrift stores these days sell merchandise that I would be embarrassed to give away to charity or put out at the curb – dirty stained clothing, broken appliances, chipped/cracked pottery – and often at ridiculously inflated prices. But every so often I am very pleasantly surprised by a hidden gem of a resale/thrift store. Such is the case with Community Threads, a delightfully refreshing store in Buffalo Grove. I say delightful because you won’t find grimy, threadbare, worn-out goods here. Quite the opposite – the selection here is very tasteful and the displays show an enthusiastic commitment to making recycled merchandise enticing to the consumer. A few weeks ago I picked up two pairs of gently used Italian leather loafers for myself at a very reasonable price – I guess I can forgive that there was a wad of gum on the bottom of one sole.
Most items here are reasonably priced, with the exception of the furniture and better jewelry sections which have a few pieces priced unrealistically high. The antique furniture and cased collectibles tend to be the priciest, but are very classy and for the most part in impeccable condition. An antique dresser priced at $875 is really out-of-place at a resale store and would even be considered overpriced at an antique store or show. The slightly bruised antique furniture priced in the $150-$275 range is still quite high for a resale store, but may be within the budget of the upscale shopper. Some of these pieces need a little bit of loving care such as minor retouching and a coat of fresh Watco Oil.
On my most recent visit I was disappointed in the shoe selection – the majority were outdated and a bit worn out, but every so often there is a treasure to be found like the Tod’s loafers picked up on my previous visit. And some of the ladies designer shoes priced at $10 are still a bargain when you consider that they are gently used and would fetch $200-$400 in new condition at a fine retail establishment.
The volunteers who work here are very nice – not like the snarky clerks I blogged about recently at other suburban thrift stores. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I give Community Threads a 9. Expect to pay a little more, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the inviting atmosphere and unique treasures you might find.