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Thrift Baby

For the past five months, Laura James, a senior studying communication with an emphasis in advertising, has built a vintage resale empire. She displayed just a portion of it at the Department of Communication Senior Showcase Nov. 18.

Visiting thrift stores three to five times a week, building her own professional photography lab out of poster-board, creating her own brand with a unique style, and shipping and packaging her items herself in recycled materials were all worth it.

“I really like taking people back,” James said. “If you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like work.”

She sells on multiple venues including Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark and Mercari. Her bestsellers are her Disney items. She carries everything from books to toys to glassware to collectibles.

“My favorite thing to collect and sell are the books,” James said. “I can recognize them from when my father used to read them to me as a child. They’re also cheap, anywhere from 25 to 75 cents, and are the cheapest items to ship because they’re classified as educational material.”

James will sometimes collect Disney book series to sell them in collections. She loves the artwork and old cartoons.

Laura Jame's vintage Disney books displayed at the Senior Showcase
Laura Jame's vintage Disney books displayed at the Senior Showcase Photo credit: Amanda Groberg

But James doesn’t sell just vintage Disney items. In fact, this resale business started out as just vintage baby clothes.

“I think they’re really cute,” James said. “And other people do, too.”

James also sells vintage Pyrex dishes. These dishes tend to be mainly casserole dishes released in the ’80s. They are brightly colored and her most expensive items, selling anywhere from $30 to $40 a dish.

“When they sell, they sell,” James said. “There are a lot of collectors for the vintage Pyrex dishes, so when I find one at a decent price, I usually take it home with me to clean up and sell.”

If you are interested in purchasing something vintage, whether it be Disney, baby clothes or even a Pyrex dish, visit her Facebook marketplace, Etsy, Poshmark or Mercari shops. And if you find something you like, you too can get a brown-paper packaged vintage item.

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