Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sweet finds in Montgomery, Part II: Thrifting April 11, 2013

LONG BEFORE REPURPOSING, upcycling and recycling became fashionable, I realized the value in shopping second-hand.

Sweet Repeats, a thrift shop in downtown Montgomery, Minnesota.

Sweet Repeats, a thrift shop in downtown Montgomery, Minnesota.

Thus you can imagine my excitement when I discovered not one, but two, thrift stores in downtown Montgomery during a recent visit.

In this second installment focusing on the businesses my husband and I perused in this small south-central Minnesota community on a recent Saturday, I highlight those two thrift stores.

A sampling of the merchandise inside Sweet Repeats.

A sampling of the merchandise inside Sweet Repeats.

First stop was Sweet Repeats, which offers a wide variety of merchandise ranging from furniture to glassware, old tools, books, clothing and everything in between. Sifting through all the merchandise takes considerable time; I’m certain I missed some gems. But, because the building wasn’t heated—or at least it felt that way to me—I shopped at a faster speed.

I kept circling back to this chair, one of four paired with a rectangular glass-top table. I love the bones, the artsy design of this chair as well as the fabric. But I walked away from it, but not before testing the chair, which was too hard for my comfort.

I kept circling back to this chair, one of four paired with a rectangular glass-top table. I love the bones, the artsy design of this chair as well as the fabric. I walked away from it, but not before testing the chair, which was too hard for my comfort.

How well I remember S & H and Gold Bond stamps.

How well I remember S & H and Gold Bond stamps.

I stopped long enough, though, to reminisce when I saw an S & H Green Stamps book, recalling my mom saving, licking and pasting those stamps into books to redeem for merchandise. Funny I can’t remember a single item she got with stamps, only the stamps and the booklets.

Just like the camera my mom used when I was growing up.

Just like the camera my mom used when I was growing up.

I also admired a Brownie Hawkeye Camera while Randy eyed a set of poker chips like his grandparents pulled out on Saturdays.

Sweet pieces of Frankoma pottery.

Sweet pieces of Frankoma pottery.

For the collector, Sweet Repeats offers some sweet pieces of Frankoma pottery. I don’t know going prices on such collectibles. But the owners of this thrift store seem quite aware of value, meaning if you expect to score a steal simply because this is small-town Minnesota, you likely would be wrong.

Love the name, Bird's Nest, of this thrift store.

Love the name of this thrift store: Bird’s Nest.

Just up the street at The Bird’s Nest Thrift Store, a cozy non-profit shop that supports local projects, the merchandise offerings are mostly clothing and basic household necessities. I scored a summery straw purse for $2, perhaps a gift to an aunt or maybe I’ll just keep it for myself.

A nice selection of purses at the Bird's Nest.

A nice selection of purses at the Bird’s Nest.

The "make-an-offer" wedding dress.

The “make-an-offer” wedding dress.

Randy and I also examined a wedding dress as our eldest is shopping for a gown. The volunteer male tending the store was totally clueless as to any details about the unmarked, unsized dress stained with wine on one sleeve. But he offered to call Myrna while I photographed the gown.

You simply have to appreciate such a nicety which reflects the overall friendliness that prevails in Montgomery. These people are just plain nice, friendly folks. Exactly what I’d expect in a small town.

CHECK BACK for the next installment featuring downtown Montgomery businesses my husband and I visited. To read previous posts, click here and then click here.

And if you missed my first piece on an old-fashioned barbershop in Montgomery, click here.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling