When I 17 I got my first “real” job working as a sales associate at Payless Shoes. Before I took the job I had always liked shoes, but they had never been something I thought much about. I applied at the store as it was close to my parent’s home and it looked like a nice place to work.
I loved absolutely everything about that job. My manager was like a second father to me, the staff was amazing, the hours were great, and I was given an amazing staff discount.
I didn’t use it at first… I had my staple pairs and that was that. And then, on evenings when the store was unusually quiet, my coworkers and I would go through the racks and try on the shoes.
…and then I began buying them.
By the time I left that job to go to university two years later, my shoe collection had grown to exceed 100 pairs. I got rid of a lot of them after I got married as a) we relied on public transit to get everywhere and many of my shoes just weren’t practical for walking & taking the bus; and b) Senior’s City just wasn’t the right city for my shoes. I had Toronto shoes… and I felt out of place wearing a lot of them in Senior’s city. (I know, it sounds ridiculous. ha)
I regret donating several pairs, but I know their probably in good homes now and it helps alleviate the pain of separation.
…and now, I’m doing my best to rebuild my collection.
I know that a lot of people are grossed out by the idea of second hand shoes. I actually started a discussion thread about thrift shopping on 20 Something Bloggers a while back, and shoes often came up in the responses. Many people said that they couldn’t ever see themselves buying thrifted shoes… and I get it, but it doesn’t bother me. I only buy shoes in great condition, and attack them with some Lysol wipes and warm cloth when I get home.
I actually think shoes are my favourite thing to thrift shop for, especially when I find gems like I did tonight: Fushia Pink Steve Madden pumps. (Be still my heart!)
When I looked at my closet this week, I realized just how many pairs of shoes I’ve bought since I started thrift shopping last summer:
…and this isn’t even all of them. Slowly but surely I’m rebuilding a fabulous shoe collection for a fraction of the price it could have cost me.
So, it doesn’t bother me… but how do you feel about thrifted shoes?