For those of us into vintage shopping, it can become more of a way of life rather than just a hobby. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to invite our loved ones to join us, particularly when we’re physically going through thrift stores or exploring estate sales.
These ideas are flexible in a lot of ways, too, whether you’re trying to mourn someone, connect with a new generation, or just have a good time with a friend or partner.
Here are four ways to invite loves one to come vintage shopping with you and to connect with them in a new way.
Recreate a Memory
This can be done in a lot of different ways. Perhaps if you have a parent or a grandparent who is older, you might have them share a photo of a moment that was particularly meaningful to them. Then, you can search for items that recreate that memory as close as possible – or, if it’s difficult to find items that closely resemble the ones in the photograph, you can try to recreate the mood as close as possible.
This also has the possibility for some cross-generational bonding if you have children or your loved one has grandchildren who can help in the hunt.
If you’re inviting a partner or close friend, you can pick a special memory that the two of you share and also try to recreate it with items that you find vintage shopping.
Hold Competitions or Small Games
This can be especially helpful if you’re bringing someone who is younger or new to vintage shopping. You could see who finds the most interesting item, the oldest item, gets the best deal, or thinks up or creates the best craft from your selections of the day. (Of course, with some of those, you might need to specify some guidelines for deciding or winner or pick a judge.)
In particular, if the person you’re with connects through a certain craft medium, you can learn a new skill, such as sewing, together and put that to use when you go shopping together in the future.
Find History and Stories
It might help to try and bridge an interest of your loved one’s with vintage shopping if they don’t have a natural affinity for shopping. If they’re someone who’s really into history, that might mean looking up what they can find about any interesting items – such as what it was used for, what kind of material or textile it’s made from, the history of the brand, or, if you’re lucky, if it has any local significance. That might mean chatting with whoever’s selling the item and getting some backstory.
On the other hand, if you’re shopping with a creative person or you can’t find any history about what is you’re buying, it might also be fun to create some backstory. Who owned the item you’re holding? Who gave it to them? How long did they have it, and did anything scandalous happen while it was in their possession? How did it move out of their possession and wind up in the store you’re looking at it now?
Every good family tradition has some sort of ritual behind it. Maybe you and your sister go to the local estate sales every Saturday morning and then go over to your mom’s afterward to show you what you got. Maybe you find out what days the local shop gets their new stock in, and that’s when you and your daughter go and you follow it up with a nice meal at a place of her choosing.