Shop Stop – Double Take

After spending the morning at the International Folk Art Alliance we headed to downtown Santa Fe to check it out since it was our first visit to the city. Santa Fe is so welcoming, full of charm and brimming with boutiques and art galleries. It’s a shopper’s paradise for sure.

After we had strolled the upscale shops I thought I’d see if there were any thrift shops in the area and I found Double Take on Yelp.  We walked a few blocks from downtown and discovered this treasure of a consignment/resale shop.

The minute you walk in you realize you are not in a normal “thrift” shop.  A counter of eclectic jewelry greets you and is backed with an array of worldly handbags and clutches.  Stairs take you down into the area with women’s and men’s clothing, all very well organized, each rack set up by style, color and size.

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Super cool two piece suit, unfortunately not my size.

This shop reflects the artistic, global aesthetic of Santa Fe itself. It’s as if all the people who consign here are world travelers lightening their load for their next adventure.  I saw pieces from all corners of the globe from Egypt to Guatemala to India and beyond! The accessories are just as unique as the clothes and your wanderlusting heart would be hard pressed not to find something you love in here.

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I bought this tribal top on sale for $4.
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These are the accessories I picked up. The clutch is handmade in Vietnam (was on sale for $10), the mask brooch (on sale for $1) and the leopard wood bracelet (on sale for 50 cents).

I did two rounds around the main store (which also includes an extensive kid’s section) and then realized off the men’s section, the store continued into another room which was completely dedicated to Western wear (called At The Ranch).  A wall of cowboy boots, racks of jackets, vests and belts were everywhere you looked. It was like I fell into a fabulous Southwestern rabbit hole and I didn’t want to come out. There were so many amazing pieces to discover and try on.

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I tried on this shirt (part of a custom two piece suit)! So cool!
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I fell in love with this floral embroidered skirt from Mexico but I couldn’t bring it all home!
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I ended up buying this vest for $9.

This was my big splurge at $59!  I was mesmerized at all the detail, the beadwork and sequins! Bucking horses on the front, a thunderbird on the back, arms covered in sequined feathers and hanging beads!! UM, YES!!!  If you know me I am very frugal so this was a big purchase but I am going to rock this piece and it will always remind me of Santa Fe!

I visited the shop later in day and as I was gathering my purchases I realized there was another room (called Encore) I didn’t even get to visit that houses all their designer pieces and also an upstairs room (called Hacienda) with all the home décor and furniture!! I guess I have something to discover next time I visit because I will definitely be back!

You can find all the details on Double Take here.

Sheena’s Sidenotes:

~ Double Take has weekly colored tags that are on sale and are in multiple rooms of the store. Be sure to keep an eye out for them. There is also a sale section in the back of the store.

~ Give yourself time. This store is chock full of so much goodness.  Give yourself enough time to look through everything.  I did a couple rounds of just one room and found new items with each lap.

~ The staff is super helpful. Three different employees helped me access and try on merchandise. Just ask.

~ They have a frequent shopper card if you plan to visit often and you can earn credit towards a future purchase.

~ This shop is a block from the train depot so it’s totally worth a visit if you are staying in Albuquerque.  The train is $10 roundtrip ($9 if purchase ticket online) and in an hour and a half you can be shopping at Double Take!

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What I Bought in Panajachel

Panajachel is a small town, nestled on the banks of Lake Atitlan, just a few miles down a winding road from Sololá.  We stayed five nights at Hotel Atitlan which is a two minute tuk tuk ride from the heart of Panajachel.  Santander is the main street in Panajachel where you’ll find most of the shops and restaurants. Cars are not allowed (though bikes and tuk tuks are) which allows you to stroll the street freely.

The cobblestone street is brimming with shops of all kinds, selling clothing, paintings, shoes, jewelry and so much more. It’s a few blocks long and can be visited in a shorter amount of time, though we spent hours there over a couple days really enjoying the atmosphere and all the things to see.

You can take a break from your browsing and have a latte or a scoop of delicious coffee ice cream at one of the cafes or a full meal at the many restaurants that line the street. We spent our time not just buying but connecting with the artists and vendors, learning about the handmade items, about their families and Guatemala itself.   You can create the opportunity for learning and connection at any time, in any place if you allow yourself to be open to it. People want to share their stories. You just have to show you care enough to want to know them.

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I have been collecting masks from my travels over the last 15 years and I have come across these carved, bright colored animal masks a few times in different countries. Of course I was told they were made locally and I bought a few on my last trip to Isla Roatan.  Come to find out they are handmade in Guatemala!! I already had a small collection going so I added to it with the masks I purchased below.  They also had mini masks which I am going to use as ornaments on my travel themed Christmas tree.

I really love the bold colors and varied prints and patterns.  Each one is unique and a beautiful collection of them now hangs in my living room.

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Off of the main Santander street you will find all these little walkways, leading to more shops and courtyards with treasures to discover. Definitely take a look down these little off shoots as these vendors may be more willing to bargain as they aren’t on the main drag.  At the end of one of these little walkways is where I met Majuana and her sweet children.

We spent quite a bit of time with them, her eldest daughter translating for us, while she shared her shop’s blouses and belts with us. She taught me how Guatemalan women traditionally wrap their heads in the most beautiful way. We got so much joy out of connecting with them that we went back and visited them a few days later.

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These are a few of the stunning belts that I purchased from Majuana, that can also be used as head wraps.

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Along Santander you’ll also find many stands and booths selling traditionally beaded jewelry, from earrings to cuff bracelets to bold collar necklaces, the choices are endless.  Guatemalans truly have mastered the art of intricate design, bold colors and patterns and that beauty is reflected in all the items they create. My turquoise and copper necklace and earrings below are still one of my favorite purchases I made.

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Down another one of those side walkways was an open courtyard lined with shops on each side. This is where I found the most amazing Huipil (traditional woven Guatemalan blouses) shop brimming with every color and design you could imagine. Just when I thought I found the perfect one, I found another and another that took my breath away. Each region has a specific design and weaving technique that lets you know where it is from.

I spent a lot of time among all this beauty, not really wanting to decide on just one blouse.  Again, we had fun bargaining with the shop owner and came to a deal for the four blouses you see below. One recommendation I can give is to try them on for size. Many of them had small neck holes and my head didn’t fit through them.  A couple tops I bought were too small in the neck but I just let out the seam a bit and can now wear them.

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I also picked up a few woven leather belts and a super cool fanny pack (wait, do cool and fanny pack even go in the same sentence?) that I thought would be useful for future travels.

We visited Santander a few times in the five days we stayed on Lake Atitlan. Each time I discovered something new and it really is a pleasant stroll through the center of town.

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Sheena’s Side Notes:

~ Definitely pick up some roasted nuts from the gentleman selling them out of a wheel barrel. They were the best peanuts I’ve had and we snacked on them our entire trip. A decent sized bag was about $3.

~ Eat the freshly roasted corn from the grandma selling it on the sidewalk. I know, I was apprehensive to eat street food but covered in lime and salt it was so delicious and for less than $1 you can’t go wrong!! I’ve tried replicating it at home and it is not the same.

~ There are a lot of shops selling similar items, so bargain.  If you can’t make a deal, you’ll probably be able to down the street with someone else.

~ Beware of machine made embroidery. It is usually found on cheaper items, like bags.  The more you look around you’ll be able to spot it pretty easily. It does not have the fine workmanship of the handmade embroidery and the price tag will usually reflect that.

~ When you are buying, be aware that most items in Guatemala are made by hand, taking hours or months to create. This art is how people feed their families and make an honest living. Be fair in the price you negotiate so that everyone walks away winning.

~ If you follow Santander to end you will end up at a platform overlooking Lake Atitlan. It offers a stunning view of the vista and is a great spot to take photos. Below is one we took while there.

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Shop Stop -All Things and More

I have recently renewed my love of thrift shopping in the last few months and have been on the hunt to discover new spots to go treasure hunting.  I came across this shop, All Things and More, located in Sun Valley, CA, in my searching and decided to check it out a few weeks ago.

The reviews online prepared me somewhat for what to expect but it really is a place that you have to visit to fully appreciate.  As you enter the small doorway you are greeted by the owner, Zach and his mother. They invite you in as if you are visiting family, offering you water or coffee and graciously give you the layout.

The entrance building is filled with dishware, smalls and delicate items as well as the most amazing selection of vintage earrings and jewelry. The jewelry wall of your dreams times 10!! Bracelets are $1, earrings are 2 pairs for $5 and necklaces are $3 each or 2 for $5.

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Oh,  I had so much fun looking through the fun selection and ended up with the pairs below. I also found some amazing tassels to make into earrings which Zach gifted me with, but more about that later!

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I’m not going to lie, even for a seasoned shopper like myself, this shop was a bit overwhelming. I think it was just a matter of getting oriented and I did not look in every nook on this first visit.  All of the clothes are outside, covered with tarps and I will say I visited the day after it rained and some items were wet and the smell of cat’s visiting the property was pretty strong.  That was the only thing that made shopping here a challenge. Everything else was so amazing that I can look past it.

So, as I first walked outside the print of this jacket caught my eye and I went straight for it. Talk about the thrifting gods looking down on me!!! This dragon print, reversible jacket from Japan was in immaculate condition and was my size! Hey now!!! Oh, and Zach gave it to me for $3!!! Say what!!

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There are a bunch of different sections out back, each filled with racks, shelves and bins to search through.

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I admittedly did not search through every bin though a scarf peeking out of one of the bins caught me and I did end up finding all these cool vintage scarves in the one bin. They were each $1.

I am usually pretty systematic in my approach going through a thrift shop so I don’t miss anything but that wasn’t happening here.  I found myself looking in one corner for a bit, going somewhere else to look and then coming back. I visited this one section about three times and found something new with each pass by.  I found all these vintage pieces for $1 each!!!

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I also found an amazing floral print belted vintage coat for $5 that I didn’t get a photo of.  I did visit on a Thursday, as I had read that Tuesdays and Thursdays clothing was $1.  Most pieces were with a few exceptions, but an amazing deal was found on everything I bought.

We ended our visit going through all the jewelry and chopping it up with Zach, who is so cool! He is super funny, welcoming and made us feel like long lost friends!  I told him I was going to make a pair of earrings out of the cream colored tassels (which were marked $6 each) and he said “if they would make me happy, he would like to gift them to me!” So kind and fun!

The ridiculously good finds were wonderful but it is the owner and people who work at this shop that make it what it is. It’s a damn good time which makes you happy to spend your money there. I spent a total of $30 and left with a huge bag of amazing finds!

Details on the All Things and More can be found at here!

Sheena’s Side Notes:

~ They accept cash and cards and there are no dressing rooms!

~ Tuesday and Thursday most clothing is $1!

~ Make your rounds a few times as you may see something new the second or third time around.

~ Definitely take your time discovering this place and leave time to chat with everyone there. It was the best part of my visit!

~ There is another thrift shop next door and few more down the street so you can visit a few more spots while you are in the neighborhood.

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