Thrift Shop Fanatics

Lucia Garay, Page editor

Petaluma is a city steeped in small-town charm and quaint Northern California charisma. With a nationally-recognized restaurant scene and a recent awarding as one of the “10 coolest small towns in America” by Budget Travel, Petaluma has evolved into a bustling tourist destination with easy access to San Francisco and Wine Country. One of the unique appeals of Petaluma’s urban scene is the plethora of high-quality thrift shops, antique stores, and consignment boutiques. Students enjoy shopping at thrift shops in town for affordable and unique styles.

The city’s antique shops are mostly grouped in downtown Petaluma, along with other local businesses and small stores. While shopping for books, getting a haircut, or going out for food at one of the nearby restaurants, residents and tourists have numerous second-hand stores that they can go to for an assortment of low priced clothing. Some of these consignment stores carry clothing, but others also offer jewelry, furniture, decorative pieces, and shoes.

As downtown Petaluma is a popular spot for high school students, the antique stores are also popular among students and their families for finding deals on unique apparel and household items. Some of the most popular consignment stores include the Goodwill on Lakeville, the Thrifty Hippy on Petaluma Boulevard, Crossing the Jordan on North McDowell Boulevard, and Zoe’s Clothing Exchange on Kentucky Street.

Freshman Amaia Garay claims that her wardrobe is mostly from antique and consignment stores.

“I like it because you can better bargains on clothes. Why pay full price for clothes when you could pay half price?” said Garay.

Some thrift shops are much nicer than others, and well-versed thrifters know which boutiques are their favorite, the most reliable, the cheapest, and the most unique.

“[I go to] Zoey’s thrift shop in downtown Petaluma a lot, the Red Umbrella is really nice, and then Plato’s Closet in Santa Rosa is really cool too,” said Garay.

Despite the wide variety of thrift stores in Petaluma, Garay says she sometimes goes elsewhere to look for vintage clothing, driven out of the city by high prices and fewer options.

“[Thrift stores in Petaluma] don’t have a really big selection because of them are expensive, but for the most part, I think they’re pretty cool,” said Garay.

Senior Nazmieh Kawasmi agrees that options are sometimes limited in Petaluma, and she occasionally takes to the city for her thrift shopping.

“[I like to go to the] Goodwill in town…There are a couple of shops on Haight Street in San Francisco that I like,” said Kawasmi. “Crossing The Jordan is also really good, but that’s also another one that’s a little bit more expensive. It’s still not more than a department store.”

The risk taken with purchasing clothing from a second-hand store is offset for shoppers by the promise of finding an expensive piece of clothing at a sale price. Every avid thrift shoppers have a successful find.

“I got a North Face windbreaker one time that was really nice,” said Kawasmi.

“I found a really nice coat that was originally $100 and I got it for $20 which were really nice because it’s really warm and good quality,” said Garay.

Thrifting is a good option for students with low shopping budgets to find new and exciting styles for an affordable price.