This blog is a special feature by our very own marketing coordinator. We hope you enjoy her ThriftSmart love story!
While I have always enjoyed the quirky originality of thrift stores and loved a good thrift find, I never would have imagined a few years ago what an important role the thrift business – ThriftSmart in particular – would play in my life.
My name is Shannon and I am the marketing coordinator for ThriftSmart. I’m a native of Georgia but have been calling Nashville home for a little over two years now. After eight years in full-time missions around the world, I began a new journey of self-discovery that led me to Nashville and to cross paths with some wonderful people, including Dick Gygi, ThriftSmart’s co-founder and executive director.
Dick hired me in the fall of 2014. There may have been a little scheming on his part in regards to engineering my meeting his son Chris (he invited us both over for dinner), but as it stands now, a little scheming with the right intentions can go a long way – all the way to the wedding aisle, in fact! In a few short days, I’m #GoingGygi, and my boss will become my father-in-law!
There was an instant connection when Chris and I met, but it turns out it pre-dated our meeting. We went to college a few hours from each other – Chris was in Indiana and I was in Southwestern Ohio. Coincidentally, we found out years later that we had actually attended the same Over the Rhine concert (a favorite band of ours) on the same night. The twists and turns that life took to bring my soon-to-be-husband and me to this place at this time are truly incredible. But I guess we all think our stories are incredible, don’t we? Hopefully we do.
I’m a person of faith and through many journeys with Jesus and what might have seemed like roundabouts in our story, I know God’s timing is perfect. Even all the way back to that Over the Rhine concert in the late 1990’s, God was orchestrating our meeting and the divine confirmations that would lead to such a time as this.
Now to the wedding itself! A very practical bonus of working for ThriftSmart and planning my upcoming wedding has been the opportunity to mix thrifty finds into our special day. After all, what would a wedding between ThriftSmart’s co-founder’s son and ThriftSmart’s marketing coordinator be without a healthy dose of incredible deals and company love thrown in along the way?
I’ll admit, our entire wedding is not a completely thrifty affair, but we have sure secured a few good bargains along the way. Even our wedding venue, Graystone Quarry, was once a forgotten and abandoned rock quarry that has come back to life through dedication and belief in its potential. People saw what it could be, not what it had been. That’s thrifting in a nutshell, right?
Here is just a short list of the treasures we found for our wedding —
- My rehearsal dinner dress – I found a gorgeous beaded silk Haute Hippie dress at ThriftSmart for $20 that originally retailed for $795!
- Flower Girl dress – I scored a brand new classic silk Coren Moore flower girl dress for my niece for $20 at ThriftSmart. It retails for $155.
- Wedding furs – I bought two vintage fur stoles – one for myself that I had cut down and restyled, and another for my sister (Matron of Honor). I also got an adorable rabbit fur coat for my flower girl. They were priced $20-$30 each at ThriftSmart.
- And while it’s not exactly a thrifted find, I did take a thriftier approach when seeking out my beautiful wedding dress by buying an off-the-rack designer sample from LVD Bridal. (Not exactly cheap, but significantly less costly than it would have been otherwise!)
It goes to prove that if you take the time to search and dig deep, you can find some wonderful things just waiting to be discovered. Kind of my life story. And with so many reasons to thank ThriftSmart, we had to highlight it in a few ways on our wedding day:
- ThriftSmart gift cards are among the “Made in Nashville” wedding favors for this “Made in Nashville” couple.
- Our Getaway car, “Big Blue”, is a 1972 blue and white Suburban. Chris drove Big Blue in high school, but since ThriftSmart’s founding, it has been sporting ThriftSmart decals on the doors.
Now here I am, days away from Chris and I bringing our lives together as one. I can’t help but reflect on how grateful I am for all that ThriftSmart has brought to my life. It’s so much more than I could have ever imagined. And topping the list, of course, is my almost-husband. I can easily call Chris my best thrift score ever!
What about you? Do you have a great love story to share for Valentine’s day or some great thrifted wedding finds? Let us know in the comments below!