Thursday, August 7, 2008
Out of the Closet Thrift Store
How's this for a groovy neon sign? Proudly self-described as “the world’s most fabulous thrift store,” Out of the Closet is one of Southern California’s treasures. Since 1990, what started as a single store (and a great idea) has grown into a chain with outlets all over Southern California, Northern California and most recently Florida. The organization is owned and operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation -- the largest specialized provider of AIDS treatment and advocacy regardless of patient ability to pay. Sales from the stores raise funds for the medical and counseling services AHF provides. Four thrift store locations even offer confidential free HIV testing utilizing a state of the art rapid response test with results in 20 minutes, and counseling available in a private area of the store. Since the height of the AIDS crisis, Out of the Closet has been an excellent source of HIV support and information. The South Pasadena store is located on Fair Oaks, across from Vons.
Way back in the early 90s I found all kinds of fantastic clothes at the store in West Hollywood. (I still love my 1950s black satin full-length gloves and matching clutch.) I discovered a 1930s pink art deco lusterware teapot, sugar bowl and creamer there… for $18! You just never know what you'll find at one of these stores. Each one still manages to deliver amazing finds when – after decades of Boho chic and the resulting raid on all things vintage -- most other thrift stores are well picked over. Shop there. Donate there. I think the world needs more of this kind of big-hearted and innovative thinking.