My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips |

As many of you might know, I’m a big fan of thrifting. The love for digging for treasures started sometime around high school in Victorville, California where I grew up. This was before you could buy things online, so my options fashion-wise were limited to the mall in my hometown, or traveling to the Inland Empire or LA for more unique finds. Instead, my sisters and I would head over to our favorite thrift store (which has been closed now for about 5 years), which was huge and was the source of many amazing finds — items I still have and wear today.

In college, my thrifting adventures continued in Orange County, at shops like ARC or Lincoln Thrift (now closed). I found that the pricing at stores that were not Goodwill or Salvation Army tended to be a lot lower. Once I moved to San Francisco, my cravings for a day of thrifting didn’t quite go away, but my trips were less gratifying since shops in the Mission were highly picked over and items were pricier, and in my opinion not worth it.

Stephanie & Melissa of The Fashion Citizen

Stephanie & Melissa – The Fashion Citizen

Fast forward to about a month ago. I discovered The Fashion Citizen on YouTube and could not stop watching their thrift haul videos. Through these videos I learned about Savers, and the concept of a Goodwill Marketplace (also known as Goodwill As Is, or by-the-pound stores). I traveled to Berkeley with a friend to a newly opened Savers and found so many great pieces that I felt back in my element.

Last weekend I traveled down to Southern California for a wedding, and I had a day of free time, so I decided to check out the Goodwill Marketplace in Santa Ana (Orange County). Goodwill Marketplace is where Goodwill sends all of the pieces that did not sell in their stores. There are two sections: one side is for auctions (they auction furniture and large bins of items, kind of like Storage Wars), and the other side is where you can buy items for $2.50 a pound.

My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips |

It’s important to note that this is really a place for serious thrifters. I know a lot of people who don’t have the patience to go to a regular thrift store, to go through racks and racks of clothing to find gems. This place is probably a nightmare for those folks — but so much fun for me! When you walk in you’re greeted with about 20 bins filled with clothing. The clothing isn’t separated at all, in each bin you’ll find a melange of mens, womens and childrens clothing. My strategy was to start at the beginning and look at every piece on my left and then toss it to the right.

My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips |

I even stumbled upon some nice vintage pieces. Check out those tags!

Here are a few tips for shopping at a by-the-pound Goodwill:

1.) They pull out fresh bins every half hour or so.
If you’re a newbie (like I was), and it’s crowded, I would recommend NOT trying to look through new bins when they’re first brought to the floor. There were a lot of women who looked like they would shank a bitch for a lightly used J. Crew sweater. Take advantage of checking out all of the other bins during this time.

2.) Food and drink aren’t allowed inside.
But you’re going to get thirsty, especially if you’re there for two hours like I was. I’d suggest bringing a water bottle in your purse.

3.) There are no fitting rooms.
This is how I ended up buying some pieces that didn’t fit me. But really, everything is so cheap, that I wasn’t too bummed out about it.

4.) If you see a potentially cute item, just grab it and edit your basket down later.
If you see an item you like, chances are it won’t be there for very long. Throw it in your basket and think about it later. I initally grabbed around 30 items and then edited down to 16.

5.) Like going to any thrift store, thoroughly inspect your items.
Sometimes, thrift finds ARE too good to be true. Always be on the lookout for broken zippers, missing buttons, or tiny holes.

6.) Hand sanitizer is your friend.
I was really bummed that I’d switched purses before my trip and didn’t have my hand sanitizer with me. The clothing you’re going through is sometimes not clean. Also, many hands have been all up in the bins. ALSO, you might come across a questionable crusty substance. But don’t let this deter you! Just push it aside and keep digging. Like I said earlier, this kind of thrifting experience is not for everyone.

Here’s a quick Vine video I put together with my finds at the Goodwill Marketplace. A few of them I picked up for my more fashionable (and thinner) sisters, but I’m mostly stoked about the rad blue floral dress and sweater I found, and the burnt orange skirt. For the 16 items I found, I paid $18. That comes to about $1.10 a piece. Not bad! It would’ve been a lot less if I didn’t buy those jeans that ended up not fitting, but that’s ok.

Do you have any favorite thrift stores in Southern California or the Bay Area that I should check out? Let me know!


Monday Inspiration: Ulyana Sergeenko

by tatiana on April 28, 2014

Ulyana Sergeenko

I’d first learned about Ulyana Sergeenko via a few photos floating around Pinterest. The one that stood out the most to me was the photo above. It totally captured a modern interpretation of old world Russian style and beauty. I became obsessed and recently watched her Fall 2013 runway show (which is one of my favorites) and wanted to share it here — if only to make it easier for me to watch over and over again.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian model and street style maven cum couturier. She was a collector of couture, which she wore fabulously, and just has a great sense of style that street style photographers seemed to gravitate towards (which is one of my goals in life, I mean, because why not).

Ulyana Sergeenko Street Style

Inspiration for her designs range from Russian fairy tales, to Anna Karenina to the American Civil War, which are evident in these looks below.

Ulyana Sergeenko



Her most recent collection is less whimsical but still incredibly elegant and reminiscent of 1940s glam (view her S/S 2014 collection here). I’m excited to see what’s in store for her future collections.

Ulyana Sergeenko


One of my goals for 2013 (which I will post more about soon!) is to watch at least one movie that was made before 1980 every week. I’m pleasantly surprised to have discovered that watching one a week has lead to, well, watching more than one movie a week. I recently cancelled my Netflix subscription so I could instead either borrow movies or rediscover ones I already own, and most importantly, to support my local independent video store Video Wave, which I have already visited more times this month than all of last year. I love that place!

Today I wanted to shed a little blog light on kind of a kooky film that I actually watched when I was at home for the holidays via Roku (I think it was streaming for free on Amazon with my sister’s Amazon Prime membership) — The Long, Long Trailer (1953). My mom loves everything Lucille Ball, so she talked me into watching this silly comedy about Tacy and Nicky (ahem, Lucy and Ricky, essentially), who decide that instead of buying a traditional home it would be more cost effective to purchase an oh-so-chic trailer. Hilarity ensues.

My takeaway from this film: 1.) I forgot how much I love Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s dynamic. They have undeniable comedic chemistry and the movie is really funny. 2.) I WANT ALL OF TACY’S OUTFITS! Credit goes to costume designer Helen Rose who was also responsible for costuming memorable films such as On the Town (1949), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), and Silk Stockings (1957) (amongst many, many more) and won two Oscars for her costume work.

I threw this last photo in for fun. Isn’t Lucille Ball just an absolute beauty?

Photo Sources: | | Google Images


Do It Yourself: Ombré Hair (Aka Hair Science)

by tatiana on October 2, 2012

Last week, in both an attempt to save a few bills and make my hair color a little easier to maintain, I decided to ask my friend to help me “ombré” my hair (if that’s even a verb!).

$40 and a blog tutorial later, we were able to get the look I wanted! My friend did a really great job. Here’s the tutorial we used: I slightly modified it because I a.) have a LOT of hair, and b.) my hair is a lot lighter than the girl’s in the tutorial.


Before and after

We started by dying my hair back to my natural color – I used Clairol’s Dark Rich Neutral Blonde (I bought 2 bottles & a bottle of 10 Volume Creme Developer). We waited a few days to give my hair a break, and then dove in with the blue bleach + 30 Volume Creme Developer. I wish I’d purchased 3 packs of bleach, but I only bought two. In the end it worked out because the blonde is a little streaked, and blended a little better. I was trying to avoid a harsh line of blonde. We bleached my hair twice. I think next time I’d like the bleach to go up a little higher. My friend was adamant about going higher but I was too scared! I should have just trusted her.

Anyway, I would recommend doing this on your own at home. If you’re only doing the bleach (plus blue shampoo or additional blonde hair dye to remove brassiness) this will only cost you around $20 at Sally Beauty Supply… and about 2-3 hours of your time (and a friend’s time, if you’re like me and can’t dye your hair yourself because there’s too much of it). It’s well worth it considering I would have paid at LEAST $160 at my local salon for everything I needed done (a friend of mine paid around $200 for the same thing). Beauty/hair experiments can be painful (for your wallet) but it doesn’t have to be that way if you get a little creative (and ballsy)!


Monday Inspiration: Tavi Gevinson

by tatiana on July 30, 2012

Have you heard of Tavi Gevinson? I heard about this fashion-blogging wunderkind a few years ago, but never took the time to check out her blog (or new online magazine!) until today. She started a fashion blog at the ripe age of 11 and has done great great things to make the internet a cooler place for girls, in my opinion.

Photo credit:

Anyway, on this Monday, the beginning of the work week, here’s a pretty video featuring the fierce Tavi.

For a glimpse of Tavi eloquently expressing her views on women and girls in the media and just “figuring things out,” check out this TED Talk.


Monday Inspiration: We the People

by tatiana on June 27, 2011

All photos from: We the People

I don’t know about you, but here in San Francisco it’s getting a little warmer, pale girls like me are getting a little more color, and lots and lots of festivals are coming up which can only mean one thing – it’s time to revamp my dreary winter wardrobe. [click to continue…]


Babushka Designs Spring Photo Shoot

by tatiana on June 2, 2011

A super fun outtake photo from last month’s shoot! I ended up using this for a fun hang tag.

I know, I know… this photo shoot happened well over a month ago, but who’s keeping track? The great Evan Hayden shot the photos and I couldn’t be happier with them. A big thank you to Evan and my lovely models! I just wanted to share a few of my favorite shots.

As you may have noticed, there are two items in the above photo that are not yet in my shop! They’ll be up soon, for sure. And lastly, I had to include the following photo in this recap, because as I mentioned in my last post this shoot was a great learning experience… to NOT wear work out clothing and no makeup on the day of a photo shoot, because then fun group photos are inevitably taken and I look like a sloppy Sally.

But whatever. Until the next photo shoot! Also, I recently surpassed 100 fans on Facebook! In celebration of this milestone (I’m almost to 150!) I’m offering up the coupon code BABSLOVESU in my Etsy Shop for 15% off of your order. Thanks for all of the Facebook love! And the support in general. :)


As many of you know by now (since I won’t stop talking about it) Babushka Designs will be a part of Unique LA next month! Click here for more details, and to RSVP.

Aside from crocheting and knitting like crazy to get ready for the show, I decided to re-shoot everything to make the shop and my marketing materials a little nicer (the camera on my iPhone is no longer cutting it!). My friend Evan shot the photos at my apartment this past weekend – it was SO MUCH FUN! (Click here to check out his work) I should have them sometime within the next week, but for now here are some behind the scenes shots I took.

As you can see above (photo by Jane), I was still in my workout clothes (I went to pilates that morning). Important lesson learned – always look photo-ready, but that’s ok. I’m keeping it real. I love how Marissa (the model) is looking at me like I’m crazy in this photo. And that’s Evan doing his thang on the right.

Every good photo shoot needs fun music to pump everyone up. About 10 minutes after taking this photo, I came to realize that the music I thought was fun, wasn’t what everyone else considered fun. We soon switched over to Party Favorites, and later, hip hop.

Last but not least, everyone knows models love popcorn chicken, fried cheese, and mini pizzas. So of course we had that handy.

That’s a wrap! Will be sharing the photos as soon as I get them. Yay!


Regional Style: Locals vs. Tourists

by tatiana on September 3, 2010

A coworker of mine was telling me a story about his weekend. He was out in San Francisco riding one of our iconic cable cars with a friend of his who was visiting. My coworker pointed out to his friend that he could tell the difference between local San Franciscans and those who were visiting by their attire and accessories. One woman overheard him and said, “You’re right! How did you know I was a tourist?” He did the diplomatic thing and said that he “just knew.”

(Photo Credit: Street Pepper) [click to continue…]


Edited by Debutante Clothing

I’m always complaining about going out to fashion events by myself – I just don’t have many friends that are into fashion. While some people think fashion is frivolous and contributes nothing to the world, others are curating museum exhibits featuring 20th century clothing. This week’s links made me think about the love/hate camps in fashion. Starting with Grit and Glamour’s post on bloggers getting backlash from fashion insiders, Houndstooth + Tortoiseshell’s refreshingly funny admission of Tavi envy, or Fab Lab’s hate of people who hate. But there is some love in sight – British Style Bloggers reminds us to look in the mirror and love ourselves. Enjoy!

Links à la Mode: February 4th