Jessica Carroll knows what she likes and she knows where to find it.
Her home in central Phoenix is a fusion of objects found at various thrift stores or acquired through other less conventional means. Hare Dryer by W.F. Martin, a surrealist folk piece hangs on her wall, a gift from her mom who won it in a school district art auction. But more than the individual pieces, it's the ensemble of crafts and art that make Jessica's home so interesting.
"I like cool, strange things" says Jessica. "Mixing old with new and lots of color."
In addition to teaching art at Desert Foothills Jr. High School, Jessica owns Blueberry Deluxe, a boutique in the Melrose District that sells vintage items, homegrown crafts and clothing. Everything decidedly very Etsy.
She says being creative on a budget is part of the fun, and as a regular thrifter she knows all the cheap hot spots in the area.
"I go to thrift stores three or four times a week," says Jessica. "I like to go out to Prescott or Flagstaff where they tend have more oddball things."
"I'm almost to the point where I know which stores are good for what," she adds.
"One [store] has the hipster jackets, the other has cowboy boots, et cetera."
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Her local favorite: the Salvation Army on Indian School and Seventh Avenue, (formerly Unique Thrift) where all clothing is $2.
The constant thrift store mining allows Jessica to keep her home continually fresh and evolving. " I think everyone should allow their home to grow," she says. "Buying second hand items allows you to feel good about the process."
When asked if she ever found things to sell in the store but loved too much to part with, she smiles. "Oh yeah, you'll never find a pair of size 10 shoes in the store."