Getting Thrifty
By Kate Bast | Photographed by Hillary Schave

Who doesn’t love a great find? Especially one with the patina of age or that’s been carefully curated and repurposed. These local mavens of the second hand proffer the kind of unique and clever accessories and handmade goods that catch the eye and add a flourish to your home.

Reloved and reinvented, with purposeful character.

That’s what best describes the pieces in these curators’ boutiques. Sometimes that means goods have been reimagined for novel uses, other times it’s simply the thought that an item’s beauty can be appreciated by the eye of a new beholder.

“Everybody is so used to throwing things away and buying new. Repurposing is a way to make do,” says Abbey Barnes, owner of The Vintage Roost in Evansville, which showcases eclectic accessories and décor around repurposed furnishings. It’s thinking outside the box—and the big box store. “The thrill is in the hunt”—as much for Barnes as a curator and maker, as for the customer. “Anyone can go to a chain store and find exactly what their neighbor has. Vintage allows you find something new every time.”

It’s a nod toward fresh salvation. “When I see a piece that looks interesting, I sort through technique and materials in my mind: Would a new coat of paint, new fabric or decoupage save this from the landfill? Does this treasure have a second life in it? Does it just need a little TLC?” says Jessica Regele, owner of The Regal Find in Middleton, known for whimsical, quirky and beautifully handcrafted and vintage items, from themed home décor to jewelry and gifts.

And at the same time, going vintage is a nod to the past. Anastasia Korbitz, proprietor of Confectionique, the Middleton boutique loved for its authentic French market goods—everything from fabrics, enamelware and craft supplies to handmade items and ephemera. “A dear French friend and fellow curator calls what we do ‘history savers.’ I have always liked the sound of that.”

For each boutique’s fall workshop and special events schedule, visit: and and The Vintage Roost’s Facebook page. Read more on each curator at

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