The Best Thrifting Story Ever: Condensed

I’m gonna try to keep this story short cause it’s Friday, but – for the awesomeness you are about to witness to make sense, let’s remember we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pendant to use in our guest bedroom makeover for several weeks.  Even though I’d been leaning towards creating a DIY light fixture for this room, we hadn’t entirely ruled out purchasing a (new or vintage) pendant light yet.

I knew that if we were to buy a pendant one of my dream light fixtures would be this capiz lotus chandelier. This image is the first I remember that really WOWed me with that pendant, but since then I’ve noticed its twins popping up in some really gorgeous rooms like The Rambling Renovators’ bedroom and Bryn’s entryway.

My blogging pal Liz is even contemplating this fixture for her dining room as we speak! Of course, with a challenge to ourselves not to spend more than $50 on our guest room (a budget we’ve already broken – oops), we knew the capiz lotus pendant probably wasn’t going to happen.

One day I was googling around for knockoffs of this lotus chandelier and, by a happy accident, came across this image of the most beautiful brassy goodness I’d ever seen!

That, my friends, is a Tommi Parzinger brass lotus lamp. Originals can go for up to $1200. I didn’t know that at the time – all I knew is that I wanted one.

Further googling and eBay searching yielded nothing I could get my hands on, just more and more tempting images of these lamps in the death-grips of their owners.  Since I never found one for sale, I never knew how much they could be worth.

Cut to a couple of weekends ago. Stephen and I went to Mountain Home to see my family, and somehow I convinced my dear hubby to make a stop at my favorite vintage shop in town – Flashbacks!  This is the kind of fun there is to be had outside the shop…

Meredith at Flashbacks

… and inside, it’s a retro-lover’s dream!  You’ve seen these snapshots before (when I was lamenting purchases I’d never made).  They’re both from Flashbacks.

Bar Cart, MH Thrifting

Pendant Light, MH Thrifting

The day we stopped in, though, nothing really caught my eye.  As we were passing by the counter on our way out the door, Tim – the owner – asked if we were looking for anything in particular.  The brass lotus was still fresh in my mind, so on a whim I asked if he had any “vintage lotus pendants.”

That’s all I said, “I’m kind of looking for a vintage lotus pendant” and I motioned my hands in a sort of hanging flower shape.

His reply? “Yeah, I’ve seen those.  I have one.

I almost died.

He said he’d have to dig it out of his warehouse and it needed some work.  I asked to make sure it was brass (since who knows WHAT he could have been picturing from my description), and he said it was!

To add to my excitement/agony, it was Memorial Day weekend, the shop was busy, and Tim wasn’t able to locate the lamp in his warehouse while we were still in town.  He said he’d keep an eye out for it, so I gave him my contact info in case he found it.

For days and days I daydreamed about what this light might look like.  Would it be in good shape?  Would it be what I was imagining?  Would it be hideous?  I looked at tons more images and decided, in a perfect world, this would be how I’d want the light to look.

Exactly one week later, I’d started wondering if he’d ever find “my” pendant.  I was still hopeful when I checked my email that afternoon, and lo and behold, I had an email with the subject line “Found It!” and this photo attached!

Lotus Lamp

Eureka!!  Not only was this pendant almost identical to my very favorite image, but wanna know the best part?  The price.  Before I’d even seen the lamp, we’d already agreed on a price of $30!  My wonderful mother ran by the shop the next day and picked it up for me (thanks so MUCH Mom!), and it’s been waiting for me in Mountain Home ever since.

I wanted to wait to tell y’all until I saw the lamp in person, and after meeting my mom and grandma for lunch today, I can confirm that it is exactly what I was looking for.  No photos of it at Heardmont yet, but hopefully soon!

So there’s my story of happy coincidences, patience, and my favorite vintage find to date. Do you have a favorite thrifty find of your own?

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

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