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Two Americas: Furnishing a home almost completely with thrift store finds

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Posted at 3:46 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 21:18:03-04

Part one of this story can be found here.

Myrtie Tirrell is proud of the purchases she’s made at Troost39, a thrift store in Kansas City, Missouri.

It's one of the only options for affordable clothing in the neighborhood.

“My dad used to tell me, ‘Girl, you got champagne taste but a beer pocket book,’” Tirrell said. “I’m able to find what I want, and at a reasonable price.”

Tirrell has not only used the store to find clothes, but also to furnish her apartment.

She'll be the first to tell people that her home is not much, but it's much better than the situation she once faced.

“About eight years ago, I got stupid, and I paid the price,” Tirrell said.

She described legal issues in her past, and said she had to “start over.”

“I'll be honest, I didn't have nothing when I started again. Lord knows I couldn't afford brand new stuff,” Tirrell said. "I walked up on the thrift store, and I said ‘OK, hot damn here we go.’ It was a goldmine to me."

The items she's found at Troost39 in the last four years are now found in every room of her home, even on the walls.

That's a big change from the way she used to look at stores like Troost39.

“A lot of people have the wrong idea of a thrift store I believe,” Tirrell said. “When I was younger, my mom would go to a thrift store, I was like, ‘This stuff's ugly, this stuff's beat up.’”

Not anymore. Her attitude now is much like the one inside Troost39 — stuff, and people, have value.

“They don't look at you like, ‘Oh, you're bad, we don't want you here,’” Tirrell said, describing the store. “Which is better? Getting something that you need at a thrift store, or do without? My thought is…go to the thrift store.”

And maybe in the process, redefine your sense of worth.

There are other things Tirrell said she appreciates about the store. She's told the owners something specific she'd been looking for, and they've called her when that item was donated. Her couch is just one example of when that's happened.