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Karen Olea’s thrift scores from Salvation Army and AMVETS

The San Diego native documents all of her shopping trips to local shops

This entire look was under $15; Karen completes the look with faux snakeskin pumps and a suede bag
This entire look was under $15; Karen completes the look with faux snakeskin pumps and a suede bag

I was headed to my car on the top level of a busy downtown parking structure when I caught a glimpse of Karen Olea mid-photoshoot. Karen wasn’t a stranger. I actually recognized her because I follow her personal blog on Instagram (@karenxolea) which is dedicated to sharing her thrifting tips. The San Diego native documents all of her shopping trips to local shops, including The Salvation Army and AMVETS Thrift Stores — so much so that these stores have actually featured her on local TV segments and online publications.

When I saw her, I knew I’d found a pot of gold. I asked her what her favorite thrift stores were, “I enjoy every thrift store in my neighborhood, but love every Salvation Army store in San Diego, Point Loma being my favorite location. The AMVETS Thrift Store has also been really good these past months.”

Her best thrifting tip: if you want to find the most ample choices and the best deals, go on a weekday. I asked what fueled her passion for thrifting. She explained, “I started thrift shopping at 15, not knowing that it would become a hobby and obsession back then. My mom would pick me up from school and mention that we’d be making a quick detour. Sometimes I’d wait in the car, other times I’d go inside with her. Over the years, I realized that this sets me apart from other fashion bloggers and decided to be more open about where I shop by giving tips and hosting thrift meet-ups.”

That is how Karen has built a steady online following that seeks her advice when it comes to finding perfect second-hand looks on a very friendly budget.

As for her denim ensemble, “I found this outfit at the Point Loma Salvation Army over the course of a year. I found the overalls (Forever 21, $6) one month, and the short sleeve turtleneck (BCBG, $3) a different month. Clutch bag (vintage, $4) was found at AMVETS Thrift Store last month. This outfit was under $15”.

She said on average, an entire thrifted look costs her about $15. Karen’s best thrift store find to date has been her favorite pair of kitten heel boots, which are a staple during fall. Three dollars.

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This entire look was under $15; Karen completes the look with faux snakeskin pumps and a suede bag
This entire look was under $15; Karen completes the look with faux snakeskin pumps and a suede bag

I was headed to my car on the top level of a busy downtown parking structure when I caught a glimpse of Karen Olea mid-photoshoot. Karen wasn’t a stranger. I actually recognized her because I follow her personal blog on Instagram (@karenxolea) which is dedicated to sharing her thrifting tips. The San Diego native documents all of her shopping trips to local shops, including The Salvation Army and AMVETS Thrift Stores — so much so that these stores have actually featured her on local TV segments and online publications.

When I saw her, I knew I’d found a pot of gold. I asked her what her favorite thrift stores were, “I enjoy every thrift store in my neighborhood, but love every Salvation Army store in San Diego, Point Loma being my favorite location. The AMVETS Thrift Store has also been really good these past months.”

Her best thrifting tip: if you want to find the most ample choices and the best deals, go on a weekday. I asked what fueled her passion for thrifting. She explained, “I started thrift shopping at 15, not knowing that it would become a hobby and obsession back then. My mom would pick me up from school and mention that we’d be making a quick detour. Sometimes I’d wait in the car, other times I’d go inside with her. Over the years, I realized that this sets me apart from other fashion bloggers and decided to be more open about where I shop by giving tips and hosting thrift meet-ups.”

That is how Karen has built a steady online following that seeks her advice when it comes to finding perfect second-hand looks on a very friendly budget.

As for her denim ensemble, “I found this outfit at the Point Loma Salvation Army over the course of a year. I found the overalls (Forever 21, $6) one month, and the short sleeve turtleneck (BCBG, $3) a different month. Clutch bag (vintage, $4) was found at AMVETS Thrift Store last month. This outfit was under $15”.

She said on average, an entire thrifted look costs her about $15. Karen’s best thrift store find to date has been her favorite pair of kitten heel boots, which are a staple during fall. Three dollars.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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