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Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to explore an authentic antique shop in Lancaster, Ohio. Growing up, my mom used to tell me that thrift stores, antique shops, and yard sales were treasure troves for discovering unique finds. However, I never truly understood the appeal of buying someone else’s “rejected” items… but after spending my Saturday afternoon in the depths of a two-story antique shop, I firmly support that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. The eclectic room of household items, nik naks, and accessories welcomed me with open arms; I quickly lost my preconceived notions and any sense of judgement. I was overwhelmed, fascinated, and excited. Just moments after beginning my full sweep of the store, I spotted an item for my mom (I can’t be explicit here because she will read this…). I was so surprised; I had been in the store for just five minutes and already came across a treasure for someone I love, a treasure that seemed to be perfect for her. It was almost magical. The store seemed to have everything, even things I didn’t know I needed. I continued my search, clutching my first treasure in my hand. 

After a few more minutes had passed, I realized that although this antique shop included hundreds upon hundreds of meaningful finds, they also carried quite the collection of bizarre goodies… I stumbled across an array of miniature teacups with detailed animal designs on them, various kitchen tools I had never seen before, and countless glass/ceramic figurines. Some were old… some were new… these antiques’ origins dated back various years, time periods, and geographic locations. Everything carried a story. I felt comfortable and happy giving my money to the owners because I was paying for items that mean something to me, will mean something to my family, and meant something to the previous owner. It was such a new, positive experience for me. I understood the rewarding aspect of shopping in an antique store; I felt as if I was walking through a room of lives, experiences, meanings. I appreciated the idea so much… I was in awe over the amount and variety of objects that I had never seen before in my life. Overall, this antique shop experience opened my eyes to the world of recycling… recycling treasures, recycling experiences, and recycling meaning. 

Annabelle is a junior at Denison University, majoring in Educational Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She enjoys journaling, finding cute coffee shops, and crafting in her free time. On campus, she serves as the social media head for Denison's chapter of Her Campus, so check out our instagram @hcdenison!
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