As long as I can remember, I always enjoyed shopping.

My love for shopping began when my mother would drag me downtown in the busy streets of Manhattan to browse various department stores. Unlike most kids, I didn’t complain because it felt like a trip to the candy store. I would feast my eyes on the window displays, the stylish mannequins, and  the fashionable employees.  I would watch my mother as she gracefully touched the garments and hold them up to her body.

I always knew when she really liked something because she would smile and dance. Well, if it made her that happy I knew she was going buy it.

My mother has three rules of thumb when it came to shopping:

  • “quality over quantity”
  • “always shop for deals and the saves”
  • “you have to love it”

Three rules that I have now adapted as my own.   

Although, I have a love for shopping, my pockets don’t have the same appetite. Truthfully, I strive to be a budget-friendly fashionista.

It was during my college years when I was introduced to shopping secondhand and finding goods (pun intended). My first trip at Goodwill gave me the same feeling I had as a little girl browsing the department stores with my mother but this time at a MAJOR discounted rate. JACKPOT!

Shopping at Goodwill can be overwhelming because you are literally digging to find treasure. However, finding gems is not a hard task. Even when I’m shopping at Goodwill I still use my three golden rules.

  1. Quality over quantity
  2. Always shop for deals (sometimes Goodwill prices can vary based on condition)
  3. Does this bring me love and joy?

Rule # 3 is my ultimate go-to for #Goodwillfinds, because you should look at an item and say, “I love this and this brings me joy.”

Seriously, prior to Marie Kondo craze, I knew shopping brought me love and joy.  That is it Ladies and Gent, we found the secret sauce!

Does the item you find while Goodwill shopping bring you love and joy?

When you pick up an item, does it bring you that feeling that if you put it down would you go home feeling like you left the cutest puppy at the pet store?

Does it spark an emotion that reminds you of someone you love? 

Does it feel like your favorite bowl of ice cream on good and bad day (I know a little dramatic but you get my point)?

While shopping at the Goodwill South Dakota Ave. location, I had my heart set on finding something that would spark love and joy. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for but I knew when I laid my eyes on it I would know. Trust me just like love, when you know you just know.

I came across this Ann Taylor red turtleneck cashmere sweater (pictured wearing) and I immediately felt love. This item reminded me of my mother – it was classic, timeless, and great quality. Oh, did I mention the original tags was still on it? #Winning. Immediately after, I found my faux leather motto jacket and I knew my look was complete.

These two items brought me love and joy because it felt like I meshed my mother and my style together.

Ladies and gent, the next time you set foot into Goodwill or any store, ask yourself one simple question:

Does this bring me love and joy?

Tatiana Inise is a DC-based fashion and lifestyle blogger, educator, creator, natural remedy & DIY Queen. On her website and social channels, she shares her love for empowering women through words and style.