Sometimes you are just looking for that perfect piece to finish a room and can’t seem to find it at the big chains. Sometimes the hidden gems have to be sought out by digging through junk at yard sales or searching your grandmother’s basement. The process can leave a shopper weary. The beauty of furniture consignment is that someone with a keen eye is sorting through the junk for you, and what you are left with is a shop filled with only the best items. At Second Helpings in Bristol you will see just that in their selection of furniture as well as household goods, antiques, architectural pieces, depression glass, chandeliers, records, books and much more. With an ever-rotating stock, there is plenty to see and purchase every time you visit.
Owner Mary Tabor Tormey has been in business for nine years after losing her accounting job. Tired of the office grind, she found something much more satisfying in consignments. She describes her shop as a “fun experience with great music and helpful and pleasant people.” She says that the overall experience can sometimes take you back in time – you see an item that you maybe hadn’t seen since you were in your grandmother’s kitchen as a child.
To consign at Second Helpings, anyone can call the morning of and come in Wednesday through Saturday from 10-11:45am and 2-4:45pm. Each consigner can bring up to 25 small items or a photo prior to bringing in larger pieces. After turning in your no-longer-loved wares, shop around for something new. If furniture and home accessories are not your thing, you can also visit their newly-opened clothing consignment store, Thirds Resale Clothing, located next door. In one fell swoop, you can fill your living room and your closet.
Some of Tormey’s current favorite pieces include a large tile fire pit, a mounted deer head, an old brass ship compass and even a church pew. “You never know what or who will come into the store. I am always learning something new. Sometimes an item will come in and we will put question marks as to what it is. Soon enough someone will know,” Tormey says with a laugh.
When it comes to hunting for that perfect treasure, some say the fun is all in the mystery and the find. But for Tormey, meeting all the people is what’s fun. It’s always refreshing to talk to someone who has not only found a job she loves but also a way to give back in some small way, even if that is just helping you find the perfect vintage lamp.