The Gift Thrift Shop

The Gift Thrift Shop

This little closet-sized shop on Olive Way, one of Capitol Hill’s bigger arterials, was packed with odd wine glasses, porceline figures, and troll dolls. The little woman who staffed the store consistently kept the hours as they were posted on the door, Saturday from noon to 5pm. (I saw her filling in at Fillipi’s Used Books and Records – Seattle’s oldest bookstore & her landlord – next door, a couple of times.)

It has a small place in my personal mythology. The first time I walked by the store eight years ago, I noticed a little perfect round teapot placed in the center of one of the window shelves. It had a masking tape pricetag marked $2. I made a mental note of the store hours and continued with my day. Over the next several weeks I walked past during the store’s off-hours a dozen times, each time reminding myself to stop by on a Saturday. I never made a conscious effort, but the teapot was still there when I happened to wander by on a Saturday afternoon. I stepped inside and paid. I got the teapot home and pulled it out of my backpack – it hadn’t make the trip unscathed, a chip fell off as soon as I set it down. It’s still my teapot, I use it almost every day.


I still give the store a mental nod when I walk by. I peak inside and think, “That’s where I got my teapot.” Now it’s closed, the owner of the store died – not the little old lady who was there every Saturday, she was apparently an employee.

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