I was looking around my house the other day and identified a few key things that I really loved and had made it through the many purges of college-hood, to then conclude that many of these things were gifted to me by my Aunt Laura. Cute little felt penguins for our christmas tree, perfectly broken in pillowcases that she made me one summer. It became a topic of dinner conversation how interesting it is that things gifted to us by someone older and wiser can turn into our favorite things as we age ourselves. One gift Laura gave to me that went beyond just sticking around was my Glassybaby votive, the little lavender one she bought me when I was eighteen caught fire and turned into a full blown obsession.
What the heck is a Glassybaby?
This is a question I get all the time and to sum things up quickly they are handblown glass votives that are nearly perfect in color and proportion and they are very very coveted here in the Pacific Northwest. They are on the expensive end of the spectrum, so if someone gifts you one it probably means they like you or wanted to do something extra nice 😉 ha!
Each votive is made by hand and the company has a sustainably conscious background. The votives come in almost every color known and illuminate beautifully. You can read more about the Glassybaby story here. The whole thing is very “Seattle” and it’s easy to get hooked after just one.
After 3+ years of using my original lavender one, I made a pilgrimage to the Lake Oswego store to look for another. Still being in school, the fifty five dollar price tag felt extra real and I realized some shoes might be a better purchase. That was when the woman in the store told me about the seconds sale, an event where “almost perfect” votives are sold for twenty two dollars in a warehouse and a serious case of FOMO set in.
For the last four years my college town was an hour away from Portland and the sale started early in the morning. So if I had attempted to go, I would have had to get up way early (4am-ish) on the weekend to attend. When we moved back to Portland last month, I knew I had to go to one.
Last Saturday we got up at 6am, got some coffee, and headed to the seconds sale. Here is what I learned in the process and a few tips for you if you ever have the chance to attend one.
1. Get there at opening
The sale is at multiple locations in the upper left portion of the United States (see here for a list) and at some of the more popular ones like Seattle people will camp out overnight and line up super early. I went to the sale in Lake Oswego so getting there 30 minutes prior to opening worked just fine. Basically, just get there early enough to ensure that there will be a good selection of colors. For reference, here was our schedule for the day.
6:00- Wake up!
6:45- Dog walked, dressed, out the door.
7:30- Starbucks acquired
7:45- Arrive in Lake Oswego, wait in line
8:00- Doors open, shop the sale
9:00- Brunch downtown
2. Bring a flashlight, socks, but not a large purse
Bring a flashlight and socks in your purse. A flashlight, because each Glassybaby transforms when illuminated so a flashlight mimics this effect and socks to keep your votive safe during transport. They will give you boxes to pack with, so do not bring a large bag or backpack. It will only bump other people when the tables get busy.
Knocking other people around in a warehouse full of glass = party fowl.
3. You don’t need to buy a thousand, be selective
One thing I only half anticipated was the frantic-ness of the event, everyone is hardcore eyeballing the tables and moving as fast as humanely possible. It’s more than a little stressful and it’s easy to get sucked in. I think unless you are getting some as gifts, it is totally possible to spend your time at the sale looking for the perfect one or two to take home with you instead of filling up a whole box. If you are there picking up a bunch for friends and holiday gifts, then feel free to ignore this advice 🙂
4. Bring a friend
This one is simple, bring a friend and make a morning out of it. It is way way better to have someone to talk to in line and compare colors with. Cameron didn’t quite fully grasp the concept of people loosing their mind over colored glass cups but tagged along with me anyway and it made the wait far easier to tolerate plus I then had someone to hold my selections while I searched.
To summarize: Get up early, get caffeine, and have fun searching 😉 This sale is really fun if you get an opportunity to go.