So has the factory outlet store. Nowadays they have these factory outlet shopping centers that really aren't outlet stores. They are just brand names selling their wares and trying to get you to believe you're getting a wonderful bargain.
For me a factory outlet store was usually in a basement or an outbuilding next to the factory that makes the product they're selling. My best example is a fabric outlet store. My mom knew the best places to get fabric at discount, and I mean real discount, prices. Where we lived near Scranton, PA there was a business that had a building filled with bolts of fabric. Their flawed bolts and pieces of fabric went to an outbuilding where they sold them as seconds. You could go in the outlet store and see hundreds of blots of fabric lining the walls and in bug wooden bins. Oh my, I can remember walking up and down the aisles just breathing in the smell of all that lovely fabric. My mom would pick out some bolts and take them up to the cutting table...a really huge table in the middle of the store.
A gentleman would come up, usually the same one that had so nicely greeting us at the door, and take the bolts and one by one unroll them to see how damaged the fabric was. My mom would either decide that the flaw was workable or she would have him put the bolt back. My mom would usually get a "few yards" of each fabric.
To this day I can see the man grab hold of the end of the fabric and whip it straight out the the bolt would start rolling. He would unroll at least a yard or more then measure out the amount of yardage mom wanted. When he would get ready to cut it off the bolt he would look where to cut and then move his scissors up at least half a yard and then make his cut. The fabric would get folded and we would go on to the next bolt.
I swear that my mom always got two to three yards more then she ever asked for.
Nowadays you go into a JoAnn fabric store or another fabric store and they line up the fabric with their measure, straighten out the fabric and then carefully slide the fabric over the measure until they reach the desired yardage. Then they bend lower to the mark and take their scissors and cut exactly on the mark...never giving even 1/8 of an inch of leeway on either end of the fabric. Also if they get to the end of the bolt and there is even 1/16 of fabric left they ask if you want the extra and charge you for it. I mean just inches of fabric and they charge for it. To be honest when that happens to me I always say "No thank you". It usually startles the employee and they tell me that it will have to be sold as a remnant and I always respond with "If you don't want to bother dealing with a remnant just give me the extra few inches." Oh no they can't do that so they can take the time and go ahead and sell it as a remnant.
I do long for the days where the almighty dollar wasn't always the desired prize.
Anyhow, back to antiques. While on vacation we went to a few antique stores. Both my sister, Lindy, and I love antique shopping and that love has been passed on to Lindy's son, Hammie. He just loves antiques. I hoping this love will be passed onto my children but for now Hammie is the antique buff.
While in one antique store Martin and I came upon what looked like small antique tractors. They were so unique so I snapped a few pictures of them. While looking at them I noticed they were made out of old sewing machines.
Those of you interested in sewing, antiques of farming will find these quite fun to see.
Seeing the old sewing machines made me think about who owned them and what kind of garments they helped create. I know that sewing machines don't have a "life" but for someone they were probably something vital to their family and very necessary during frugal times. Then I think about how they went from an important part of a family to being turned into a decoration. I am glad that they didn't end up crushed to pieces in some dump and someone was able to create a piece of art out of them.
While looking in the same store I found a button pillow. I don't know the real name for these pillows but that's what our family called them. My mother made many of these and I recall with fondness the memory of her sitting on the couch sewing away with her needle and thread. At this store they were selling this one that my son, Martin, is holding for $25.00.