Category: Bargains

Pennsylvania artist turns to Goodwill for inspiration and supplies.


By Goodwill Keystone Area blogger Tony D.

At Goodwill, our slogan is “More Than Just a Store.” Goodwill is many things to many people including affordable quality clothing, job training for community members with disabilities, local donation spot for clothing and household items to a non-profit making a positive difference in the local community.

Recently we were happy to learn that, for Pennsylvania artist Kathie Lister, Goodwill is a source of inspiration and her go-to spot for great deals on supplies for her creative art designs.

1. How did you get started in sculpture and why do you shop at Goodwill.DogSculpture
I was a business executive for 30 years but my undergraduate degree is in fine art. (I was a fashion design major and I too occasionally buy clothes at GW and redesign them). I always wanted to do “art” so when I retired I thought about what I really liked. My best friend dragged me to a GW in Virginia when I visited her and I was hooked. We spent hours looking and laughing. I found a ceramic poodle from the 50s that was so funny and kitschy that I bought it… 99 cents. I began seeing other ceramic dogs and an idea was hatched. My belief is that if you have enough of anything you can make something out of it. I went on to collect lots of dogs, old salt and pepper shakers, and generally anything that looked whimsical. Mind you, this is stuff I would never have looked at before. DUST collectors. I make elaborate centerpieces to hold flowers and candles but best of all are fun to look at. I shop at Goodwills because I buy this stuff in volume and frankly the prices and the surprises are terrific. It never ceases to amaze me what has been made into a ceramic object. One of my favorite ceramic planters is the back half of a horse. Too funny.

2. What Goodwill locations do you shop at and what items do you typically look for when considering a sculpture piece?
Too numerous to list. Mostly southern NJ and PA locations but I have been to stores in Virginia, Florida, Maine and Colorado where I have a second home. I look for pieces that are slightly older( doesn’t have to be vintage) and strike my fancy. It can be anything!!! Truly. My new great pleasure is going to the Goodwill outlet and buying big boxes of stuff for pennies.

3. What style of artwork do you prefer?
The pieces that I make have to have a utilitarian purpose. I cannot do Art for Art sake. That seems too pretentious for me. I admire those that can produce that way but it is not for me. I create mirrors, lamps, vases, sconces, candle holders etcetera as long as they are a bit whimsical. I have made tissue box holders completely covered in cut up ceramics just to work on technique. There is a fair amount of labor and technique involved in what do as well as toxic coatings. Plenty of power tools are used too.


4. Have you ever displayed your work in any exhibits?
I have exhibited at Brigitte Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Moore College of Art and a juried art show to benefit the William Penn Charter School. I have been at this for almost two years since I retired.


5. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don’t worry what other people think! Do what you love. I did not pursue this with the intention of making money. When I do sell something however it provides validation of what I am doing. Had I started when I was was just out of art school I would have been too concerned with others’ opinions. Sometimes when I start a piece I will ask my husband what he thinks. I can see the wheels turning as he tries to come up with a tactful answer since he is rather conventional when it comes to “art” and heaven knows, with the work that I’d do there is a fine line between “wow that’s cool” and “what was she thinking?”

Special thanks to artist Kathie Lister for sharing her story. If you enjoy Goodwill re-design projects, be sure to check out the finalists for our Goodwill Runway Show Re-Design Contest finalists and vote for your favorite by clicking LIKE on your favorite in our Facebook photo album – CLICK HERE.

Kids Crafts: Goodwill neck ties make great snake puppets!


By Goodwill Keystone Area blogger Tony D.

Goodwill is a great place to shop when you need fun, affordable craft ideas for your children. We have seen many neat projects that transform Goodwill clothing purchases into new and improved outfits, however, with a little imagination the same clothing can be transformed into fun stuffed animals for your children.

Recently, we noticed a trend on the web: neck tie snake puppets! We enlisted a local thrift and craft enthusiast Danielle to find a tutorial and walk us through the steps to create a neck tie snake puppet using ties purchased from our Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Hat tip to Marie at Make and Takes for the original idea and tutorial:

So here we go:

Step 1: Purchase Tie from Goodwill


Step 2: Assemble supplies

  • 1 colorful men’s tie from your local Goodwill
    (find a store near you
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Pillow or similar stuffing
  • 2 googley eyes
  • Pencil or long stick to push stuffing down through the tie


Step 3: Using pencil, push stuffing into the gap at the bottom backside of the tie, down the length of the tie.


Step 4: Seal the gap at the bottom of the tie with hot glue to keep stuffing inside.


Step 5: Hot glue on googley eyes.

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Step 6: Hot glue on red tongue.


Step 7: Ta-da! Enjoy your new snake tie!


Spring Styling at Goodwill


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


3-25-24 Spring Awakening 1 With temperatures nearing 60 degrees for the first time in months, customers are turning to Goodwill in search of clothes and accessories to liven up their wardrobe for spring. Things like short-sleeve shirts in cool comfortable cotton, lightweight jackets or a pair of shoes or sandals for warm breezy days are popular purchases.

Shopper Barbara Kavelines of Tobyhana visited Goodwill to find an outfit to wear in her town parade.

“I love all the colors that the store has. Everything looks so nice,” said Barbara, community theatre actress and aspiring baker.

Spring is awakening in Pennsylvania and Goodwill Keystone Area stores are stocked and ready with racks of cothing and house wares in lively spring styles and colors.

3-25-24 Spring Awakening 2 Goodwill uses the revenue generated from the thrift stores to create jobs and job opportunities for folks with barriers and disabilities. Thanks to the generosity of local donors, communities and businesses, Goodwill Keystone Area provided life changing service to 3,265 people in Pennsylvania last year.

This spring, think Goodwill – where your donations and purchases make a local difference.

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Special thanks to Eliana Spaziani and Alex Rolon, sales associates who work at the Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Bethlehem, PA.

Red Carpet Runway – Goodwill style


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


Red Carpet Runway - Goodwill Style

You don’t have to be Meryl Streep or live in Hollywood to get a front-row seat at the show.

Goodwill’s best-dressed will be at The Body Zone in Wyomissing on Thursday, April 24, for a fashion experience.

Local designers, fashion consultants and hair and makeup professionals will be putting their best brush forward in showing off bold colors, solid styles and fearless fashion.

And all at thrifty prices that any budget-conscious fashionista can afford!

Get up close and personal and see local fashion and style at its best. You’ll be star-struck in your own backyard.


Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Body Zone
3103 Paper Mill Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Happy Hour • Silent Auction • Runway Show • Goodwill Boutique






Remember to consider Goodwill as your donation center of choice, where we create jobs for folks with barriers and disabilities.


Color your wedding with a personal touch


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


DSC_1000 - Version 2 It’s wedding-planning season and brides-to-be and grooms-to-be are in the whirlwind of ensuring every last detail is just right: clothing, venues, menus, formalities … and the rules – all the rules.

We all know the “rules” … white gown, formal tuxedo, bridesmaids who walk in sync wearing matching dresses, shiny shoes, stiff collars, bustles and trains.

These rules are customary to our American culture and serve an important role in the sacred bond of marriage – a sort of pilgrimage to “forever.”

But aren’t rules made to be broken? Or at least tweaked?

Let’s tweak a little.

Let’s change the rule that says weddings cost a lot of money. They don’t have to – especially the apparel. Before going anywhere else, stop at Goodwill. Check out the wide selection of suits, dresses, shoes, ties and accessories.

And as you stroll the aisles, unleash your imagination and let your personality be your guide.

Maybe you’ll even find your wedding dress. Last week, the Goodwill store in Bethlehem had a row of wedding dresses starting at just $15! That’s not just tweaking the rules; that’s blowing them up!

Shop Goodwill for your wedding needs. And in tweaking the “rules,” you’ll be helping to create jobs and opportunities for folks with barriers and disabilities. It will add an altruistic meaning to your wedding shopping experience.

Forever Goodwill.


  • Give a color swatch to each bridesmaid so she can choose her own dress.
  • Add a vibrant pop of nontraditional color with your accessories such as belt, tie, sash or ribbon.
  • Colorful sneakers, laces and heels are another place to show your individuality

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Photos from Goodwill Runway Show

Join us for the fashion event of the year. See how you can be stylish without maxing out your credit cards. Models will walk the runway wearing the latest trends found at Goodwill. This is Goodwill’s largest fundraiser in Berks County!


Thursday, April 24, 2014 doors open 4:30, show begins 6:30

Body Zone 3013 Paper Mill Road Wyomissing, PA 19610

Tickets $40.00 include happy hour, silent auction, runway show and Goodwill boutique

You, Valentine’s Day and a Little Red Dress


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


Little Red Dress_Page_1 This Valentine’s Day make a bold statement with the elegance of a little red dress.

Many women swear off red from their wardrobes saying, “I look horrible in red,” or “red’s not my color.”

But red can be worn by anyone. The key is finding the right red that works in harmony with your skin tone.

Does your skin have golden undertones? Then choose a red with golden undertones. Think tomatoes. Yes, tomatoes!

Tomato-red will work to accentuate golden skin tones and create a balance between you and the dress. A quick look at the tomatoes in your local grocery store will reveal the endless range of color depth available in the tomato-red family. All will work for those with golden undertones in their skin.

How about pink undertones? If you have pink/blue undertones in your skin, choose red with a more pink/blue color. Think strawberries!

Strawberries have a pink/blue hue and, like tomatoes, also come in an endless range of color depth. Choosing any shade of strawberry red will create harmony with your pink/blue undertones and help accentuate your natural features.

This Valentine’s Day give the little red dress its day to shine. And visit your local Goodwill store where you will find endless colors and shades of red (or pink ) to choose from. Once you find your true red dress, it won’t be the dress that shines….it will be you.

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Goodwill Runway Show
Join us for the fashion event of the year. See how you can be stylish without maxing out your credit cards. Models will walk the runway wearing the latest trends found at Goodwill. This is Goodwill’s largest fundraiser in Berks County!

Thursday, April 24, 2014 doors open 4:30, show begins 6:30

Body Zone
3013 Paper Mill Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Tickets $40.00 include happy hour, silent auction, runway show and Goodwill boutique

Weather or not, Allentown marathoner runs on…

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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.



Allentown native Darleen Rosenblatt Mostellar didn’t let frigid weather get in the way of her 2013 New Year’s Resolution!  In fact, she didn’t let wind, rain, snow or sleet get in her way either.

On December 31, 2013, Darleen ran her 2013th mile in her quest to run 2013 miles in the year 2013.

“And I ran one extra for good luck,” she said.

Considering Darleen is among the 50-something age group and a working mom of 2 teenage kids, running 2014 miles in one year became a daily priority and commitment.

“Lots of people ask me how I fit it all in,” she said. “It was persistence, dedication, and wearing lots and lots of layers.”

Darleen shops at Goodwill stores where she can purchase her layers at thrifty prices and keep within her family budget.

“I run outside in all kinds of weather. I never used a treadmill,” she said.

From fleeces, wools, cottons and blends, Darleen dresses with many layers in frigid temperatures including three on her legs and up to four on her upper body.  Then she uses a scarf around her face and mouth to help shield the cold air.

Darleen has been running for 35 years and has completed 28 marathons. Among which are Boston, Marine Corp in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and The Goofy Challenge in Orlando, FL. Her most recent run was the Christmas Classic in Bethlehem PA, where she and her son ran together.

A mentor to younger runners and inspiration to many, Darleen has made her 2014 resolution.

2014 miles… and maybe an extra one for good luck.

Don’t let dropping temperatures become an excuse to ignore your goals and resolutions. Layer up at Goodwill where you can find clothing for all types of weather at prices for all types of budgets.


All clothing pictured comes from the Goodwill store in Bethlehem, PA.
Cost of clothing: running pants $4.00, fleece pullover $4.00, turtleneck $3.50, vest $6.00, scarf $2.00, gloves $1.00, headband .49

Have fashion tips or blog ideas? Interested in doing a donation drive at your home community, business, church or school? Contact Annette Kaiser at

Thanks to Darleen Rosenblatt Mostellar for sharing her story and to store manager Phil Koch and assistant manager Sandra at the Goodwill Store in Bethlehem, PA for their time and assistance.

Goodwill Store Manager Lost 142 Pounds and Counting

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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.



Exactly one year ago Todd Bozes’ wife brought him a gift. It was a brand new scale – one that registers higher weights than the standard bathroom model. Without thinking too much, Todd stepped up.


“I’m never eating again,” he said.

It’s the start of a new year and this week hundreds of thousands of Americans are making commitments to lose weight. According to a University of Scranton study, weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution. But unfortunately, only 8% will achieve their desired goal.

Last year, Todd Bozes, a Goodwill store manager, was one of those people and made the resolution to lose weight. He is also a member of that 8% group.

To date, Todd has lost 142 lb’s. He has dropped from a 58” waist to a 44” waist and went down three shirt sizes. He even lost weight in his feet! Todd’s shoe size went from 12 ½ to 10 ½. His wedding band had to be adjusted. It went from fitting his ring finger to fitting his thumb.

Goodwill stores don’t resize jewelry, but Todd could find everything else he needed on the racks at Goodwill. “I bought new pants every four inches and donated clothes that I no longer could wear,” he said. Todd has met other people who do the same.


“I hope to get into a size ‘large’ shirt and 34” jeans when all is said and done,” he said.

The question he is asked the most is: “How did you do it?”

His reply, “No pills, no surgery, no restrictions. I count calories and use portion control.” He stopped drinking soda and instead drinks four bottles of water each day. He doesn’t snack at night, cutting off his food intake at 7pm. Instead of eating a heavy lunch, he walks two miles.

The simple gift of the scale was the encouragement Todd needed to protect the well-being of his family, his wife Beth, 4-year old son and brand new baby boy born January 3, 2014.

“You have to do whatever needs to be done to ensure that you are around to support and love those close to you for a long, long time. Losing this weight now is putting me in a better position to do just that,” explained Todd.


A vintage holiday…and a silent night

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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.



After a busy day at work, I stopped at the Goodwill Store on Lehigh Street in Allentown, PA.

I was on a mission — run in, grab something festive for the holidays – a candle, a figurine, garland. Something that would awaken the Christmas spirit in my sleepy house, and make it feel merry and bright.

As I hurried through the aisles, I was struck by the multitude of holiday decorations. There were figurines, Santas, reindeer, snowmen and angels. There were vintage Christmas dishes tablecloths, and mounds of ornaments – some with European flavor, some homemade and even some with NFL and MLB insignia (…no comment).

I thought about the families and traditions that surrounded them. I imagined their history and stories. I found myself smiling and reminiscing as my pace slowed down and my stride began to relax. You never know what you’ll find.  That evening I ended up finding a few decorations for my home. I found something more…my Christmas spirit!

Not only do I get to enjoy these holiday decorations, but my purchases support the Goodwill’s mission of helping people with disabilities and other barriers become hopeful through a variety of programs and services.


Wishing you a holiday filled with new memories.

Thanks to model Brianne Smiley and Rob Graver, manager of the Goodwill store on Lehigh Street in Allentown, PA.

Dad Jeans….nice men of the world deserve better

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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.



We all know the look. They’re not really skinny-cut, boot-cut or straight-cut. They’re in-between. They’re thick and made from heavy, well-washed denim, usually originating from a sky-blue color. They sit a little (embarrassingly) high on the waist, and gently taper down the leg ending precisely at the tip of the shoe lace. They’re always worn with an all-purpose shiny belt, and once-in a while you’ll find them with a set of keys hanging from one of the loops.

Dad Jeans.

The all-American, all-purpose, wear-anywhere, wash-and-go comfy pant found in the dresser drawers of our beloved men.

Make no mistake. I happen to love the concept of dad-jeans. They represent solid values and priorities–families, kids, budgets, hard work. They represent that friendly guy you see in the early morning filling his car with gas. The nice guy who is all showered, shaven, hair slicked, fresh smelling, ready for his day and ready to lend a hand while making pleasant “good morning” conversation. They represent the guy who has better things to do than be concerned about making a fashion statement.

But nice guys deserve nice looks—with some pizzazz. And a visit to the local Goodwill store is just the place to get it. At Goodwill, men can try out new colors, cuts and styles and pay just a fraction of the cost of major retail stores.

With endless selections of jeans, coats, shirts and blazers, Goodwill offers great selections at thrifty prices that any budget-conscience “dad-jean-kind-of-guy” can appreciate.


Thanks to Travis Smith who manages the Goodwill store and donation center in Lemoyne, PA for modeling. His clothes came from the Goodwill store located in Palmyra, PA