Maria Sideris is the style siren behind the fantastic fashion blog Little Tree Vintage. A Garden State resident with an Empire State job, Maria’s all over the GoodwillNyNj empire – and after spending some time with her this past week, we can tell you, this woman is fashion thrift royalty. Know what else Maria is? Our newest GoodwillNyNj Style Icon!
We hope you enjoy reading Maria’s musings on the NYNJ thrift scene, fashion blogging and style sighting as much as we had hearing them. Enjoy!
How did you first get interested in thrifting? Were you raised to reimagine fashion as a youngin’ or did this passion come later in life?
Growing up I was always surrounded by my Mother’s beautiful vintage pieces. For as long as I can remember I always loved items and clothing that was pre loved. I found a lot of things in my Grandma’s house that I would use to dress up in, and I would use different vintage pieces to make jewelry at a very young age. I started thrifting in college because I wanted to save money, and loved the unique style I got from it. I didn’t want to wear the things everyone else had, and I was always trying to follow trends, but in my own way.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I would say my style is very indie inspired. I love anything flowy, anything that looks bohemian or from the 70’s. I really adore looking comfortable, but putting a spin on it and making it chic. I would say that my style is inspired by everything that goes on around me, vintage included..I love vintage inspired items and vintage items alike…
What role does your budget play in shaping your own personal style?
I think having a budget is always important because you don’t want to overspend when you don’t have the means. I am lucky enough to run a shop & have a 9-5 that helps me keep up with my shopping habits. I think that my budget is definitely helped by shopping secondhand, and thrifting items that would normally be a lot more money somewhere else.
What does “style” mean to you?
Style means having the confidence to show yourself to the world. It means putting something on, and owning it, loving yourself and your body. I think having a sense of style is one of the most important things someone can have, it’s the first thing people see and it’s probably one of the main things they will remember after meeting you. My style means expressing what’s on the inside, on the outside.
Where do you find your fashion inspiration today?
My fashion inspiration comes from pretty much everywhere. I find a lot of inspiration through different stores such as Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie, and ModCloth. I read a lot of blogs so sometimes it comes from browsing around and seeing other fashion bloggers style items that I would wear too..I also get extremely inspired by reading fashion magazine like Nylon, or Vogue. I am also very inspired by the city of New York. I love seeing different people wearing different things every day, and making statements.
I think the beauty of New York City is that anything goes. There is so much style flowing all around that it’s impossible NOT to be inspired. I really love seeing all of the different styles come out, especially depending on where in the city you happen to be. I think there is no definitive style when it comes to this area, I think anything goes, and that’s what is so amazing about it!
Do you think a New York & Northern New Jersey Goodwill would be any different than another city or state’s Goodwill? If so, how? If not, why not?
I think that Goodwills around here and Goodwills in other part of the United States will definitely carry different items, and different styles.
When you go thrift shopping, what do you always try to keep in mind – and keep an eye out for?
I always keep an eye out for items that I know are well sought out. I have a love for old jewelry, so I usually go to the jewelry first, and then browse the store after that…I never want to miss out on anything, and that’s usually my favorite! I also love collecting vintage handbags so I always keep an eye out for Samsonite carry on bags & tooled handbags!
Do you have a favorite Goodwill? Have you found any Goodwills to be especially stocked with prime finds?
My favorite goodwill is on Route 18 in New Jersey [the East Brunswick Goodwill]. It’s always my go-to place when I want to thrift shop, definitely has great deals, and great items! I have definitely always shopped at Goodwills and I know that I can always find quality items, plus they always have a great selection, and the people that work there are very sweet.
Clearly this girl knows her Goodwill! Don’t forget to check in next week for Part Two of our interview with the thriftastic Ms. Sideris. In the meantime, let us know if you, too, shop at Goodwill. Come tell us on Twitter and Facebook – we love hearing from you!