On a road off Interstate 85 near the big peach butt, there is a place known around these parts as “The Jesus Store.”
Did I really just say peach butt and Jesus in the same sentence? Twice?
I’ve only lived in South Carolina for ten years, and about two and a half or three years in, someone offered to take me to The Jesus Store. I chuckled and said, “WHAT? What IS this place? ‘The Jesus Store’?” She said, “Shoes. Shoes for under $20.” Say no more!
This is actually a new location, they have been here for maybe five years now. But their location before that had pretty much the same signage. Isn’t it the most humble looking building you’ve ever seen?
You can see it as you drive down I85, but an unknowing traveler wouldn’t think or want to stop here, unless you knew that inside lived bags, shoes and clothes from labels like Nine West, Michael Kors, Guess, Steve Madden, Bandolino, Coach, Dolce Vita, American Eagle, Donna Karan, Franco Sarto, Charles David and Aldo to name A FEW. I’m not kidding. Now don’t get me wrong. This place is 80% misses, sometimes 90, but when you find the jewel – angels sing.
How The Jesus Store obtains its inventory is beyond me. They often have the same shoes in different sizes but they’re obviously not new. Sometimes the shoes are in not-so-good condition, sometimes they look like they’ve only been worn once.
I used to live 15 minutes away so I had the liberty to stop in every two weeks or so. Sometimes I hit the jackpot with about 5 – 6 pairs that I had to eeny-meeny-miny-moe my way through and sometimes I’d get nothing. But that’s the way it goes when you thrift shop. That’s why thrift shopping is not for the faint of heart.I don’t get to stop in here much because I’m now about 45 minutes away, but I had to run to the outlets for an exchange so I stopped in for about 20 minutes. They were having an additional 15% off ladies’ shoes sale while I was there too. When I give pricing below, it’s the price that was written on the shoe.
Now, you ready?
Nine West platform heels in a size 5. YES. There is a size 5 section. It’s a small section compared to the others, it’s ONLY an eight foot section (my guesstimate) versus, say, a 50 foot aisle (guesstimate again, but I feel pretty confident that it might be an underestimation) for sizes 6 – 10. Tens may not get that much space either. The size seven is one aisle. But size seven also has the lowest ratio of hot shoes to inventory. Sizes 5 and 6 always have the best ratio and so do 8 1/2′s on up. Or maybe that’s just my biased perception. I don’t know. I also love the flat sandals, I believe these were Nine West too. The platforms were $15.99 and the sandals were too.
Nine West again. These metallic gladiators were a size 6. $19.99. If only they had seven. These babies would have gone home with me.
Nine West nude pumps. I found these in a 7 1/2. There were two pairs in a 7 1/2. One was marked $15.99 and one was $19.99. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the one for $15.99 had some stitches that were loose on the shoe. When thrift shopping, always, ALWAYS inspect your items thoroughly. (Even if not thrift shopping.) These were ok, i wasn’t too crazy about the shade of nude so it didn’t pain me not to find my size.
See the loose stitching?
*Sidenote: in this photo, I’m about halfway down the aisle. RIGHT?
I found these BEAUTIFUL Aldo gladiators in my size. My husband was with me and he said these looked like hooker shoes. To which I replied, “Thank you. That’s why I love them.” Price: $13.99. With an additional 15% off they were $11.89.
But alas, I found out why they were marked down so low. Hubs tried to convince me that I could patch them up or sew the strap back. Guess he liked the hooker look on me. But I told him that was too much work and trouble. Plus, you can’t tell in the picture, but they were dingy from being tossed around among dirty shoes. Thinking about it now, I wonder if I could have had a cobbler fix the strap for me? Oh well. Honestly, I’ve bought so many pairs of shoes lately that I felt guilty for buying another pair. Even if they were less than $12. Plus, I really need a pair of black and a pair of nude pumps. What I NEED versus what I WANT. The battle continues.
Here’s the designer shoe section. These shoes typically start at $79.99 and up, but I don’t see many that are priced over $89.99. Hubs started rushing me to get out so we could make it to the outlet before it closed so I didn’t have time to get some individual shots. I rarely see my size in this section and if I do, the shoes aren’t my taste. Sizes eight on up would love this section.
Handbags from labels like Michale Kors, Coach, Nine West, Aldo. Prices range anywhere from about $15 to $120 – depending on the label.
A Calvin Klein cocktail dress. Price: $24.99. It was beautiful, but a size 4, so too big for me. I don’t know why Blogger wants to rotate this photo when I upload, so here you go. Just cock your head to the right. Thank you.
Also for sale at The Jesus Store, racks upon racks of clothing for men, women and children. 1/3 of the shoe inventory is also for men, but I didn’t get any pictures of that section this time around. Housewares like small appliances, bedding, decor, lamps, dishes and utencils to name just a few things. Hats, sunglasses, jewerly, Coach wallets kept under lock and key. It’s a pretty decent sized store.
I didn’t buy anything for me on this trip as my strategy was really to spend some money at the outlet and although I’d love another pair of lovelies to add to my collection, I resisted the one pair that gave me the most temptation. The broken strap helped. I did, however, pick up a new pair of Skechers light up Twinkle Toes for my Shoe Lover In Training for $24.99. These retail for about $40 to $50. They are BLINDING and I’m sure need a warning that they might cause seizures, but she loves them and has asked for months, so for $24.99, I couldn’t pass them up.
If you’re ever in the upstate of South Carolina near the notorious Peach Butt, do ask about The Jesus Store or Google “Bargain Shoes, Gaffney, SC”. Charlotte visitors: it’s only about a 45 minute drive down I85. When you ask a local, it is IMPERATIVEthat you ask for The Jesus Store. Trust me on this. No one around here knows it as Bargain Shoes, I mean, even I had to look at the picture to recall the actual name of this store. If you ask Google, don’t ask for The Jesus Store. This is one thing Google can’t find. ; )
What about you? I’d love to know about more hole in the wall, urban legend places that don’t advertise and are only known by the local fashionistas in your area. When it comes to shopping, I have no prejudices when it comes to places, labels or the lack thereof. I will consider anyplace or anything because you NEVER, EVER know what treasure you’re going to find.