But that aside, what does a local Goodwill say about the people who live and work in a particular town? What does a thrift store say about how a town votes, what religious beliefs they hold, or how seriously they celebrate the hometown sports team? Photographer and crafty gal Jenna Isaacson Pfueller set out on a personal mission that was an extension of her own love for all things thrifty to discover just that.
In 2009, both Jenna and her husband lost their jobs and their home in Florida when the recession hit and the bottom of the housing market fell out. For a few years, she took odd jobs as a dog walker, a photographer for children’s birthday parties and a number of other jobs to help pay the bills. Having grown up bonding with her grandfather over weekly trips to the thrift store, Jenna had a well-developed affinity for them, and out of necessity, to temper her frustration with job hunting, she began photographing her trips to thrift stores. The project eventually grew into a full-fledged idea. Over the next three years, Jenna teamed up with Goodwill Industries as a sponsor and took her affable personality and camera on the road to over 120 thrift stores across 48 states to explore America’s thrift culture. She documented the experience in a series called “All Thrifty States.” In April 2013, she completed the lower 48 states, and is seeking a grant to fund her trips to Alaska and Hawaii.