fred & betty’s – phase 1


fred & betty’s is done!  well, thats not totally true, but we’re open!  we have more plans for “phase 2”, but those are a ways off.

for those of you new here, our school took over a thrift store and completely renovated it, inside and out in 3 weeks.

and i ran the renovation.  it was crazy hard but also crazy fun!

the sign was painted by my friend christina and her sister!


we got 2 amazing signs c/0 kristi from barn owl primitives.  one is aqua and the other is this mustard-y color – so fun, right?!

kristi’s shop is filled with all sorts of amazingness (see here).  she has generously offered a 15% discount with code POPPY15!


this is the entryway view – wow, right?!


especially when it looked like this 2 weeks ago!


 all of the wood walls were made from pallets that we got for free, broke apart and stained ourselves.  when i say “we”, i mean our team of parent and friend volunteers.

the coat of yellow paint on the ceiling is a fun contrast to the distressed wood.  we used pinnacle painting for our ceilings and exterior and were very happy with them!


 our first week of taking over the store, while we were still open, we uncovered lots of amazing treasures that we saved for our re-opening.  it was incredible all the goodies we found that were literally buried!


 we originally weren’t planning to use these existing glass shelves, but once we moved them to a nicer background and repainted the bases, they suddenly became perfect!


 i think this is my favorite part of the store!  originally, this area was more like a dungeon to me, with the low ceiling and the center was filled with shelves to the ceiling, making the area feel claustrophobic.  but now its a cool library area!  my kids go straight in here every time we go to the store.  gracie sits in a chair and grabs a book to read off the shelf, silas goes to the games or puzzles, and lily wanders through the store searching for treasures (usually jewelry!).

new books are pouring in every day, which makes it even more fun for gracie to search for new ones.




 there’s a large storage room at the back of the store that we call “the shed”, that holds all the items waiting to go out on the floor, and i found 2 old doors back there.  we pulled them out, cleaned them up, and put them on these galvanized sawhorses to use as display tables!


 we also made a beautiful crate wall from crates we got for free from a kiwi farm.




 we covered a wall with galvanized corrugated metal that was salvaged from my parents’ house – free!


 the changing rooms are so cute now!  they are wrapped in pallet wood and the new curtains are from target.


 the clothing area is hugely improved also!  we eliminated (donated, sorted) much of the inventory and made room to shop.  the aisles are wider and the hangers have been changed out to match (as much as possible).  i think i may have touched every single piece of clothing in this store!  there are some real treasures in here, vintage and newer!


 the inventory changes daily, which makes me want to get in there all the time to rearrange things!  even though i was exhausted from all the work, i want to go in every day still!

fred & betty is located at 532 higher street in san luis obispo, ca and is open monday through saturday from 10 until 6.

follow fred & betty’s on Facebook and instagram!



  1. 1

    Impressive. I’d been thinking about making a wall in my house like that pallet wall. Did you have to treat the wood with anything? Or power wash it?


  2. 3

    The store looks amazing – congratulations! Wish I could come and shop!

  3. 4

    wow! super great job! It sure would be nice if all thrift stores looked as stylin’ as Fred & Betty’s!!
    I hope it will be a great blessing to all of you.

  4. 5

    WOW That is absolutely amazing! I want to shop there!! What a great job you and your team did!

  5. 6

    Seriously amazing! I’ve been to that thrift store probably 30 times. You guys made it look amazing! I’m super excited to pay it a visit the next time we come into town.

  6. 7

    I had the pleasure of visiting this past Saturday when we came down to see the Cal Poly football game! The store looks beautiful. Definitely the classiest thrift store I have ever been in. I scored some easy reader books for my classroom and a red, plaid thermos for my bestie back home. You did an amazing job! My little guy had to be torn away from that library area. He kicked off his shoes, laid on the rug and played with the blocks and puzzles the whole time! Fred and Betty’s will be on our must stop list whenever we visit SLO.

  7. 8

    It looks so amazing & I want to book a flight over & come shopping! The pallet walls look so good & what a transformation! Well done to you all! Andrea x

  8. 9

    Lindsey, you’ve done an amazing job! I remember wandering in there a couple of years back and thinking it was just too hard to find things…never went back. Wish I still lived there so I could see the transformation in person!

  9. 10

    Been reading your blog for a while, first time commenting, the project turned out so pretty! love the changes you made.

  10. 11

    Very impressive! Especially in such a short timeframe! You should be quite proud of your hard work and the outcome!

  11. 12

    Wow! I cannot imagine doing all that in 3 weeks. So much talent & dedication to the project! Do you happen to know what color the yellow ceiling is painted in?

  12. 13

    What a fun place to shop! I love it, especially the pallet wood and the Awesome sign :).

  13. 14

    The place looks great! I love to thrift shop and would definitely shop there if I were closer. I would be spending so much time in the books! The slide projector reminds me of when I was a little girl and we would look at slides using the projector, shining them on the wall. I love the “open” sign! Good luck with the shop!

  14. 15

    Is it crazy that I want that “Come in We’re Awesome” sign for my house!?

  15. 17

    I spy Lisa Leonard in one of your pics! Did she stop in? It looks amazing!

  16. 19

    I will be in SLO this weekend with my husband to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. I will have to come shop now! :) It looks great!

  17. 20

    OMGosh! You did an outstanding job. Love the colors and wood you used. So creative. I am sure the store will do great.

  18. 21

    Coolest thrift store ever! Good job!

  19. 22

    I am blown away by your talent and vision! What a transformation… I love it! ALL of it!!

  20. 23

    I have read your blog daily. Silently. But I must say I loved seeing that thrift store makeover! I live on the other side of the country but I may have to plan a vaca just to visit this store and many other eye candy places you have shared. Thanks so much for sharing your life and your family and your adorable shop on line!

  21. 24

    The pallet and tin walls were so clever and look so neat!!! What a fun thing to be able to do!!!

  22. 25

    What an amazing transformation!

    It is crazy what paint, organization, and good displaying will do for treasures.

  23. 26

    Hey! Your shop looks darling!! I love your happy little blog and the fun vision in which you see the world!! I was wondering how you are going to keep the store from becoming junked up again. Or do you just hope it will keep to your vision?

    • 27

      i think the big problem before was that there was just too much in the store before! we’re hoping to add to our inventory now, but still keep it open and not too cluttered, so you can still see all the great pieces.

  24. 28

    It looks fabulous. You all did an amazing job. I hope it works out so well for you and your community.

  25. 29

    In my opinion, the last thing SLO needs is another “boutique store”. You don’t want to walk into a thrift store and see it over half empty. With today’s economy looking for treasures in a well stocked store if half the fun. I can’t see this store making it in the future. We’ll see, once the newness wears off. That’s the true test.

    • 30

      thanks so much for your input! as a brand new store, they are working hard to fill it up and become well stocked, but that does take some time. thankfully, the sales numbers have exceeded what we had planned for, so it looks like the store should continue do well in the future as they keep improving and filling the store.

  26. 31

    Wow, what a fun new project! The store looks beautiful, and I’m looking forward to stopping in when I’m in town. :)

  27. 32

    Excellent way off explaining, and pleasant article to take daa on the topi of my presentation focus, which i am going to convey
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  28. 33

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