How Shopping *Can* Make You Happy

Research nerds have reported that experiences have a greater impact on our happiness than material stuff does. I guess that would imply that shopping does not lead to happiness. But what about when shopping is an experience?

I often enjoy the experience of shopping just as much, if not more, than the objects I’m shopping for: Thinking of a friend while hunting just the right gift for them; browsing for lace-up sandals while acting out Gladiator scenes in the mirror at the shoe store; trying on little black dresses at Longchamp in Paris while the beautiful young man who works there zips up and adjusts the fit of each one. (At least I hope he works there.) (Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t care.)

And I love the experience of shopping at Old Made Good in Nashville.

You can see why I feel at home here, can't you?
You can see why I feel at home here, can’t you?

Old Made Good (OMG) has been written up in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Elle, Lucky, etc. as one of the hottest vintage / handcrafted shops in America. And by hottest, I mean weirdest. And by weirdest, I mean most awesome.

Where else can you get inspiration like this, I ask you?


Or these nice candles:


Or the perfect vintage Betty Draper outfit:


Or… this stuff:


Or retro furniture tagged “Found by: your mom” –


Or cards that express exactly what you’re feeling deep in your heart:


Speaking of cards, yes, OMG sells The Random Penguins. The birds look super spiffy with the gold glitter floor as a backdrop. But I swear I don’t love them just because they sell my characters.

OMG It's Penguins

Anyway. A friend and I recently went in there on a rainy afternoon and had a blast with shop owners Kate Mills and Ashley Sheehan (pictured above). First, we did some shopping. As I was browsing, Sheehan said, “Oh, did you see the necklace that has the pendant that looks like an owl but actually it’s a pocketknife?” And I said, “Oh, did you SEE INSIDE MY SOUL to know that I would like that??” Ultimately, I settled on some earrings.

My new earrings say, “I’m a delicate feminine fancygirl, but also, if you hurt me, there's at least a 50/50 chance that I’ll pop a cap in your ass.”
My new earrings say, “I’m a delicate feminine fancygirl, but also, if you hurt me, there’s at least a 50/50 chance that I’ll pop a cap in your ass.”

And I got another new pencil to match the one I got there last time.


Then, we cracked open beers and shot the breeze for a while, kicking back on one of the lovely vintage sofas they’d been working on. We chatted about small business ownership and book publishing and that sort of thing. Then somehow we got to talking about the fact that Melissa McCarthy is a comic genius (don’t all conversations eventually lead there?), which led Kate to get out her laptop and fire up this:

When we finished rolling on the floor about that, we remembered how much we loved McCarthy’s scenes in This Is 40, so we cued up this:

Then, of course, we held a brief roundtable discussion of Paul Rudd’s career highlights. That, somehow, led to this [NSFW]:

After that, we just ugly-laughed for about five minutes (that’s when you laugh so hard you’re donkey-snorting and hyperventilating and falling down and wiping mascara-tears off your cheeks).

At that point, my friend and I realized we’d been in the shop for over an hour, trying things on and hanging out and watching random videos with these people who might need to take care of some other business, and perhaps we should go. So we collected our purchases and said goodbye. On the way out, I thought, retail therapy is for real. Take a lesson, shopkeepers: Make a visit to your store an experience — maybe even make your visitors laugh — and you’ll make people happy.

* * *

PS: If you like ballsy, outspoken women [and if you don’t, what in the name of Zeus’s prostate are you doing here?], follow Oldmadegood Nashville on Facebook. Kate and Sheehan’s antics will have you in stitches.

PPS: Speaking of social media, while you’re at it, you might as well follow the Blink on Facebook, for little tidbits and commentary, and Twitter, too, for other randomness posted daily-ish. Or not. Up to you, really.


  1. I want those pencils! Just left a message to see if they’d ship. Might need a penguin card to send one as a bday gift to a friend. Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it! (Favorite scene in Wanderlust!)

  2. …sigh…there’s nothing I can say to anything in this post that won’t make me sound like an idiot fan girl…but I kept getting flail-ier with every clip, because I LOVE Melissa McCarthy even from back when she was Sookie on Gilmore Girls, and I have Wanderlust saved on my DVR from forever ago because sometimes I just have to watch that exact scene to stop me from punching the world in the throat, and then you like all this awesome stuff…and I feel a complete arse for this comment but I don’t even care because I just wanted to tell you that you’re awesome….derp

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