Thrifter says the best she’s found is a Goyard box she bought for $90

Virginia Chamley with a frugal palette.
Virginia Chamley

  • Virginia Chamley is a writer and frugal woman who once found an authentic Goyard box in a convenience store.
  • I paid $90 for the piece, and later estimated it to be worth at least $20,000.
  • I’ve also found fine clothing, authentic art, and other highly valued pieces over the years.

Virginia Chamley may have been frugal her whole life, but nothing can prepare her for finding one of her dream items hidden away in a modest shed behind an antique store.

Speaking with Insider, the 38-year-old writer recalled a day seven years ago when she was shopping at estate sales in Orange Park, Florida. As she was stuck in traffic on her way home, she noticed a roadside sign advertising “old wicker” products such as furniture.

After some internal discussion, curiosity got the better of her.

“I’m not really superstitious, but sometimes I don’t want to push my luck,” she said. “I’ve found some really cool things in property sales, so I wasn’t planning on going anywhere else.” “But I had nowhere to go, so it was a division.”

Although she could find nothing inside the little shop, the owner urged her to check a shed at the back. There I noticed a piece of luggage that looked very much like a designer trunk.

“I gasped audibly,” Shamli said. “My grandmother was with me and said, ‘Shut up, why are you screaming?'” “I thought it must be real; it was so nice to find out. But I thought I’d buy it anyway because if it was a fake, it would be a really good fake.”

So I paid $90 to take the box home, and later reached out to a luggage expert who specializes in Louis Vuitton and Goyard pieces. After viewing the photos, she said, he confirmed to Shamli that she had found an authentic Goyard box, likely worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The Goyard Fund provided by Virginia Chamley.
Virginia Chamley

Çamli said she believed the store was selling the box on deposit, as the store owner told her a local woman had left it after finding the item in her mother’s attic.

“It has drawers inside and there are small compartments for jewelry,” Chamli said of the box, which she described as a “bucket-list” discovery. “It’s actually useful in addition to being pretty.”

Regarding the value of the order, Çamli noted that it is difficult to set an exact price for the fund. She added that some of the experts who evaluated them also ordered to buy them from her, so they could have been “low” in value. But as an expert in designer pieces, Chameli had an idea.

“My hunch is someone is going to pay at least $20,000 for it,” she said, noting that she has seen similar Goyard boxes selling for around that price. “But I never intend to sell it. I joke that I’ll be the old woman who lives in her trunk.”

Inside a Goyard box provided by Virginia Chamley.
Virginia Chamley

Çamli says she keeps the box in the corner of her bedroom on display with a few select items above it, like pictures of her late grandmother.

“She is the one who made me into saving, and she raised me from the age of two months as a single mother,” Shamli said. “It’s almost like a little shrine to her. She had it with me when I found it, and it has an M on it – I refer to her as Meemaw.”

Goyard box in Virginia Chamley’s home.
Virginia Chamley

Çamli says she likes to save in general, but finding tailor-made pieces is her specialty — a skill she’s honed over the decades. In addition to her trunk, Chamli found other designer luggage, artwork from the Smithsonian’s permanent collection, luxury clothing, and more.

She has also blended her passion with her career, writing a book on saving called The Big Energy of Saving.

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“I’ve been saving all over the country, especially since my book came out, and there are treasures to be found everywhere,” said Çamli.

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