(edited to add: I worked on this post before the horrific events of yesterday completely unfolded. My heart is breaking for the families involved in the senseless tragedy that took place yesterday in Texas. Please know you are constantly, fervently, and continuously in my thoughts and prayers.)

Did you hear the story about the Texas woman who discovered a priceless artifact at Goodwill?

She was shopping at the thrift store and spotted a marble bust that was tucked away under the table. It weighed about 50 pounds and was priced at $34.99. She brought it home and realized that it looked old.

Really old.

So she contacted Sotheby’s and asked for expert opinions.

And they confirmed she was right.

It was ancient.

They confirmed that the bust once belonged to King Ludwig I of Bavaria and had made its way across the ocean from Aschaffenburg, Germany to the Texas Goodwill shelf.

I always wanted to discover a find like that.

Something amazing with history and character and a story.

And yesterday?

I DID.

Because yesterday I found this.

It’s a set of woven fiberglass planters by the mid-century modern artist.

Russell Woodard.

He is a third-generation furniture designer who specializes in pieces that have a vintage feel with a modern aesthetic.

You can see some of his other pieces here.

They are so beautiful.

They look like wicker, but they are actually spun fiberglass.

Here’s a close-up of the detail on the planter.

His father, Lee Woodard, started the original company, Woodard and Sons which primarily fabricated metal furniture. He had three sons, Russell, Joseph, and Lyman II. The next generation took the company to the next level and brought national and international attention to the brand.

It was during the 20th century that Russell began designing spun glass pieces that feature this signature design along with meticulous detailing.

He created tables and chairs and loveseats and chaise lounges and pedestals.

And plant stands like this.

You can see a full range of his vintage pieces here that range from $300 to $4250.

And yesterday when I walked into our local vintage shop downtown?

I saw these.

Not just ONE planter.

But a set.

A beautiful, wonderful, incredible, amazing set of mid-century spun fiberglass planters.

Sets of Russell Woodard planters are extremely rare.

And in amazing news?

THEY WERE A BARGAIN.

So affordable.

The cost of a really good steak dinner.

FOR THE PAIR.

I brought the planters home and cleaned them off and filled them with Dipladenia and put them on the back porch.

The best part about planters like these, they are relatively indestructible. They were designed to stand the test of time.

And that’s what they’ll do.

Stand.

Right here on the back porch for the rest of time.

PS Have you ever discovered something like this at a thrift store?

I’d love to hear.

PPS If you have white planters that you can see through? Add a white plastic pot like these from Home Depot.

The planters blend in and create a seamless look for planters like these.

And here are the porch sources:

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Comments

  1. Image for Mary Smart Mary Smart

    I love your planters! I would have bought those too! My biggest find is not home related but one day I was in Goodwill and they rolled out a new cart and as I was digging I saw the Chanel logo on some shoes and I found a pair of Chanel loafers for $5. It thrilled me to pieces!

  2. Image for Dawn Dawn

    The story of the Texas woman and the antique bust even made it to the UK! My best find ever was a Fornasetti umbrella stand that was £5 🤩 Thanks for your inspirational posts x

    1. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

      My best find was four rocking chairs made by Cracker Barrel.They we’re putting them out as I walked in the door. I haven’t checked on the price recently but when I did, each was $100. They are perfect on my Lowcountry porch and the price was a bargain.

  3. Image for Karen Karen

    At a garage sale I bought a gucci bamboo banded watch for $5. Last week, Also a garage sale , an Eames coat rack, with the colorful wood ball?also $5. Saw it on etsy and ebay for up to 350. I have also purchased good signed art prints framed, never more than 10. A brand new toaster that is over 300 for 15$ all g sales

  4. Image for Scarlett Schilling Scarlett Schilling

    Great score KariAnne! They are just lovely & perfect for your house. I can’t even begin to list all the (true) treasures I’ve found over the years. Some I’ve kept & many (regrettably) I’ve sold to clients & customers. I think about some of those “lost” items often. 😩 Happy Sprucing! ~Scarlett

  5. Image for Julee Meslin Julee Meslin

    I found a George Nelson for Herman Miller credenza at a garage sale for $15. Still had the label and original hair pin legs. I was in shock once I got it home and saw the label. Score!

  6. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Congratulations! I love these but had never heard of Russell Woodard. I would have snapped them up just because I liked them, but it was wonderful you recognized their significance. I was just looking for plant stands yesterday since I have made my friend down the hall a number of greenery pots for her balcony, mine already being overwhelmed. These would have been ideal!

  7. Image for Susan Susan

    Gorgeous find! My question is did you know what they were when you found them or did you discover it when you got home? I bought a perfect pair of beautiful porcelain lamps for $15 in a flea market. Got home and discovered they were Frederick Cooper lamps worth hundreds!

  8. Image for Gail Frye Gail Frye

    What a great discovery, Karianne! They are beautiful and it's always nice to learn about the provenance of a unique piece. 31 years ago we bought 5 metal desks (used but in good condition) for our business here in West Michigan and paid less than $30/desk. Fast forward to the present and we are closing down our business and have discovered those same desks are Herman Miller icons and worth (used) $750. per desk!

  9. Image for Robin Robin

    I love these! And how exciting to find them—-the thrill of the hunt!😉. So great you snatched them up when you did. They look amazing on your porch. I have a vintage find that I will NEVER get rid of that was a steal as well. I found a antique French wicker grape hod/harvest hanging on a wall in a second hand shop for $30. I knew what is was as soon as I saw it! I can’t tell you how excited I was to take it home with me. I have it above my fireplace and I never tire of it. Cheers to treasure hunting and amazing deals!

  10. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Wow! I had never heard of Russell Woodard. I love learning things like this! Did you know it was a Russell Woodard or were you just drawn to it? Things like this often speak to me and I don't know until I research it at home. I don't know my best find but I love finding Waterford in thrift stores. I have also found Roseville Pottery and several valuable paintings. Two paintings were valued over $10,000. (I guess that has to be my best find.) I bought one painting for the frame... only to find a label inside telling the artist and value. Needless to say, I sealed it back and hung it in my house. You also scored, friend!

  11. Image for Vicki Wayne Vicki Wayne

    Congratulations are your find! When we treasure hunters find something special we want to shout it from the roof top. I love thrifting and have found many treasures over the years. At Salvation Army, I found a set of Longaberger dinnerware for $20. (Gosh, I can't remember exactly how many pieces (20+) there were but each luncheon plate was about $20 retail when the company -- Longaberger Baskets -- was in full operation.) I love looking for furniture when I thrift. I've found some amazing pieces. I found a Broyhill (Fontana style) 3-piece wall unit for $90. In 2012, I found 2 pieces to compliment my existing DIY wall unit I purchased at a bare wood store in the 90's -- paid $45 for each piece. I didn't even have to update -- the stain matched perfectly. I think my absolute favorite find is a Michael Kors purple rain coat for $12 I found at a Goodwill in the Chelsea District of NYC while vacationing. It had a huge stain on it. I figured I could get it out so I purchased it. If I couldn't, I'd be out $12. The stain came out. My MK purple rain coat has never let me down!

  12. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne! What a fabulous find! Those planters are beautiful and were just meant to be on your porch! They fit in so nicely with your home! I know you will enjoy these planters and each time you look at them, with their beautiful flowers, they will bring a smile! Enjoy your beautiful porch. We keep those dear souls who lost loved ones yesterday in our thoughts and prayers. My heart just aches for each and every one who lost a child and a teacher.

  13. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Yipppeee! Those are treasured finds to be sure. Well done, KA. And may God save us all from ourselves - this world has gone batcrap crazy. Absolutely crazy children killing children. I can't even find the right words. Praying hard. Stay safe, dear lady. Hugs.

  14. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Super find and just perfect on your porch and --Oh my how I would have liked those myself. I worked in research development for OC Fiberglas for almost 30 years (retired now). We worked with so many of the companies that were excited about the new material they had to work with. Many products we enjoy today are a result of their creativity think Fiberglas reinforced mat used in so many applications such as your planters, boats, furniture, tire cord, cars and many more. Very good eye you have! Enjoy!

  15. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    Well then I'm glad they made their way to your beautiful home where they will be appreciated and admired. You are now their caretaker!!

  16. Image for LeAnne LeAnne

    Wow! Those are gorgeous! I would have wanted them even if I didn't know the story, which I didn't, until now. How did you know all this? So glad they ended up in a home where they will be well-loved and appreciated. Yay for you!

  17. Image for Peggy Dreshman Peggy Dreshman

    I havent found anything to decorate with, well maybe my wrist! I found a Pandora bracelet with six genuine Pandora charms at the thrift store for $1.99! My friends couldn't believe it. All of a sudden those very friends became Goodwill shoppers.

  18. Image for Donna Bray Donna Bray

    Wow girl! I’m so jealous. Lol joking aside those are amazing! I haven’t had much luck at a treasure YET! Still hoping have a blessed day! ❤️

  19. Image for Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns

    The events in Texas are heartbreaking, my heart hurst for those sweet children and their teaches. They are amazing and they look fabulous on your porch! I once found the dining table and 6 chairs for $99.00 but I couldn't buy it because we were moving and had not more room on the truck. I am sure they went to a happy home. Thank you for sharing your find!

  20. Image for Crystal Crystal

    oh wow! What a find! How did you determine they were Russell Woodward? Does he sign his work? have a trademark? I love finding cool authentic things! I've found a couple of cool authentic things but nothing like this!

  21. Image for Mimi Matthews Mimi Matthews

    Oh my goodness how amazing! I lived in the home place of Woodard Furniture, Owosso, Michigan, for 28 years. All I knew about was the wrought iron furniture. This is amazing. I had no idea! Weren't you blessed? They are gorgeous!

  22. Image for Anna J Kennel Anna J Kennel

    Hello Karianne: Strangely, your planter looks very similar to a planter pair I picked up last summer at Habitat. How can I find out if mine are by Russell Woodard or knock-offs?? Mine are not as tall but are a "wicker-type" design which I thought was metal. Thank you.

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