Tuesday, August 31, 2010

North East Valley Experience

Yesterday, as I had to purchase new cat food from the Gardens Vet I decided to take advantage of being in the suburb of North East Valley and take a look around.

I used to live in the valley and work at the shopping centre. In fact I worked there for nearly 10 years so considered myself fairly familiar with the place. First on my list of places to visit was the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army shop is crammed in alongside the grocers and closes at 4pm. I got there at 4.15pm so I kicked myself mentally and wandered up the road to Inside Out. Inside Out has been advertised in the NEV features pages of both the local community papers and I admit I was quite looking forward to actually going there.

The shop has a large heavy sliding door and as I used a fair bit of muscle to push it open the first thing I saw inside the shop was a large washing basket full of carefully folded clothes. Above the basket was a neatly written sign "50 bux box". When I had recovered from expending all my energy to open the door, and then close it, I found myself cringing at what might appear to some to be "cute" spelling. I am not a fan of "cute" spelling.

Readers who know me well (but have not yet become a devout follower of this blog but may well do so after reading this epic posting) will know that I like bargains, I like discounted or on sale items and generally I spend $20 or less a week on clothes. The "50" should have been an adequate warning to me that things in Inside Out were not suited to the Mad Hatter or Penny-Rose or any other thrift loving op shoppers. Steeling myself, I proceeded to move around the shop in a circular fashion clockwise (even exploring the mens section at the rear) until I returned to the offending sign and box, and then, carefully re-viewed the knitwear and dresses before leaving. A Misery polka dot red blouse in vintage style was $30 or thereabouts and most things were in excellent condition. Actually a large number of things were brand new. Nice. But lots of that knitted drapey style in black or red, or dark colours.

As I was leaving, I had an "oh" moment. I slid the monstrous door closed a vintage-looking retro fabric caught my eye......so I opened the door again and re-entered. By now, I am looking back and wondering why I was ignoring all the warning signs, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fabric was retro inspired cotton knit and "fashioned" into a dress which was nothing more than a mass produced MIC (Made in China) item. Typing "fashioned" was quite painful just then.

So disillusioned with this experience I sort refuge in the bookshop for a few minutes before walking past Tagg ( I am not a size 16 but would have normally been only too happy to go in for a look around) and returning to my car. Inside Out was clean, nicely laid out but it was also expensive and not my taste and not really a second hand clothes shop. It reminded me of Collectibles in Moray Place only this time the assistant barely spoke rather than talked non-stop to other customers. All in all not a good experience but it did reinforce my love of the Sallies, the Yellow Shop, the Red Cross and Butterflies!

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