Friday, December 9, 2011

My favourite op shop in the whole world: St Vincent de Paul, George Street Dunedin

 Many of my purchases have been found in the St Vincent de Paul shop which is just around the corner from where I work.  I go there a couple of times a week.  Traditionally the two front windows have different displays - the one on the left is more contemporary, the one on the right more traditional.  During the Rugby World Cup there was a fabulous display of rugby jersey's (including past RWC jersey's) support scarves and books.  More recently there has been a wonderful selection of table linen, with vintage aprons, shoes and boots, ballet, and now Christmas,
 The traditional window using displays knick-knacks and china.  Many of my treasures have been spotted in this window, including a cute vintage figurine of a little girl in a ballet tutu with a violin which I gave to my at-the-time-ballet-loving-daughter.  In this photo I particlarly like the zebra salt and pepper set.  For those that collect vintage tea spoons there are always several, as well as a cute cat which reminds me of the Aristocrats and is on my desk...for some reason I have no photo so show so must take one.

One thing I love the most about this store, is that I can find some amazing treasures at very reasonable prices.  In the last twelve months I have been made acutely aware that not all the people in the store are buying clothes and looking for kitchen ware like I am, many of them are waiting for food parcels.  It saddens me that I live in times when so many need an extra hand in terms of food and clothing.  It maddens me that some who come in to the store, demand their food parcel as if it is a right, and seem to forget or no know their 'pleases' and 'thank you's.'  The ladies that run this store are absolutely delightful, but there are many who work upstairs, washing and ironing the clothes, sorting food and clothing.  They are the faces that I do not see.  They are people who are giving back to the community, predominantly in their older age.  They are volunteering their time to help those who need help.

When I am no longer in full time employment, maybe when I am nearing retirement age (if one still exists) I would love to volunteer at a place like the St Vincent de Paul, to talk to the people, to help people, to find party clothes for excited first year university students, to select some baby clothes for an expectant mother, perhaps to make up a food parcel for a family.  The idealist part of me hopes that maybe there won't be such a demand on a charity for providing support that a government should, or could be giving.
Do you have a favourite op shop??  I would love to hear about it!


  1. I have been to that very same op shop whilst in Dunedin a couple of years ago!! I find NZ op shops just fine and I am looking forward to prowling around in Nelson in January/Feb.

  2. Oh sweet I love that wee shop too!!!!
    We found the most lovely wee treasures there last time we were in Dunedin. Oh and you are right the ladies were gorgeous.
    Pet hate, bad manners. No no no excuses.

  3. Makes me miss dear Dunedin. That St Vinnies will be on my must do list for next year! Thanks for the tip!

  4. I volunteered at my local Sally Army for Duke of Ed. Most fun. Pairing shoes, tidying books and pricing jumpers gives an immense satisfaction.
    I think you would make a fab volunteer. :)

  5. That zebra salt and pepper set is awesome. My favourite op shop is the Sallies in Addington (really worth a visit if you're ever in ChCh). I always find something there and more often than not I find lots of somethings.

  6. I love that cruet, it matches my nails!
    I don't really have a favourite charity shop, it all depends on what I've found that week. I'm fickle! x

  7. I really liked this post. Would you consider doing more review type blogs of op shops?


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