Many of you may, or may not know that for the last year and a half year I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with St Vincent De Paul Society as their Stylist. As organically as this role came around, I also believe it was serendipitous, because for as long as I can remember (from about the age of 15) I have been an avid shopper at Vinnies. I grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Sydney and I have so many fond memories of shopping/trawling/pawing through their shops (mainly Cronulla and Sutherland) for something unique or just something I thought was great and knew I would wear.
I have also always loved the “thrill of the chase” that comes from op- shopping, partly because I find shopping therapeutic, and partly because I love to uncover a vintage gem that more than likely had a fabulous story behind it. I can remember so clearly booking my first trip to New York to spend a month with a friend over Christmas (Hello, sub temperatures) and wanting a beautiful, yet supremely warm jacket to take with me. Off I headed to Sutherland Vinnies and found a cream, vintage wool swing coat that fit me perfectly and was about $30. That jacket lasted long after my trip was over, and so did the memory of it...
Cut to many years later, and here I am, as part of the state team in a role that involves a littttle bit more than getting around finding all the good vintage - having said that, I am hosting an in-store event this week that pretty much encapsulates all of the above and more -please come along if you are in Sydney and LOVE Vintage/Designer clothes!.
Another large part of my role is to Style and Creatively Direct all of the Fashion Campaigns you see online to really showcase how easy it is to create a wearable and fashionable wardrobe by shopping at Vinnies -check out and follow @vinniesnsw for all the goodness. I also have the absolute honor to host the Vinnies Styling Sessions – which are in-store events (parades, food, goodie bags, lots of fashion talk and lots of fun) all over NSW. These community events mean I get to meet so many wonderful, loyal, enthusiastic Vinnies customers plus all of new customers too. Vinnies NSW hosted NOSW (National Op Shop Week) last year and I had the pleasure of styling Rae Johnston who was the Ambassador for the event in in a Head to Toe Vinnies campaign.
I also worked on the huge project of bringing to life a new look store concept in the form of the flagship shop at Brookvale on the Northern Beaches. This was such an amazing project to be a apart of from start to finish, as it involved me doing everything from presenting concept ideas, sourcing found fittings, designing custom fittings, writing a VM guide then facilitating it to the staff, styling the shop and offering on going support/training to the staff . This particular project was a great learning curve for many reasons, but I have to say, on that opening day the whole team were beyond please with the results we produced!
Working in such a creative capacity with a not-for-profit means I get to share and execute new ideas with everyone from the CEO to the volunteers in the shops all over NSW (never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would spend time in Lightning Ridge or Bourke) which makes it very interesting, and ultimately very rewarding as the social and community aspects of Vinnies is always apart of what I do.
Now I’d love to hear from you...are you an op-shopper? And if yes, what has been your best find to date? Share below!