This post is the start of my new series of Blog Posts sharing some of my "Op Shop Adventures" around Sydney. People always ask me "Where do you find everything?" and the answer is "I go in Op Shops... a lot!" I can often visit 2-3 Charity Shops a week and it's part of our daily life - we visit a park, go to the shops, nip in an Op Shop...
The thing is with these secondhand stores is they turn over a lot of clothing and accessories - you can visit the same one regularly and see something new - or sometimes you just don't - it's something of a lottery!
These days Op Shops have to make a decent profit for themselves too - not all their staff are volunteers and they have overheads like any other business. And don't forget they're raising funds for very good causes. That means that sometimes it can be a mission to see if you can find 'good things' at affordable prices. It's easy to search the internet to discover what something is worth but it all depends what someone is willing to pay.
Sydney can be expensive for Op Shops - they really know when they're on to a good thing and its not uncommon for just average secondhand dresses to sell for $25+ which is a great price if you're buying for yourself and you love it but not so great if you want to turn a profit. Ideally I'd be looking to pay under $15 for a dress that I may sell full price for $45 - great profit you think? Well maybe... but when you factor in washing, mending, ironing, labelling and selling that garment at an event or online after seller fees have been deducted I'll usually average about $15 profit per item. So any place I can shop that has the cheaper prices is great for me!
I love a Church Op Shop and I'm lucky in my local suburb that every Friday (and the 1st Saturday in the month) Ashfield Baptist Church runs a Community Op Shop. Even though I shop here regularly and the store isn't open every day we've had some great finds here over the years!
Fridays 9am to 2pm
1st Saturday of the Month
Address: 19 Holden St, Ashfield NSW 2131
Just behind Ashfield Mall, about 10 minutes walk from Ashfield station.
Mens, womens, children's, homewares, books and much more. Everything is donated from local collection points and sifted through. Seasonally they will have markdown days and rotate stock for summer / winter as appropriate.
Everything is easy to find on racks with clear sections, sorted by type of garment and a 'larger sizes' rack in womenswear. Some cute corners with homewares displayed prettily and a glass counter display holding special treasures and jewellery. Boxes with interesting things to delve through so you can have a little 'rummage' especially in the kids and homewares section.
As this is a Community Op Shop, the church also holds a drop in coffee shop with barista made coffee where you can call in 'for a chat' and enjoy a separate cafe space with play area, baby change facilities and all access toilet. We are always made to feel so welcome, it's a great feeling in here - anyone with a toddler knows that it can be hard to 'hustle them through the day' and having a welcoming play space makes this an easy venue to visit.
Here's some of the special things I've found in Ashfield Baptist Church Op Shop over the years...
My favourite hand knitted mohair cardigan was my best buy of all time and I've been stocking up on vintage bedding and homewares for Mabel's 'big girl' bedroom - I'm in love with the mix and match vintage floral look and have been using this picture as inspiration:
Just around the corner is one of our favourite parks - Rose Street Park. It's a very simple park with just a set of swings and a grassy play area and a few shady trees and benches. Sometimes simplicity is the best thing and it's a great place to inspect all my latest treasure and have a picnic lunch!