Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love My Job With A Passion

That's my favourite quote from Kerry at MS Australia

MS Australia Malvern Store - Malvern 207 Glenferrie Road

I'm a big fan of social media and blame it for eating away at the day sometimes (and loads of the night!!) but I love being able to connect to so many other who share the same interests as me, it wins mopping the floors hands down every time!!

I found MS Australia had op shops via Twitter and I got in touch with them last week to see if I could ask them some questions, huge thanks to Kerry for responding!

MS Australia have 10 op shops, 9 in VIC and one in NSW, some of these are boutique style stores.  They are staffed by a small army of 270 volunteers.  Kerry describes them as

"An amazing group of people who sort through bags and boxes looking for treasures. They wash the china until it sparkles,  clean all the toys shoes and handbags , iron the clothes, merchandise the shops and dust and sweep floors. They serve the customers with a smile and are grateful for the donations we receive. This is a very active role so people need to be able to stand for long periods of time exactly like a retail shop."

The MS Australia Op Shop - Malvern

I asked what one of the main challenges were that op shops faced and she's highlighted the issue that's been covered in the news recently (something that really annoys me personally) and that's the dumping of rubbish.  I've posted several of these articles on Facebook the past few weeks, some of the contents discovered are enough to make you squirm.

The MS Australia OP Shop - Malvern

On what makes a good op shop experience she's rated

"the friendliness of the volunteers and staff, great quality stock, good range of stock that changes and ease of shopping"

The stores stock a great assortment of books, novels, coffee table books and children's books - great for all you readers (it's where most of my books come from).

They also stock a great selection of clothing including vintage and menswear.

There's also toys and homeware - "great range of vintage, retro collectable and general household items including paintings prints and cushions and other decor items. People change their decor and donate the old style to us."

I always ask about favourite or standout items and answers can vary as much as we do.  Kerry says they are lucky to get some great valuable donations but one that has stuck in her mind was a rare polka dot Shelley cup and saucer.  After some Googling I can see why it's a favourite, it makes me dream of high tea!

Image c/o
Image c/o Etsy $239

Image c/o Live Auctioneers

Now I bet I'll be checking out the china section a little closer on my next op shop trip, anyone else?

Upon asking what keeps the regulars regular so to speak!

"Our stock changes quickly and I think that is the key to our success. They comment about the high quality of the stock, the cleanliness of the items, and competitive prices. Another comment is that because we merchandise the shop we are” very Shopable”  We also get told how friendly the volunteers and paid managers are"

What's the best thing about your job?

"I love my job with a passion , I coordinate the volunteers for the shops in Victoria as well as setting  up new shops. Another great part of my job is working with the retail operations manager.  He has a life time of experience in retail and together we are changing the look of the MS Shops. Another great part is when I am in the shops or setting up new ones  unpacking  the boxes of china or processing a bag. Finding a treasure is the most amazing thing"

Thanks so much again Kerry for letting me have a glimpse into your op shop world, it's lovely to get a feel of your enthusiasm and it's wonderful to know all your hard and the work of your volunteers is going to benefit such a worthy cause.

Follow MS Australia on Twitter @MS_Australia or check out their website

MS Australia are also on Facebook, check out their page for news and offers

Also check out this recent review from A Little Boutique Near You on their Malvern Store

1 comment:

  1. Oh I do love the polka dot cup a saucer pics they are just the sweetest.