Monday, July 23, 2012

Sandlewood Op Shop

Huge thanks to Desley from Sandlewood Op Shop who took some time to answer a few questions I had about her op shop.  I met Desley via Facebook but then in person when she visited Melbourne on an op shop tour, she's an op shop legend in my opinion and the Sandlewood community are very lucky.

Sandlewood Op Shop Window
How long have you volunteered at Sandlewood Op Shop?
Sandlewood Op shop came about following a discussion I had with one of the Directors regarding my experience when dealing with long term unemployed and trying to get free clothing from charities.   I was retiring from the Australian Customs Service and the Directors agreed to fund the setup of the shop if I did all the groundwork.  It took 5 months of applications, meetings and paperwork to receive the State Government Certificate of Sanction which allows a non profit or charity to operate an op shop in Queensland. Once the approval was granted then I started the search for premises and subsequently the Directors signed the lease on our current premises and the Op Shop opened with donations received from family and friends. 
I was the only  volunteer in the op shop for approximately 12 months, working alone 5 ½ days per week.
Sandlewood Op Shop
What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering to you?
I enjoy seeing people find something they have been looking for or something missing out of their collection and assisting people who are struggling to make ends meet or battling homelessness etc.
How does Sandlewood help the local community ?
Many answers here on the website but we also do things like pay bills online for pensioners who cannot get to the post office and do not have Internet access/credit cards etc. Assist refugee students with projects/assignments Allow refugee students to use the computer/Internet/printer Have a wish list for collectors whom we ring if something they collect is donated We will do anything for the community which is not illegal and is within our financial/resource capacity
What are you favourite donations personally?  What sort of items make you go "ohhhhhhh that's lovely"?
My personal preferences are bric a brac; vintage clothing (although I am not a wearer of vintage clothing) and anything out of the usual
Vintage crockery set

What makes Sandlewood Op Shop special in your opinion?
The community services and the personal service we provide and the high standard of stock we carry.
Oroton handbag
Can you tell us about any standout donations?  Could be wacky, generous, odd, valuable
This year we had a family donate all their excess furniture when they downsized.  The donation included an early 20th century 10 seater dining setting.  One generous donor sorted through her fine jewellery and donated any pieces of jewellery that she no longer wore.  All donated pieces were genuine gold and precious stones.
9ct gold crucifix

Do you have many regular shoppers?  Why do you think they come back?
The majority of our clients are regulars and many of them visit the shop on a regular day/s.  People tell us that they come back because of the quality of our stock, our prices (although some complain that we are too expensive) and people comment that we are like an old style op shop where you have to look up, down and all around to discover what we have.Excitingly we had our first interstate Facebook follower come to the shop today- unfortunately I was not there to say hello!
I know you enjoy op shopping as I met you on a Melbourne Op Shop Tour can you tell us about some of your favourite buys that have made it home?
I bought some great items including Bric a brac gifts for our local coffee shop staff; clothing for my granddaughters; shoes for myself and the others bought a variety of clothing items for themselves including a Melbourne university sloppy joe for $1 which she wore while we were in Melbourne then passed it on to her brother.
If a blank cheque was given to Sandlewood Op Shop what would be the top of your list to do with the windfall
Larger premises would be the first on the list followed by a vehicle to use for pickups and deliveries.  I would also pay our hard working and dedicated staff as most are single income earners and or pensioners who pay their own transport costs to come to work for us;  I would also purchase a large quantity of supermarket vouchers to provide to our clients and a better quality security system to discourage theft/shoplifting.
Thanks so much Desley!! Please check out their Facebook page which is updated often and showcases the variety of goods op shops receive - yes they do post!

Vintage clothing

Vintage clothing

Perfect Roller Derby outfit - sold!

Sandlewood are now asking for urgent help to make sure a local gem open.  Kyabra Community Association runs a limited hours childcare (LHCC) and is really struggling to remain open and provide an invaluable service to many foster care families in the local area.  Please see their latest blog post to read more about why the service needs to be saved.

Sandlewwod Op Shop can be found at Shop 5, 407 Beaudesert Road, Moorooka, Brisbane QLD 4105
Tel: 07 3277 3521
Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 9:30am to 5pm
Saturday 9am to 12 noon

All photos taken from Sandlewood's fab Facebook page.

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