Once I would have told you that I never went Op shopping. I barely darkened the door of one. Okay maybe I have sneaked into one or two over the years to spy their bookshelves, but for the most part I was not an Op shopper!
I remember a sister in law visiting from Melbourne once with the promise of days of shopping. I was looking forward to it. I can still see us in the car, me steadily weaving through the traffic, visions of beautiful department stores and gift shops and coffee shops in my mind! Until her voice chimed into my reverie, 'First stop, the Op Shop on Anne Street.' Thus began a day of being dragged from one op shop to the next. Thankfully there weren't many op shops in Townsville in those days but the few there were she managed to spend the entire day at and to bring home lots of 'great finds' (her words.)
Even then my view on Op Shops did not change.
But then, my daughter, a girl brought up on a steady diet of department stores and coffee shops, decided that she loves Op Shops and any day is a good day to scout around in one.
I have to admit she is right along with all the other folk who love Op Shopping, though I'm still very cautious about the prices at some of them... not everything in an Op shop is a bargain you know!
There's been a few lucky finds. We found two beautiful dresses once, still with their retail tags on them. My daughter insisted she needed them both to wear to our friend, Julie's wedding. At $6 each they were a true bargain especially if the tags were true. Then there was the Mikasa vase. It was still in its box and marked $3. I bought it and zoomed home as fast as my little legs (well car) could carry me, feeling a little guilty for it! And the most recent find has been this 1963 Raggedy Anne book in brilliant condition and only $3.
I suppose it is those kind of finds and that feeling that there could be something really special for the finding at the next Op shop that makes Op Shopping so attractive. Whatever it is, Op Shopping is in and Townsville has quite a few of them to choose from.
My favourite would be the little St Vinnies located at the Edison Street shops in Wulguru. This St Vinnies is pretty cute and very clean. The volunteer staff are very nice and there's always something new to look at. It's open from 9am to 4pm weekdays and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays and If you are peckish you'll find a cake shop next door who also make coffee.
This year Your Personal Concierge - Townsville is running a series of neighbourhood Op shop tours. Our next one is taking place on Tuesday the 26th of May and will take in some of the known and lesser known Op Shops in the Condon/Rasmussen area. The cost is $5 per person which includes a cup of tea or coffee or a soft drink, lucky door prize and a small gift for each guest. To book your place pay your $5 with your name to Paypal. Email is knmartin@bigpond,net.au or book via the facebook page.