I am an opshopper. I do also like vintage and retro shops where some clever cookie has stuffed their shop full of cracker items, but my favourite shopping experiences are still down-and-dirty, proper, unedited, opportunity/charity/thrift shops.
Non-opshoppers probably wonder why. Well, I love the thrill of the hunt. I love never knowing what mad item will tempt me today. I love the fact that I can go for weeks finding nothing then have an almighty haul all in one day and still have enough cash left for an ice-cream on the way home. I love spotting a glimmer of potential in some tired old thing then remaking, remodelling, sanding, painting or just plain fixing it to turn it into something I love. I love the odd conversations overheard in opshops. I love the cheerful optimism of the term "opportunity shop".
Now that I am de-stashing everything in an attempt to stuff all our worldly goods into a shipping container, I have gone cold turkey on opshopping. And wouldn't you know it, but after years of wishing and hoping that such a thing would happen, a fantastic opshop opens mere hopping distance from my house. Naturally I've fallen off the wagon big-time, but it is worth it and even the conversation is top quality! Pictured above is my new favourite haunt. It is on Warrington Street in St Albans, just by the intersection with Barbadoes St. Loads of haberdashery, doilies, embroidered tablecloths and retro clothing and there was also some really cool retro fabric but, um, I bought it! For a gift, honest. Plus there is a dairy next door for your reward ice-cream.
Plus for those of you still in full opshopping mode, look what else I have found! The Op Art Fashion Awards are "an exciting new concept for designers who must use creativity and innovation to create fashion with materials sourced from an Op Shop, a $2 shop and/or an emporium. The entire creation must not cost more than $200." $200! Such riches! I could outfit my family for a year on that! Well ok, I exaggerate. Not if we want to win an award. Ok, ok, not even if we want to be seen in public.