A visit to Vinnies Ringwood

 If you enjoyed my last post which included a reference to mysterious symbols which lead to amazingness, you’re going to love this one, although most of you would not find this particular symbol that mysterious.

I would expect anyone who reads this blog to know that the Vinnies sign leads to treasure that looks something like this…

At least, at most of their stores it does. But their Ringwood branch now looks like this (pics by Tyson Edwards): 

Quite a difference, yes? The redesign is the work of The Red Design Group, whose previous interior design projects include the Myer Basement in Bourke Street, Husk in Carlton and the Henry Bucks and Mimco flagship stores. 

 It’s hoped that the makeover will help Vinnies appeal to lovers of vintage fashion and improve the customer experience and, consequently, sales, which of course support the various worthy community services which the organisation operates. 

Despite being an avid op shopper, the Ringwood Vinnies was actually one store I had not visited, so when the team invited me to drop in and check out the new version (and do a bit of personal shopping to the tune of up to $100, on the house!), I was excited – but a little bit apprehensive too. Why would I be nervous about visiting an op shop? Well, I’m from the old school of op shoppers who enjoy a rummage and turning up a treasure, and don’t like everything edited for them. I also like old-school prices! More than about $15 for a dress and I kind of react like this… In the past few years, some op shops have been trying to attract a broader demographic of shoppers by tidying up and re-branding and in the process losing their charm (in my opinion, anyway). So that’s why alarm bells were ringing in my mind when the Vinnies team told me one of their reasons for reworking the store was to appeal to vintage lovers. I’m a terrible liar so I was dreading having to smile and nod at a redesign that I really didn’t like.

Anyway, it turns out I had nothing to worry about. The store has not gone all fancy-schmancy, it’s simply easier to navigate and looks a lot more user-friendly and tidier than it did in the “before” photos, thanks to new, unified fittings, a new layout and a general sprucing-up – oh, and more stock! I wasted no time getting amongst it all…

 These beauties were all on the racks in the general part of the store – there was no need for me to go to the special vintage section (although of course I did check it out and find one or two pieces there!).

I’ll show you what I got over the next few posts, but here’s a little taste. A printed cotton robe (this might replace my current dressing gown which is just a tad tatty seeing as I made it in 1992!):

 A pink ruffled bodysuit and a too-large pink silk skirt…

This ’80s-style dress…

As you can see, some things will need tweaking (except for the blue dress, which I’ve already attended to!) but I don’t mind that – especially not when most things were only about $8 each. Yay for OLD SCHOOL OP SHOP PRICES!!! 
What with all the rushing around and trying on, I didn’t get shots of much of the rest of the merchandise, but here are a few things which I managed to resist – if you visit soon, they might still be in store.

Kitsch in the crockery section – a staple at any good op shop. I was very tempted by this tea set decorated with Sturt’s Desert Pea flowers, but selflessly left it there for another tea-lover with excellent taste 🙂

 An original Thai batik maxi-dress, probably from the ’70s, with frogging on the front. You know how much I love batik so you can imagine the internal battle that raged when I found this beauty. However, I do have something very similar, so back on the rack it went.

Schiaparelli stockings for $5. The stockings were fairly normal looking, but I’m now regretting leaving this fabulous packaging behind!

As you can see, though, I did leave with a fair bit! My haul came to about $73 so I asked them to donate the remaining $27 back into their coffers. I also had done a bit of a spring clean and donated a substantial chunk of my wardrobe to them before I started on my whirlwind shop, so I didn’t feel too bad about bringing all this home (thanks to Avigon Paphitis for the pics of me)!

Don’t worry, though, I did leave things there for you! There’s so much stock that there are still plenty of treasures to be unearthed. I’m sure you’ll enjoy uncovering some on your visit to Vinnies (Ringwood or otherwise) as much as I did! 

このブログをずっと読んでいただいているならお分かりになるかと思いますが、私は op shop(チャリティショップ)の大大大ファンです。だから、先々週、VinniesのRingwood支店リニュアルオープンに招待された時、かなりうれしかったです。実はその支店にはまだ行ったことがなかったし、リニュアルされてどうなったかも見たかったからです。