Instant hit

You know you’re on the right track when eight months after opening, your shelves are bulging and customers are beating a path to your door.

That was the case for our first opportunity shop that opened at 59 St Andrew St, Dunedin, in February 1972. By October the premises next door were added to the business, and later an archway was cut through to connect the two. We have been their ever since.

Today op shops are trendy, but back in the 1970s there was a shame attached to needing second-hand clothing. Curtains had to be hung over shop windows to protect the privacy of shoppers.

Donations of clothing and other goods were organised by Dunedin Presbyterian parishioners, some of whom became volunteers. The only staff member was manager Mary Williamson, wife of the Caversham Presbyterian Minister.

Two years after opening, the shop had a turnover of $20,000, making a welcome contribution to association funds.

Today we have three charity shops, each with eye-catching, creative window displays and ‘personalities’ that reflect their differing clientèle.

The original OpShop on St Andrew, Shop on Carroll in Dunedin, and Shop on Taieri in Mosgiel now have 10 part-time staff members between them. They are well supported by a volunteer base of over 80 people to help share the load. Volunteers bring a lot of talent and joy to the three shops, and keep our customers coming back time and time again! Their contribution is invaluable, as is that of all our wonderful clothing donors. If you would like to make a donation of quality, clean clothing or household items to our charity shops, you can drop them off at 10 Carroll Street, Dunedin or call 03 477 7115 for a pick-up (large deliveries).