If you're a Northern Beaches mum, chances are you might have been wondering, "Where did Vinnies Brookvale go?" The answer is it moved a short distance across Pittwater Road, to 22 - 24 Roger St (with off-street parking), and it's had a MAJOR makeover in the process.
Brookvale Vinnies has re-located to 22 Roger St
On my first visit to the new Vinnies flagship store at Brookie, I was bowled over. No more jumble sale, higgledy piggledy feel, bursting at the seams with unprocessed donations. The new Vinnies has a spacious boutique and warehouse vibe, with a carefully curated collection. And to help keep things neat and tidy, donations are sorted and processed at a collection depot close by (19 Clearview Place).
The marketing and management teams at Vinnies NSW and the store itself, are getting it right. They understand they need a new approach to pull across the store's old clientele and encourage new shoppers.
Books: Being an author, I was drawn to the second-hand book collection which looked like something out of a specialty bookstore, rather than an op shop. There were some great books in near-new condition. At first I wondered if they would have an expensive price tag to match the quality and the up-market feel of the store, but was pleasantly surprised the prices were commensurate with other charity shops. They still had that bargain feel.
Full rack of fancy dress kids' costumes and an entire room for furniture
Girls and Boys Clothing and Toys: I also picked up a super hero costume and wig for my little Batman, for only a few bucks. I was amazed at how well presented the girls and boys clothing sections were. I could actually browse the items on the rack in most cases, rather than raiding through a pile of items like a scavenger.
Men and Women's Fashion: I didn't buy any women's fashion this time around but was uber impressed by the displays. The outfits for women and men were carefully coordinated with accessories, dressed on stylish mannequins. Not a dodgy old dummy with an 80s frock and bad wig in sight!
There's a great collection of nearly new books for kids, adults and collectors
Furniture and homewares: Moving into the second part of the warehouse space is like moving into the Harvey Norman showroom. The furniture is in great knick, as are the collectable items. All the wares are laid out in an orderly fashion, attracting you to try and buy, rather than feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused as with many charity shops.
Events at St Vinnies Brookvale
In February, the store held a Market Day on a Saturday morning, keeping all goods at bargain prices from $1 and $2. There was also a food truck with coffee and sausage sizzle, run by volunteers from Brookvale's Vinnies Youth Reach Centre. Community. Fundraising. Bargains. That's what a good charity shop is all about.
The Vinnies warehouse space is beautifully designed
And the next exciting initiative coming up is FREE Children's Storytime sessions on Thursdays 5th and 12th of April, with local Australian authors. You can find out more about these FREE sessions here.
So, if you love St Vinnies and you're from the Northern Beaches, or even further afield, why not bring hubbie and the kids to this new / old boutique store? Gentrifying second-hand shopping may be the way of the future, if charity stores are to survive and thrive.
For more information about St Vinnies Brookvale and its location, opening times and donations drop-off point, click here.