I had never heard of it before. After all my years of shopping and partying in Subiaco, I had never ever come across the Earthwise Op Shop. And when one of my lovely facebook/blog followers, Miss Jenny, dropped a line to say there was more than just a Good Sammy's & Save The Children in the area, I just HAD to find it.
I had diligently written out Miss Jenny's directions and clomped my way up Rokeby Road (I couldn't waste my visit, I hit Good Sam's first). I even paused to check my mobile sat nav, as I was still a little unsure of where I was headed. But when I saw it, without a word of a lie, the biggest smile spread across my face. What a treasure to be found.
Neighbouring Subiaco Primary School, the Earthwise Op Shop is situated in the old pink (yes, pink) Uniting Church on Bagot Road (if you're standing at Crossways Shopping Centre, head west up Bagot and it will be on your left).
The front of the op shop greets you with some bits and pieces for purchase, and on the day I visited, it was prams, chairs, bags and hanging pictures. As well as a HUGE dragon made of bits & pieces of recycled stuff, hanging from the trees. So cool. As you enter to the right, you'll come across an inviting book / haberdashery / bag / games and a little of everything-in-between area.
Straight away I went rummaging through the haberdashery, coming away with a hand embroidered cushion cover....featuring a mexican man on a donkey haha. I have yet to debut that one in the home, I'm saving it for the new one!
I had the absolute pleasure of being able to get a bit of history, along with current goings-on, from the lovely vollie working behind the counter. With such a rich and varied role Earthwise plays in the community, I couldn't possibly fit it all into one blog post - so head here for a further read. But in essence, this is a community thriving on giving to those in need, respecting the environment and having fun.
Now, before we get to the main area I will inform you that yes, this op shop is a little bit messy and yes, it's probably got a bit of dust around the place but it is, without a doubt, a fossicker's dream. It could be, to some, a little bit of a "book before it's cover" situation, but I tell you that will fall away the further you delve.
Based in the first half of the old church, it's pretty easy to navigate and figure out where things are based. I could hear some vollies out the back sorting through the donated goods and having a little whinge about the last customer who had been in and asked for a discount on her goods. I did have a bit of a snicker, the ladies were so offended!
As mentioned I also had the opportunity to chat to another vollie about the way Earthwise works, along with meeting the resident pooch. He was a little too quick for me to get a good photo, but I did get a nice little lick hello. The other thing you'll notice is the amazing old ceiling and windows - it gives this place a sweet ambience and a peek into it's history.
The bric-a-brac section is massive and takes up the majority of the back 'wall'. You name it, it's there. I even came across a Noritake cup/saucer set which I'm kind of kicking myself for not grabbing. I spent a lot of time browsing this section, as there was so much to see. You could easily stock up on glassware & crockery from this section.
There's a great little shoe section, and whilst some weren't in the best condition, some were fab... if only those Witchery numbers were my size.
Op Shop Rule No 14: Bring Your Own Bags! Teaming with the theme of Earthwise, this rule is simple really. Not only will you be doing the planet a favour, you'll also find if you bring your own green bags, you've got more room for more goodies!
Earthwise has a small selection of kids stuff along with a little selection of electrical goods. I know of op shops who do (and don't) sell electrical equipment and generally these items are pre-checked by an electrician. I have to say I'm not sure if this is the case at Earthwise, so I would suggest you check in with them before you purchase your next toaster. But I did note on their website that this op shop is now selling electrical goods "again". So I could assume they now have an electrician on board, but it can't hurt to double check with them.
Apart from kids clothing, men's and women's aren't in any particular order - you just get stuck into it. I came across the good, the bad and the funny! Retro red Perri Cutten next to a great conditionTokito pants suit next to a Presets t-shirt. It an eclectic mix.
Now, the one thing I did notice was that there were no price tags anywhere. There was however, a small handwritten note with some rough estimates on pricing at the counter, but I found that the vollie who served me just made a reasonable guess at pricing. And I can tell you, she was brilliant at it! A silk Witchery top for $3?? If only it was for me! In the end my goodies came to a grand total of $8 and so I decided my $10 note could stay with them.
I also picked picked up some knick knacks including some more random glassware and a vintage oven mit which will also make it's debut in the new home. I can't wait - one more week woohoo!
So the next time you are in Subiaco or if you are looking for a new place to suss out (go Rachel!) then I wholeheartedly suggest you try out the Earthwise Op Shop. You might come away with lots, you might come away with nothing, but you'll at least come away saying you saw your first dragon!
Highlights: Hidden designer finds (shoes & clothes) / random bric-a-brac / ethos
Lowlights: Messy/Dusty (make your own mind up if this is acceptable to you or not though)
Contact Joyce for Op Shop open hours on 0413 842 372 or head to www.earthwise.org for more info on what Earthwise gets up to! Oh, and volunteers are always needed!
DON'T FORGET THE YOU GOT THAT AT AN OP SHOP SPRING COMPETITION!
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