Beautiful Finds Second Chance Charity Boutique
Tucked away on a residential street in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, is a hidden treasure — Beautiful Finds Second Chance Charity Boutique.
Beautiful Finds was established by Counselling Services Centre (CSC) as a way to generate income to enable them to continue providing counselling and critical response services to sufferers of sexual violence and other trauma.
Unlike most “op-shops”, you’ll find more up-market attire at Beautiful Finds — new and pre loved — like end-of-line clearance items, designer and every-day labels.
“Beautiful Finds is an up-market recycle boutique,” says Agency Manager, Jo Morgan. “We know if items are of a higher quality, we can get a higher price, though most items range from $5 – $20 in price.”
Ms Morgan says that they don’t have a lot of foot traffic, so quality is important. They also want people to have a pleasant shopping experience.
Why an op-shop?
Ms Morgan became aware of how effective op-shops could be for generating sustainable income while working for other charities.
“People inherently love to find a bargain,” she says. What someone doesn’t want anymore can be an exciting find for someone else.”
Working on a shoe string
Like most charities, Ms Morgan says CSC runs on a shoe-string budget, which can be a challenge. Thankfully, generous donations of paint, a changing room and electrical work, etc., covered many of the set-up costs.
The shop is staffed by volunteers or staff, so they’re always on the look-out for volunteers.
And then, of course, there is the challenge of getting people through the door. Ms Morgan says, so far, they have relied mainly on word of mouth, pamphlet drops and Facebook to advertise, which is showing results.
Making it work
So, what do charities need to do to make an op-shop work?
Ms Morgan: “You must get buy-in from staff. Also, don’t be afraid to approach retailers and manufacturers for donations.”