So following on from my visit to the very new and shiny Chest, Heart, Stroke Scotland charity shop in Cults, we moved even further west into the pretty village suburb of Bieldside. This is a drawn out settlement that almost seems to incorporate tiny hamlets sprinkled along the sweeping bends of the A93, although very much still a part of Aberdeen city.
A small build up area signifies the centre of Bieldside, and it is here that you will find The Blue Door charity shop. This is a little independant charity shop that represents the local Aberdeen charity of Camphill Wellbeing Trust. This is the charity arm of Camphill Medical Practice, which provides NHS primary care services to the local community along with the intensive professional care required by the children and adults in six Camphill Aberdeen City and Shire communities in the Aberdeen area and allows people on low income to access their specialised therapies.
In stark contrast to CHS Scotland in Cults, the walls are not lined with vintage displays, there is not art-deco furniture adorned with designer labels and glitzy vintage jewellery. There are rails that line the walls at double height, and the clothes are arranged in size order, so far so simple. The shop is halved in two and around the corner you will find a selection of bags, men’s wear and ladies coats. This is very much like the charity shops of old. The window display showcases two very beautiful wedding dresses, which lead me to lament slightly in jest that I am not getting married!
The main thing that sets this charity shop apart from CHS Scotland is not the decor, or display, it is the prices. Where as CHSS were charging BNWT (brand new with tags – for those unfamiliar with Ebay) prices for used items, the items in here were very reasonably priced.
This store works very much on a “seek and ye shall find” principle, again it’s desirable location means plenty of designer items, but this time you feel like you got a bargain, and what’s more, you earned it. Hunting through racks of clothing, rather than having it displayed, is what it is all about. AYou can find a hidden gem that will sparkle in your wardrobe and each time you wear it you will remember how you plucked it from obscurity, deciding then and there through your own personal sense of style that it would suit you, rather than having it show cased and being told that “vintage is fashionable” – which is what CHSS seemed to shout from the rafters.
For comparison here – I include two Hobbs items found at CHS Scotland:
Hobbs cropped jeans, and Hobbs cream jumper at £15.95. Both high quality items, and both considerably cheaper than you would find new in the Hobbs store.
However, I located the item below in The Blue Door just up the road
This is more like it! £4 for a high quality white sleeveless shirt, classic for any occasion, and could be worn for work right through to the evening as the detailing gives it the edge over a plain shirt.
Now the ladies volunteering in the charity shop were not sure if these were fake, and so priced them accordingly, and there did appear to be a minimalist labelling style inside them. I get the impression that had these landed in CHS Scotland, they would have overlooked this and ramped the price up anyway, hoping to capitalise on someone’s naivety.
By contrast to the overpriced (in my opinion) handbags in the previous shop, these two are genuine designer bags, and both were priced a lot lower than those in CHS Scotand.
Given that Tods Handbags (larger than this) are at least £1000 new, £18 is a steal, and I very much wanted to go back and purchase this. But I am not much of a hangbag person, and felt I should leave it for someone who would treasure it more than I.
And finally, a Cavalli belt, I would say that this was size 12-14 as it was too big for me (a decent size 10) which was sad as I would have loved to have held up my £25 Dorothy Perkins jeans with a belt that would have cost more than them. At £3, this is a bargain.
These sandals were perfect for my gammy knee!
I have further praise for The Blue Door other than their pricing – their volunteers are lovely. This is not to say that the volunteers in CHS Scotland weren’t, but the ladies who volunteer their time here were especially warm. I did not realise that they shut at 4pm and it was 4:05 before they mentioned it. As someone who used to work in retail I can appreciate how annoying it is when someone is loitering after closing time. They were genuinely interested in my blog, and this post is a tribute to them. I encourage all people who enjoy charity shopping in Aberdeen to visit this store and have a rummage, there are beautiful bargains to be found.
The other special thing about this charity shop is their refund policy, yes you read it right. One of very few independent charity shops that will provide you with a refund on display of your receipt. Many people would possibly prefer to exchange in the name of charity, but these ladies would be only too happy to help either way.
I encourage the people of Deeside to donate to this charity shop, and keep the wonderful flow of unwanted quality goods moving.
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