Today I find myself in a parallel universe… blogging about blogging!
I have made great progress with my blog and many of the charities that I write about have been very supportive. None more so than Shelter Scotland, who have always taken great interest in my ramblings. I recently learnt that they have a designer sale at a couple of their Edinburgh shops every January. Upon discovering that I had missed their first one, I was delighted to discover that a second one would take place a week later and decided to get the train down for the purposes of exciting blogging fodder, and the chance to bag myself a designer bargain or two.
This caused some interest at Shelter, namely why on earth someone would want to get up at ridiculous o’clock and travel for hours to visit one of their charity shops. This lead to their Digital Officer, in charge of such things as their Twitter account, to contact me regarding a guest blog post on their official Shelter blog.
When I arrived, I was not prepared for the ‘media frenzy’, for want of a better cliché. Had I been, I would definitely have worn a better outfit. About 5 photographers began taking photo’s of the gathering queue and several came around with a notebook asking us what had brought us to the shop. It felt a bit weird saying things like “I’m a fashion blogger and thought I’d pop down for a nosy, although I have been asked by Shelter to write a guest blog post on the event”. They seemed very interested in this leading to emotions ranging from pride to outright panic. Suddenly the terrible quality of my photographs is not so funny. My colloquial musings on whether or not you can transform your boyfriend from Joe Public into a Daniel Craig look-alike simply from the purchase of a grey woollen coat at once seemed ridiculous. Hell, they seemed ridiculous before, now it’s just embarrassing.
Many of the journalists have already begun their articles on what was purchased and by whom. The Daily Record having published theirs already which you can see here. They talk of Moschino scarves and Vivienne Westwood dresses. I was, of course, too late to see these, not wanting to become embroiled in the crush. Also, after my Dune shoes splurge and what I now affectionately refer to as my ‘Jimmy Chung’ handbag I’m a little low on funds (for my English readers, this is a well known Scottish Chinese buffet restaurant, you can see more on my faux Jimmy Choo here and here). However, what is the point of me showcasing items that are already sold! I need to be telling you what is left so that you can pick yourself up a bargain now the frenzy has died down.
Many of the items have been gathered over the past 9 months and retained for this special day. It has generated a huge amount of interest and I can only hope that events like these help to raise the profile of charity shops for your average shopper, because they are truly an oases in the desert of austerity.
A fantastic selection of items I think you will all agree, so those of you in the vicinity should get yourselves down there! Some people may dislike the idea of stocking up on these kinds of items and putting them all out at once, instead preferring a steady drip drip of items that you can happen upon at your leisure. However, the purpose of a charity shop is to generate funds for their chosen cause, and this way I think they definitely get the most bang for their donations, if you get me. The kind of publicity that this event has generated can only be a good thing for their till register, and that, in the end, is what it is all about! The ‘retailisation’ (as I like to call it) of charity shops is inevitable for the simple purpose that it works. Things like sales, collections and shop displays are all imperative to a successful retail business, and that is what these charities are attempting to achieve. While I may occasionally indulge in my own selfish concerns that events like this will push up the price of items and will make designer hunting a little more accessible to the masses, profitability of the charities is what counts.
I look forward to linking my official blog post on the shelter website to this blog. It won’t be necessarily of my usual style. And for the purposes of symmetry, I believe that this one will be linked to their website too, hence the lack of over excited superlatives. I am hoping for them to host a similar event in Aberdeen next year. There were many more items of a good quality but not designer, and I hope to be peppering my posts with them over the coming weeks!