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Posts Tagged ‘thrift stores’

Urban Repurpose

Recently I was reminded that North and West Vancouver are the perfect destination for a secondhand safari. Both communities have a wide selection of secondhand shops as well some of the best church rummage sales in the spring and fall.

Most shops are accessible by transit but if you plan to make several stops, might be better to go with friends and organize a fun road trip for the day. This way, you have more room for some of the treasures you will find along the way as well as snacks and water.

Whether you are looking for something specific, or just like to browse, there are many different types of secondhand shops on the North Shore. These include everything from thrift stores to consignment and antique stores. I tend to enjoy the thrift shops best and will mostly focus on those for this outing. But I will include a few of the other stores along the way.

Urban Repurpose

Case in point, my first stop was at Urban Repurpose in North Vancouver (493 Mountain Highway). This non-profit wants to help people change how the way we see waste. They opened their store last June and have already developed quite a following of both shoppers and donors. And with their rather large warehouse space with their own parking lot, they have an eclectic selection of items that range from building materials and tools to furniture, appliances and housewares to collectibles and unique memorabilia. They even had a shelf full of free books near the entrance.

Urban Repurpose

But they don’t just want to sell you these secondhand items, they also want to teach you how to repurpose them and develop new uses for harder to reuse materials. They plan to offer a variety of what they call “upcycling” workshops as well as do public outreach where possible. Unfortunately, they are also currently looking for a new location as they will need to leave this space by May 31st, 2018.

Auxiliary to Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Store

From there I made my way to Lonsdale and 15th Avenue and found myself in a small but vibrant thrift shop that oozed a wonderful sense of community that could be felt through the busy aisles. I am referring of course to the Auxiliary to the Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Shop (128 15th Street W) which I quickly learned is a much loved institution on the North Shore. Having been in operation since the early 60s, this iconic thrift store which is run completely by volunteers, continues to be an important fundraising arm for the hospital as 100% of the proceeds (minus basic expenses) go back to the hospital. In 2017, this worked out to just over $277,000.

Auxiliary to Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Store

But, they also provide a wonderful service to the community as they carry a wide selection of clothing, accessories, housewares, jewellery, collectibles, paintings, and so much more…all reasonably priced. And the volunteers are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and helpful…knowing most of the regulars by name. They also make the tiny space work, although I am told they could definitely use more help and a bigger space and maybe one with access to better parking.

Down the road, just off of Lonsdale and 3rd Street, is The Good Stuff Connection Thrift Shop (154 West 3rd Street). Another small but mighty thrift shop which offers good quality, low cost clothing, footwear and accessories as well as a wide variety of books, toys, and jewellery. Sales help support the North Shore Crisis Services Society programs for women and their children who are experiencing abuse.

Next on my stop was the Salvation Army Thrift Store located just off Marine Drive and Fell Avenue (1451 Fell Ave.). This iconic building, with easy parking out front, has two floors filled to the brim with just about everything you can imagine. It is a popular destination with dealers and collectors as they have a well curated selection of jewellery, antiques and collectibles. I was also impressed with their substantial collection of books but was discouraged to find that books were not arranged in any particular category. Made it very difficult to find what I was looking for (i.e., cookbooks).

There is also another Salvation Army Thrift Store on Lonsdale Avenue (241 Lonsdale Avenue)…the book section here is organized by category and they also have some furniture as well as housewares, clothing, jewellery, collectibles, small appliances and more. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but there is free one hour parking on some of the side streets nearby. Over in West Vancouver, you can find their third North Shore location at 1582 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. This location is a bit smaller than the other two but carries a wide array of housewares, small appliances, clothing, accessories, collectibles and a well-organized book section.

SPCA Thrift Store

From there I made my way to the SPCA Thrift Store (1523 Pemberton Avenue) which is found just off of Marine Drive. It is an unlikely spot for a secondhand shop, but one that offers ample free one hour parking and a space big enough to have a room specifically designated for large and small pieces of furniture.

SPCA Thrift Store

There is also a nicely organized book selection, a room set aside for housewares and another for china, silver and collectible glassware. But you can’t leave without also heading upstairs to check out clothing and accessories. Last but not least, they also carry gently used pet supplies for every type of pet you can imagine!

Consignment Canada

And, down a few blocks is Consignment Canada (171 Pemberton Avenue). This family run consignment business is well respected on the North Shore, and should be a destination for anyone looking for beautifully crafted furniture. But they also carry a well-curated selection of everyday items for the home and office (e.g., artwork, housewares, lighting, rugs, etc.) as well as some stunning vintage jewellery.

Consignment Canada

If you are looking for something specific, it is worth checking out their Web site as they post pictures of most items that come in to the store and offer some helpful tips on their blog. But, I must say that one of the biggest draws for me is Pepper, their lovely corgi that hangs out in the office but takes time away from playing to greet customers as they come in.

There are of course many other consignment, antique and secondhand shops on the North Shore…all well worth exploring. In particular, there is another thrift sale in one of the local churches that happens every Thursday, but I promised a good friend that I wouldn’t publish the location. This is one of her favourite spots and only took me to it if I would keep it to myself. Promised kept…but if you live on the North Shore you probably know what I am talking about! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention some of the upcoming 2018 spring rummage sales:

West Vancouver Senior’s Centre Annual Flea Market
Sunday, April 22 from 9a.m. – 3p.m.
West Vancouver Ice Arena
786 – 22nd Street, West Vancouver

West Vancouver United Church Spring Flea Market
Saturday, May 5th from 8:30am – 2:00pm
2062 Esquimalt Ave, West Vancouver

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Avid thrift shoppers will be thrilled to learn that Talize plans to open their second BC location in Langley later this summer.

**Grand Opening of Langley Location Thursday September 28th, 2017**

This is terrific news on many levels. It means additional industry related jobs, a boost for the local economy, more opportunities to keep recyclable items out of the landfills, increased support for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and of course another wonderful shopping destination for savvy secondhand shoppers.

Founded in 2005, Talize is a Canadian owned and operated thrift store chain with seven stores currently in operation (six stores in Ontario and one in Delta, BC). As well as the new store currently under construction in Langley, there are two more being planned for Ontario in Kingston and Barrie.

The store in Delta, which opened its doors in 2006, recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Laurel Stan, who has been the Assistant Store Manager in Delta, is proud to be part of a supportive work culture that takes care of its staff and customers. According to Stan, “the Delta store has around 50 team members, with many having been here since we first opened as we like to promote from within.”

Even Stan herself has what she calls a “secondhand love story”, both she and her husband Eric Nykamp met while working at a rival thrift store before moving over to work for Talize in Hamilton, Ontario. Nykamp started at Talize in 2007 and Stan in 2008. And, in 2010 they leapt at the chance to relocate to BC to manage the Delta store. Nykamp is currently the Store Manager and Stan the Assistant Store Manager. Come this summer, Nykamp will become the District Manager and Stan the Store Manager for Langley.

And, true to promoting from within, Stan’s Assistant Store Manager in Langley will be Corrie-Lynn Parries who began working as a part-time cashier at the Delta location shortly after it first opened. Her mother, who also works with Talize, had encouraged her to take a part-time job while still in school.

There are other perks to working with Talize, such as staff discounts. However, Stan cautions that “there is a misconception that staff get first pick of all the good stuff. The truth is that they don’t get to buy anything until it has been on the floor for 24 hours.”

With over 25,000 square feet, Talize is able to showcase a large culturally diverse selection of clothing and accessories for both men and women (beautifully organized by size and colour). They also have an impressive section for children’s clothing and toys, bookcases filled with every type of book that you can imagine, rows and rows of vintage, retro and modern housewares, as well as a small back section with electronics and some small appliances.

The store relies on donations to keep itself well stocked with quality merchandise while also encouraging people to keep items out of landfills. They accept donations of gently used clothing and household goods which can be dropped off in a bin at the front of the store or if it is a larger donation it is best to take it to the back loading area. As a thank you for these donations, they offer donors a $5 off coupon towards their next purchase at the store.

There are also several purple donation bins around the city (look for the ones with the Children’s Wish Foundation logo). They cannot accept furniture or any kind of TV screen or baby items due to safety restrictions.

According to Stan, this is a high turnover industry with regular customers coming in weekly and many local dealers daily. “In the back rooms, we process 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of stock every day. It is important for us to keep fresh items coming out.” As a result, they have a large production team (25 to 30 staff) who are responsible for processing, sorting and pricing all of the incredible donations received on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, due to damage or other restrictions/issues, some items cannot be sold. For these items, Evgeni Shteinberg, Talize’s Marketing Director, says that Talize is equally committed to being environmentally conscious. “We recycle as much as possible. Metal, electronics, books, housewares, cloth, shoes, purses and clothing accessories are all recycled. In fact, we recycle more than 1.5 million pounds of items per store that would otherwise be destined for the landfill each year. That works out to approximately 100M pounds of recycled goods that Talize has helped keep out of local landfills since its inception.”

Donations not only support Talize’s commitment to a “greener environment”, they also help Talize raise much needed funds for a Canadian charity. According to Shteinberg, “Talize is a proud platinum partner of the Children’s Wish Foundation and through this partnership, we have contributed over $1.5 Million to date.” The Children’s Wish Foundation helps children, families and communities by granting a wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Talize also likes to participate in local community events such as the Vancouver Halloween Parade.

There are many wonderful reasons to consider shopping at Talize, and I would like to add one more…their store wide sale which has everything in the store at half price. The next sale is coming up on Monday, March 27th at all of their store locations. Doors open at 7am until 9pm.

For more news on the Grand Opening of their store in Langley, I would suggest subscribing to their Enewsletter and liking their local page on Facebook.

Talize Delta (BC)
11930 – 88th Avenue, Delta
Ph. (604) 599-6116
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Saturday 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
www.talize.com

Talize Langley (BC)
20450 Logan Avenue, Langley
Ph. (604) 282-3874
www.facebook.com/Talize-Langley

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steveston-2Recently I made a very happy discovery while deciding to have a “staycation” locally. I found myself in Steveston Village, British Columbia. I have been there numerous times…but mostly for fish and chips at Pajo’s or Dave’s Fish and Chips or to pick up some of the local catch straight off the docks when in season.

But this time I found myself there on a rainy winter day and decided to see what secondhand shops I could find. To my delight I found two fabulous thrift stores that were beautifully organized with an eclectic selection of books, housewares, clothing, accessories, and so much more. Both were charming and staffed with the nicest volunteers who worked hard to make their stores welcoming and fun to shop.

My first stop was at the Richmond Hospital Healthcare Auxiliary Thrift Store which is located in the cutest re-purposed old church located at 3731 Chatham Street. Be mindful of the hours, they are only open Monday – Friday 10AM-3PM. I loved the old school charm with slanting floors and terrific prices.

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Next I found myself at the SOS Children’s Village BC Thrift Store, located on the main strip in Steveston Village at 3800 Moncton Street. They also have a store in Kerrisdale in Vancouver. This store was set up more like a boutique, but still the prices were incredibly reasonable and the volunteers were also quite friendly and helpful.

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Going a bit more upscale I found myself in the most wonderful bookstore, Village Books & Coffee House. With wall to wall books and serving aromatic coffee and fresh baked goods, one could spend hours here. I was especially impressed with the cookbook selection and their children’s section which was currently under construction. It is located at 12031 First Avenue.

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Last on my stop was the Steveston General Store which was next door at 12071 1st Avenue. Beautifully decorated, this secondhand shop had a little bit of everything: from cookbooks and vintage housewares to vintage clothing/accessories to antiques and fine china. I fell in love with the housewares section as it felt like I was walking back in time to my grandparent’s cottage.

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Of course there were several other secondhand and consignment shops in Steveston, but these were the ones that I found myself drawn to as I was limited in how much time I could spend there. If you do head out that way make sure to check them all out and let me know what you think.

 

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A small group of women on the east side of Vancouver have decided to take what they love to do and create a unique and viable business that makes a difference in their community. Only open for seven months, Miscellany Finds is a hands-on social enterprise that provides hard to place women with basic back to work skills through on the job training programs in their retail thrift store. All profits from the store help to further their social mission and are put towards programming costs.

Many of the women that they work with have had to face some very difficult challenges and need a special kind of support to help them transition back into the workforce. According to Portia Sam, the program’s coordinator, their mandate is “to validate women and help them build confidence and competence.” Zainab Bernard (Production Manager) also stresses that they are passionate about creating a fun and nurturing environment for these women to acquire basic lifeskills like time management and setting up a bank account, as well as specific retail job skills such as working with money, taking inventory, setting up displays, and customer relations.


And, all of this occurs on-site at the thrift store which is located on East Hastings, a few blocks east of Nanaimo Street. The store itself is quite charming and has a boutique feel to it…without the boutique prices. Separated into two distinct sections – humanity and home, they carry a little something for everyone.


In the humanity section they have a broad selection of everyday and brand name clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The prices are extremely reasonable and everything is clean and well organized. Prices range from $4 to $30 and although most items are contemporary, they do have some stunning vintage pieces.

For the home they have some newer as well as funky retro housewares, a few electronics, linen, books, records/CDs, movies, children’s toys, and some rather unique items such as an interesting looking sabre. They also had some nice pieces of furniture, including a beautiful antique phonograph record player that still works when you crank the handle. Prices here vary, depending on the item, but all still very reasonable (e.g., TV for $20). They recently just sold a gorgeous mahogany table with six matching chairs for $200.


They are currently also working on building a warehouse space so that they can increase their capacity for donations. Unlike many other places, they will accept almost any donation as long as it is clean and in working order. The only things that they will not accept are mattresses and children’s car seats (both because of health and safety reasons). They request that you call them first to make arrangements for the drop off and do have parking at the back of the store to make drop off’s easy. There is also ample street parking in front of the store.


This is definitely a place worth checking out, both Portia and Zainab have created a wonderful space that is inviting and immediately offers a sense of community.

Miscellany Finds
2615 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 254-9999
www.miscellanyfinds.ca

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The madness. The frenzy. And, the fun! These are the words that best describe the scene at the Talize thrift store in Delta early Monday morning. Although this Canadian thrift store has been at this location for just over five years, it is just now starting to gain momentum as one of Metro Vancouver’s favourite thrift shopping destinations – especially when they have their 50% sale.

“Attention shoppers, Wendy your shopping cart is ready.” This surprising type of announcement was a common occurrence on Monday morning. Doors had opened at 7am and with several hundred people in line to get in, all the shopping carts were already in use by 7:15. But, where one would expect chaos and flaring tempers, Talize staff had everything well in hand. A nice touch was that people could sign up to be on the list for the next available shopping cart, which most people would need as this was a day to shop in volume.

This thrift retail chain store originates from Ontario and currently only has one location in British Columbia. Still not as well recognized as Value Village or Salvation Army, this unique thrift store is gaining in popularity. Open seven days a week (often until 9pm) and located at the corner of Nordel Way and Scott Road in Delta, it is easily accessible from all parts of Metro Vancouver and has ample parking.


With several thousand feet of retail floor space, they carry an impressive selection of clothing and accessories for children, men and women, and to a lesser extent housewares, books, DVDs, CDs, furniture and electronics. Most of their stock is what they call “gently used” but they do carry some newer items as well.

The layout of the store is easy to navigate, with wide aisles that can easily fit two shopping carts side by side. Their stock is well organized with a huge selection in all sizes; ranging from petite all the way to plus sizes. Regardless of your shape or age, there is something for everyone and it is easy to find the colour, size and style that best suits your taste.

Regular prices are quite reasonable, running anywhere from a few dollars to $20 or $30 depending on what you are looking for. But during the 50% sale, everything is half price. Shoppers can often get designer labels such as DKNY, Calvin Klein and more for under $5. Brand name clothing and accessories from Old Navy and the Gap are also available for as low as $2 or $3 per item. They also carry a decent selection of vintage items for both men and women.

I would recommend signing up for their E-Flyer so that you will be the first to know when they have their next 50% sale.

Talize
11930 – 88th Avenue
Delta, B.C.
(604) 599-6116
www.talize.com

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Ladner Thrift Store CupsThe Delta Hospital Auxillary Thrift Store in Ladner (4816 Delta Ave., Ladner, BC) is definitely old school when it comes to how they do business. And it shows, their shop is always busy. Located in the quaint fishing village known as Ladner, this thrift store (located in two separate store fronts side by side) has a wonderful selection of clothing, housewares, books, some furniture, collectibles, sports gear, tools, electronics and so much more. And, everything is priced to sell. Here you can actually find many different items under a dollar and the clothing has fixed prices that are extremely reasonable.

As a result of their prices being so low, their stock is constantly changing and many of the locals visit the store at least a few times a week to see what new items have come in. They cater to all ages and the friendly volunteers who run the store are always eager to help. I also appreciate how well organized they are and how clean everything is. The atmosphere is quite fun and I can’t help myself but want to buy something. This last time I found a really nice white long sleeved Tshirt for $3. It looks quite new and fits like a glove.

Every month they also host the Collectible’s Sale where they will bring out a terrific selection of some of their better pieces that include collectibles, antiques, silver, china, vintage clothing, retro housewares, etc. Although the prices for these sales are a bit higher, they are still priced to sell. Well worth checking out! Their next Collectible Sale is set for September 30th 10am to 3pm.

Ladner Thrift Store Kids ClothingStore Details:
Hours of Operation: Mondays 1:30pm to 5pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 3pm, and Closed Sundays
4816 Delta Avenue, Lander BC
(604) 946-1455

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West Point Grey Rummage Sale Treasures3Rummage sale season has arrived….and I couldn’t be happier. There is something to be said for the old fashioned church rummage sales with bits of everything on sale for prices as low as 25 cents. Mind you, there is not much that you can get for a quarter these days, but that the possibility exists is very exciting for bargain shoppers like myself.

For many local churches, these rummage sales are one of their biggest fundraising events and an opportunity for their congregation to come together and have some fun. For the rest of us, it is a way to also be part of our community while finding some great deals on just about anything.

The first sale of the season is being held up at West Point Grey United Church (4595 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver). West Point Grey Rummage Sale Line UpLocated on the corner or 8th Avenue and Tolmie, they offer one of the largest sales that spans over four days. Starting today (September 10th) and tomorrow (September 11th) from 3pm to 7pm they will be selling books, collectibles, knick knacks, music CDs and tapes, and movies DVDs and tapes. Then on Saturday (September 13th) they have the “big sale” where not only can you still buy the above mentioned items, but where you can also find an incredible selection of clothing, sports gear, housewares, tools, linens, picture frames, garden supplies, and so much more. You will even be able to stock up on home made baked goods. Then on Sunday they have a blow out clearance sale from 2pm to 4pm, often selling everything at half price or less.

West Point Grey Rummage Sale TreasuresWith all this selection usually comes a lot of people…be prepared to line up for a little while for some of the sections (e.g., books) as they have had to spread out in various rooms throughout the church. I had to wait 10 minutes to get into view the books and about 15 for the collectible section today. However, the wait was well worth it as I found a copy of John Bishop’s cookbook “Cooking At My House” for $5. West Point Grey Rummage SaleThis is an amazing buy as I already own it and cook from it frequently. I have been looking to find another copy for a friend who also loves his style of cooking. The recipes are user friendly and incredibly flavourful. I also bought a copy of Le Cordon Bleu’s “Home Cooking Collection on Casseroles.” One of my favourite dishes to make is Cassoulet and they have an interesting version in it that uses duck confit…this I want to try.

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