Business at the Opportunity Shop is as good as it can be, given the ups and downs of the past two years, says Chelsea Wood.

Together with manager, Sarita Trollip, she has received a steady flow of donations and, in fact, despite the uncertainty bought on by the pandemic, the shop has never struggled with a lack of donations.

What the duo has struggled with sometimes, is the quality of donation. It is a bonus for the shop to receive freshly laundered clothes, but please do make sure they are properly dry, asks Chelsea. “If they are not properly dried and aired, they tend to become musty, and that smell is almost impossible to get rid of,” she says. “Unfortunately, that means some lovely items are just unsaleable. Shoes, too, need to be in good repair, especially the heels. If they are down-at-heel, they are really not going to be good for the feet of the buyer.”

However, every item that comes in finds a home, if not in the shop, then to a charity. That is not to say the items played forward are decrepit. They are simply items that may have mismatched buttons, or perhaps the wool has bobbled a bit, or a pocket is sagging.

“It breaks our hearts to see items go into landfill, so we make every effort to find a home for all donations. But please, do not take this as an invitation to dispose of your rubbish for you. Bottom line is, if the item you are donating is one you would not be willing to buy yourself due to its condition, then it not something you should donate either.”

But, she says, also remember that not everyone has the same taste. If you are reluctant to donate an item because you don’t like it, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t adore it.

“I love it when an item comes in and I know it is just the thing for one of our regulars. I put it aside, and when that person comes in, and I show it to them, it’s so satisfying to see them just light up.”

Opportunity Shop, 408 Beach Road, Mairangi Bay, Auckland