I’ve rediscovered a thrift shop in the last few weeks: Hidden Treasures, on West Railway and Hazel in Abbotsford.
I first visited this shop in 2007 and while I loved the price point (super cheap) I didn’t like the atmosphere. It was dark and kind of musty, the clothing wasn’t all clean and most of it was tired and dated, things seemed unorganized. Somewhere between then and now, Hidden Treasures has gotten a facelift. It’s bright and cheery and the clothing is clean and well organized. I like it that they don’t price every individual piece of clothing – all t-shirts are the same price, all pants the same price, all skirts the same price, etc. In many ways that’s a smart move because it means that people can’t rip off the price tags in hopes of getting it cheaper (yes, sadly, this happens.) If you know all the pants are $3, well then, there’s not much to haggle over, is there?
It also seems to me that they’re receiving better quality donations too. This is where I got those great leather shoes a few weeks ago. Last week, I picked up this cute plaid purse for a couple of bucks (I’m going to Scotland in September and my passion for plaid is only increasing as I prepare…) It’s a St. John’s Bay purse – I’ve owned other items by this company that I’ve loved.
I also got this lovely J.Jill linen skirt, fully lined, for a song. I think I’m going to wear it to death this summer. I also discovered that the J.Jill clothing company has a Compassion Fund that supports organizations that help women.
My weird find of the day was a CD. I picked it up because I couldn’t believe the name of the band: Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Not a word of a lie. My niece is a monkey fanatic and so she’s getting this for Christmas –and if I can find a Rainbow Sock Monkey to match it, I’ll be queen of themed gift giving (anyone know where I can find that?) Looking at the cover of this album, you wouldn’t expect 1990s big rock, bordering on metal sound, would you? I totally thought it was going to be some weird hill billy women’s country album. As it turns out, Rainbow Butt Monkeys, who hail from Burlington, Ontario, got wise to the fact that they would go nowhere with that name and changed it to Finger 11 – equally mysterious name but better sales appeal – and they’re still going strong. I will probably rip this album to my ipod (if I ever figure out how to do that) before gifting it to my sweet niece.
The volunteers at Hidden Treasures are cheerful and helpful and it’s clear that every effort is being made to make the shop a success. I almost got swept off my feet – literally – by an enthusiastic volunteer with a broom who was making sure the floors were clean. There seem to be regular shoppers to the store as well, judging by the familiar banter between volunteers and customers.
Hidden Treasures supports M2W2, a prison ministry that matches volunteers with inmates, supporting them while they are in prison and helping them in their transition back into society. I have a friend who has done this volunteer work for years and he’s one of these salt-of-the-earth kinda guys that make you hopeful that this ministry can be successful. The M2W2 website indicates that prisoners on day passes from Ferndale Institute volunteer at the store 3 days a week and that there’s a waiting list to do this. I think that makes this store especially unique.
Hidden Treasures really is a treasure. I hope that you have an opportunity to visit it and support it by finding your own treasures there!