A Win-Win in Victoria

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Women in Need (Win) Cooperative in Victoria is a wonderful non-profit organization that supports women “along their journey through crisis, financial self-sufficiency and wellness.” They operate a number of programs and all of their work is supported by donations and through their 3 resale shops.

Earlier this month, I visited their huge shop on Pandora St. I’ve been here before but this time around I really noticed a few things that make this shop special. There are some very thoughtful people in this organization who manage to put a positive spin on the simplest things – things that usually have a negative connotation.

First off, I was greeted by a very friendly and courteous woman who asked politely if she could store my backpack for me behind the counter to make my shopping experience more comfortable. Much nicer than “all backpacks must be stored behind the counter.”

Secondly, the signage at the fitting rooms was brilliant:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIsn’t that better than “3 items only” and “shoplifters will be prosecuted”? (or “persecuted”, which I once saw in another thrift shop, which gave me visions of regular crucifixions in the back parking lot.)

Win tags side by sideThirdly, they make excellent use of their tags in terms of imparting information. Here’s the tag from one of my boutique items. It tells me why it is priced a little higher. It tells me what my money supports and where I can get more info. AND it tells me that they care about the environment because the tag is printed on recycled paper with an encouragement to recycle it when I get home. It’s such a little piece of real estate but look at the volumes of info I got. I just don’t know why all thrift shops don’t get this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shop is beautifully laid out with really lovely displays throughout.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost items are priced quite reasonably and they really deal in quality items only. Their boutique section is exceptional and although items here are pricier –priced more like a consignment store or even Value Village – the uniqueness and high quality of each item makes it worth it. And at the end of the day, knowing that I’m supporting a good cause makes all the difference in the world to me. I’d much rather support a cause with my money than retail.

So, I came away with two beautiful tops from their boutique section. What sold me on both of these was drape and detail.

win blue topThis one has fun button details – I’m just a sucker for that.

win blue top sleeve detailIt’s 100% cotton, washes well and is super comfy. I already know it’s going to be a favourite this winter.

win brown topThis one is much dressier – it drapes so beautifully that I feel like a million bucks when I wear it and it I love the sparkle.

win brown top detailIt’ll probably be what I wear to all the Christmas stuff I go to this year. I like it that it’s brown-hued and not black; I need a little more versatility in my wardrobe.

This shop is conveniently placed near the downtown tourist area and is well worth the effort to find and visit on your next trip there. If you already live in Victoria, lucky you!

Are you a sucker for detail like me? What draws you to an item?

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