vintage Mulberry Arabella shopper £18 St Peter's Hospice shop
I feel like posting about a Mulberry handbag that I found in a chazza obliterates that urban myth that dictates that nothing like this is ever found in a charity shop. I had a friend, who had a friend who found a Chanel handbag once, but even though I've found some absolute crackers in my chazza shopping career, this is probably the nicest thing I've ever bought. I absolutely don't want to appear as if I'm bragging, either, because there's nothing worse than a smug shopper but I do want to emphasise that this stuff is out there and if you look, you will find. I admit that that sounds like some sort of weird mantra but it's true, and when my friend Tara asked me earlier 'how do you do it!' with regards to my chazza finds, I had to tell her it's nothing but luck, really, and a lot of persistence.
I charity shop on the regular. I have my favourite shops, and I'll visit these at least once a week, if not more often. I am on conversational terms with the manager of one of my fave shops, and I've got to recognise a lot of the staff from some of the others. I know how the stores are laid out, and when the stock is coming in and going out again. It's on my radar, because raiding the chazzas is one of my hobbies; I love to peruse the rails that aren't merchandised or outfitted perfectly to make you want to shop in a certain way, but rather they make you think creatively about putting a look together and half the fun of that is spending as little as possible. Years ago Adrian and I used to regularly partake in the £5 chazza shop challenge, with buying the most brilliant item possible and still having change from a fiver the remit. It makes you a savvy shopper, and it makes you really look at what you're buying.
Charity shops are changing, and I was surprised to pay under £20 for a bag that is probably worth about £180. It was actually half price, originally marked up at £35 (which I would still have paid; I just love it) but when I got to the till, they were having an offer on bags and shoes, all of which were half price (I did another circuit of the shop to try and find some shoes but had no luck this time!) It's not unheard of to see items like Mulberry bags for upwards of £100 in other shops; I saw one recently but didn't invest as a) I couldn't afford it and b) I wasn't convinced it wasn't a fake.
I'm pretty sure this is the charity shop find of the year for me; I'm not sure what else I could find that would better it! I will get a lot of use from this bag as it's a great style for everyday, and I like the fact that it's vintage and despite being lightly used, still has a great patina to the leather that will still only improve with age.
Have you found anything fab in the chazzas recently?