Christian Travelers Guide + you got that at an op shop

Northern Star - Good Sammy's Girrawheen Op Shop Review

When I was 17, Mum decided it was time for a change from our childhood Wanneroo neighbourhood to Marangaroo (another 20 mins or so up the road). And it is here that Mum has remained and here that has been my home on and off over the years too.

So I know the area pretty well, including the local shopping centre. I've seen different shops come and go from the little precinct; but it has always been a handy one to pop into whenever you needed bread, milk, hot chips, beer, fresh donuts, dvd's - you get my drift.

But do you know what? I cannot for the love of me, remember when the Good Sammy's set up shop here. I have absolutely no idea. I know that in the last 2 years I've visited it many times and have professed it to be one of my favourites ("another one?" I hear you say!) but I really don't know for how long I let it go untouched. There's a tiny Vinnie's here too, but I'll get to that another day.

I'm going to go straight to the op shop rule for this blog fairly early in the piece as I think it is probably fitting:

Op Shop Rule No 20: Don't Judge A Suburb By It's Cover
I won't tiptoe around this topic. I know that Girrawheen elicits plenty of 'not very nice' opinions from some people. Yep, it borders Balga, it neighbours Koondoola and Mirrabooka is just a hop step and a jump - all suburbs that I'm sure many Perth-ites have heard in the news over the years. But what I'd like to say is that if you decide visiting an oppie isn't worth it because of it's locality, think again.

Sure the shopping area itself isn't Melrose Avenue, but which little local is? Sure there *may* be some bad elements, but which suburb doesn't have its own fair share? Even the hallowed halls of Peppermint Grove have their troubles..I think. Anyhoo, what I'm saying is you are heading off to an op shop to experience the thrill of the hunt, to discover unchartered territory or perhaps to just hop in the car on a warm Saturday with the windows down and the tunes cranking. Whatever your mission when thrifting, be willing to try the unfamiliar - and to make up your own mind on the shop AND the suburb!

So, with that out of the way, let's begin! Good Sammy's Girrawheen is a small-ish op shop situated actually inside the Newpark Shopping Centre itself, across the way from Rivers & the Reject Shop. Whilst it is small-ish, there is a lot of stuff packed into it which can turn your visit into a fairly lengthy one, once you get stuck into it.

The front of the shop always has a sale rack going on, usually $1 clothes from the previous season and the front window display always has their best handbag selection on show. I can tell you I've come away with many a bag from here. You may need to ask one of the employees to grab them for you as it can be a bit tricky navigating the display window itself.

To the right as you walk in you'll see the wall of shoes & bags and again I've come away from this section ALWAYS (yes, you read right!) with a pair of shoes. In the past I've nabbed myself Ojay, Jane Debster, Betts, Witchery, Marie-Claire numbers and this visit I scored myself the pretty pink Witchery flats which I've shared with you recently. $6 - yes I'll take you thanks! I'll also share with you a little hint about this store, a lot of the times they'll put the more expensive brands of shoes up on the top shelf... ... but don't tell anyone I told you!

If you follow the wall around on your right, you'll go past a good selection of long dresses, nightwear, vintage numbers and haberdashery. In the past I've bought myself some summer dresses from this section including Jump, Picnic and Cooper Street, so it's worth a look for sure.

Past this you'll hit the general bric-a-brac, tupperware & glass section. This isn't the most comprehensive of sections but every now and then you may grab yourself something. I guess you'd describe it as generic stuff but I still managed to pick myself up a couple of pretty saucers and a $4 peg basket so I was satisfied with that haha.

There's a good sized book section to be found here and I have managed to get myself some reading here too, including my favourite Judith Blereau organic cookbook. I will also mention that sometimes you may find it's full of lots of Readers Digest volumes, but again, it's worth checking out as you may find the odd diamond in the rough. I left with a copy of Emma by Jane Austen ($3) which I'd been wanting to add to my vintage reading collection.

Swinging around you hit the toy & baby/toddler clothing section. AMAZING! I saw so much good stuff here; lots of labels, lots of cute and lots of good condition. While I fossicked through these in order to grab Luka a couple of numbers ($2 ea), I must admit I had fun just looking at the offerings. This is definitely a great place for those of you looking for bubba clothes. There is a selection of bigger kids clothes across from this, on hangers, and again it is chockers.

Also dotted around the place are the usual Sammy's "cheap" shelves (I can't figure out how to describe them better than that!) but they tend to be at the end of the clothes racks and may feature cheap books, toys, shoes & fabric. I found myself rummaging through a couple and came away with a little summery bunny sheet for Luka ($1), a booze decorated bar mat for Nath's bar ($1), requisite doilies ($1) and some really great quality cushion covers ($1 ea), made by old curtains as Nath kindly pointed out!

So then you just gotta turn around, survey the clothes and decide which section you want to tackle first! I'm always impressed with the Gold Seal Collection here and have, in the past, picked myself up some awesome numbers such as a brand new black Country Road dress, a gold Shila dress and my Charlie Brown pink tutu skirt (v. handy for christmas parties!). And I find they are all fairly decent prices too, so I will always have a hunt here when I can.

There is a heap to keep you occupied in the general sections too, which covers everything from jumpers to jeans, from shirts to singlets from summer to spring. Again, I've had a lot of success here. I must admit I didn't go hell for leather this time round as I was on a tight schedule (one has to be on time for one's hair appointment, no?). But given better timing by me, I would have spent alot more time rifling through the clothes.

The front counter houses some basic jewellery along with a couple of sneaky Glomesh bags to the right of the counter (hanging up beside the change rooms) and if you feel like a chat, Fleur is always up for it. Every time I've gone in, she's working and she'll happily have a natter with you.

So if you're in the area, I would suggest you make a quick turn onto Marangaroo Drive and pop into the Good Sammy's. And if you see my Mum, be sure to say hello!!!

K x

Go For: Kids Clothes, Gold Seal Collection
Try Another Sammy's For: Collectables, Bric-A-Brac

Good Sammy's Girrawheen
Newpark Shopping Centre
20/64 Marangaroo Drive
Girrawheen WA

Open: Mon-Wed 9-5.30 / Thurs 9-9 / Fri 9-5.30 / Sat 9-5

The recent feedback I've had from you is this: you wanna communicate with your fellow op shoppers, you wanna see what they are thrifting and you wanna know where from!

In light of that, I'm encouraging you to upload your finds each month to the facebook page timeline, so you can share amongst yourselves, ask questions, pick brains, go green with envy! Your images will also be added to the monthly photo album for easy viewing access along with the chance to vote a winning find... and maybe some prizes thrown in for good measure too. And don't worry, you don't need to be a professional photographer, we just wanna see what you got! x

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Northern Star - Good Sammy's Girrawheen Op Shop Review + you got that at an op shop