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The art of the find: Thrift store shopping in Kelowna

Ask anyone who loves to shop, visiting a store isn’t about purchasing another pair of shoes or another #fabulous blouse. Shopping is so much more than this.
Like a predatory lioness stalking through the African Savanna, shopping is all about the hunt. It’s about wading through a range of clothes that don’t appeal to you and then finding 'The Item.' The piece that makes waking up on Monday morning entirely worthwhile simply because you get to show it off.
In today’s modern world, hunting for the perfect item is as close to the prehistoric man as you can get (in my humble opinion at least).

<who> KelownaNow </who>
Trying to describe this to a non-shopper is a task. Hence my struggle with explaining this to Sarah, my colleague. As a down-to-earth woman who typically funds her expeditions across the globe by painting houses, Sarah wasn’t one for shopping. In Sarah’s humble opinion, shopping was tiresome, expensive and slightly vain.

In other words, she clearly misunderstood the true meaning of shopping. To show her what’s what, while forcing her to purchase some new clothes, I took her to place that requires one genuinely embrace the ‘art of the find’: the thrift stop.
<who> KelownaNow </who> The MCC Thrift Shop located on Rutland Road
We kicked off our Saturday morning shopping safari at Auxillary Thrift Store, located on Dougall Rd, Rutland. This is one of my personal favorites, not only are the staff friendly, the store is well organized (as far as Thrift Stores go). Additionally, all proceeds raised by this thrift store go towards the KGH Foundation.
At the Auxiliary Thrift Store we were on the chase for a cute dress Sarah could wear to work on a spring day. We found a lovely navy blue dress and paired it with a cute red belt. Just for good measure, and because we didn’t want it to be too cute and girly, we threw in a metallic purse. I also managed to force her into a pair of heels, a form of footwear she’d only worn once in her whole life!

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow </who> Outfit: Dress - $5.00, Belt - $2.00, Shoes - $8.50, Bag $2.00
Sarah was also in need of an ‘adult’ outfit she could wear to an evening business event. Not one for a cute LBD, we settled on a crisp white shirt with black cut-off pants. We paired this with little black kitten heels and a sparkly necklace (because I had to add some pizazz).

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow </who> Outfit: Shirt $12.00, Pants $5.00 (buy one get one free), Necklace $2.00, Shoes - $8.50
After sifting through what the Auxiliary Thrift Store had to offer, we took a gander over to Asher road and checked out a thrift store located there. While we didn’t manage to track down any clothing items, they did have lovely displays and a wonderful array of furniture and other household goods.

<who> KelownaNow </who>
The MCC Thrift Store, located on Rutland Road, was our next hunting ground. While this thrift store is ran by the Mennonite Church, it nevertheless raises money for non-religious organizations across our community including the Karis Support Society and Pathways Abilities Society. As a North America wide organization, the MCC also raises money for schools and medical treatment across Africa and Eastern Europe. For coffee lovers, you can also purchase some guilt-free fair trade java.

At the MCC thrift store, Sarah was gunning for a power outfit that would be the perfect accessory to an important client meeting. We tracked down a pair of faux-leather pants and a striking orange blouse. This combination made an impression without being overpowering. It also looked polished and professional while having character.
<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow </who> Outfit: Orange Blouse - $4.50, Faux Leather Pants - $4.50
"The first MCC Thrift Shop was set up out east in 1972,” said June Foreman, manager of Kelowna’s store. “Our local and global mission is relief development and peace. We want to provide this thrift store so that people who can’t afford to purchase brand clothing can come here and purchase brand or not brand clothing that is gently used at an affordable price. As such, we haven’t changed our clothing prices in eight years.”

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow </who>
When we sat down for lunch at the end of our shopping excursion, Sarah confessed that she’d actually had a great time. Not only had we found her three new outfits, with many items that can be mixed and matched, we’d spent a grand total of only $54 dollars. In addition, this $54 had gone towards great causes, whether that’s state-of-the-art equipment for the KGH Foundation, some food for a mother and her child at Karis Support Society or treating diabetes in Kenya.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow </who> A collection of photographs of people who have been helped by MCC thrift store and those who shop there.

 
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