Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Bageshri Savyasachi

'An explosion of colour': Inside Canberra's biggest Vinnies in Braddon

The most flamboyant Vinnies op-shop in Canberra, also the biggest, is opening its doors on Friday, and The Canberra Times got a sneaky peek. Here's what you can expect.

The store was truly a feast for the eyes.

There's more stuff inside than anyone can take in in one or even 10 visits. Clothes in colour-coded aisles, rare collectibles, vintage trappings, and sawed mannequin legs make an impression as soon as you step in.

Not-for-sale repurposed props including chests, mirrors, tyres and a bathroom sink have also helped set the scene for this thrifter's haven.

The store carries a great range of products. Besides clothes and shoes, you can find $1 children's items, games, books, home decor, appliances and even stock from luxury brands.

"This Vinnies is different to other venues because we're using color racking. We've got more than 100 page frames for our clothes and aisles for our bric bracs," retail development manager Isla Smith said.

Chief executive of Vinnies Canberra and Goulburn Lucy Hohnen checks out clothes at the new Braddon store before its official opening on Friday. Picture by Gary Ramage

"It was a little bit of a risk [but] we were trying to create an explosion of color and life ... and really land in this place in Braddon because it's so vibrant a community."

She said there were months of planning and creativity poured into this one store, and it really showed.

"No one has slept in weeks. It's really an act of love here," Lucy Hohnen, chief executive of Vinnies Canberra Goulburn, said on Thursday.

"We're really excited about tomorrow because we've had such interest. People who are in here working have had constant streams of people knocking on the door asking 'Are you open? When are you opening? Are you ready?'.

"We've also had a very active social media [engagement] around this which we haven't done before."

It's more than a hoarder's paradise, it's an attractive place to spend a hot afternoon in and some money that'll help the less fortunate.

Hohnen said they were receiving about 150 calls a day from people who were struggling to make ends meet.

"The cost-of-living and housing crisis have meant an increase in needs, everything that we raise through our stores goes into supporting those people," she said.

Chief executive Lucy Hohnen inside Vinnies Braddon. Picture by Gary Ramage

It's the first inner-city Vinnies, their 10th store in Canberra, and it's been a long time coming. Volunteers and staff were impatient to see the community's reaction on Friday.

Store manager Julie Bartley was expecting big crowds of people on opening day.

"I'm expecting people to be rushing in to enjoy this wonderland of pre-loved treasures," Bartley said.

Store manager at Vinnies Braddon Julie Bartley sets up for opening day. Picture by Gary Ramage

She also said they were short of volunteers at the Braddon location and was hoping more would people donate their time once the op-shop was open.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.