Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Shopping with a heart

All the Hob's proceeds go to the Vancouver Hospice Society.

My latest Hob treasures on display in the backyard sunshine.
My friend Linda and I became Hob addicts when it was a jumbled little thrift store at 17th  and Dunbar. Opening the door was like entering a treasure chest: We knew that hidden among the slightly used casual wear, the shoes, purses and hats, there was always the chance of scoring something like a beautiful pure linen shirt from a top-name brand for $4 or $5. Which we did, many and many a time.

For years, the Hob (which stands for Hospice Opportunity Boutique) supplied my coats -- including a $400 Burberry duffle that I got for $40. Once I asked whether there were any vests in the back of the store, as my elderly mother liked to wear them. Out came a stack of beautiful vests that I bought on the spot: My mother wore them almost every day until she died.

 But the Hob has always had a different feel, perhaps because it is entirely volunteer-operated, perhaps because all its proceeds go to the Vancouver Hospice Society. Or maybe because it is fuelled by the heart of the community: Its contents are all donated by people willing to give their high-quality goods away instead of reselling or returning them.

 The Hob eventually moved up Dunbar to 27th, then to its current location on 41st in Kerrisdale, shifting gradually to a more upscale operation. Gone is the jumble of casual wear, the lower-quality items, the sense of being able to dig through dross to find treasures. The racks are colour-coordinated and the prices have risen to better reflect the quality of the products. But there are still bargains, still welcoming volunteers and still the knowledge that every penny you pay goes to a good cause.

 On Wednesday, I dropped in to look for summer shirts; the Hob did not disappoint.

1 comment:

  1. Recycling at its best! We love the Revivals (AIDS charity) thrift stores in Palm Springs because they mark things at a standard price usually $4.00 then you get a senior's discount of 10%. We have become very fussy and only buy things that would sell for over a $100. Other thrift stores like Angel View sort through and price their items according to real retail value and things are still a bargain. But, there is something special about finding those treasures at Revivals.