Buy your ball gown from bustling Rolleston op shop

Hope Op Shop manager Dana George (centre) with volunteer Julie Gunby (left) and clothing manager...
Hope Op Shop manager Dana George (centre) with volunteer Julie Gunby (left) and clothing manager Shelly Robinson. Photo: Supplied
A new outdoor op shop in Rolleston will soon open an on-site "boutique" full of pre-loved ball suits and gowns.

It is the latest development at the bustling Hope Op Shop, which customers and volunteers describe as a “community hub.”

The shop, comprising of three shipping containers full of pre-loved clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac, is open from 10am to 1pm, three days per week, weather permitting.

Items are priced low from 50 cents to just a few dollars. Photo: Supplied
Items are priced low from 50 cents to just a few dollars. Photo: Supplied
“It’s a hub, we don’t have many hubs to connect in Rolleston,” said volunteer Chris Parker.

“Rolleston is a lovely welcoming community, and this is part of it,” said regular customer Heidi Baker, who moved to the town in December.

Manager Dana George opened the shop on Springston Rolleston Rd, next door to Rolleston Christian School, in February.

Regular Hope Op Shop customer Heidi Baker (left), with volunteer Chris Parker, is happy with her...
Regular Hope Op Shop customer Heidi Baker (left), with volunteer Chris Parker, is happy with her purchase of a $3 mini couch. Photo: Supplied
George has seen customer demand skyrocket since, and she is hoping the new ball attire initiative will be just as popular.

A Portacom arriving on site this week would be carpeted and painted to become the new boutique-style base for the evening wear.

“Ball season is coming up at the colleges, and we have so many people who can’t afford ball gowns and ball suits,” George said.

The former flight attendant established the shop on Hope Church land after initially collecting household items last year to give away to fellow Rolleston residents in need.

At the time, she had recently left her job to help care for her autistic son.

She had found there was huge demand, due in part to the Covid pandemic. Lockdowns and quiet times had put financial and relationship pressure on businesses and families.

The Hope Op Shop. Photo: Supplied
The Hope Op Shop. Photo: Supplied
She said Hope Church had come on board to help, providing a committee of five people to support her in running the shop, which was a not-for-profit project. She also had a strong team of dedicated volunteers.

“Our motto is: ‘People Over Profit’,” George said.

Items are priced low, from 50c to just a few dollars.

“They are only suggested donations, if people can’t pay that, they have a chat with us.”

The op shop received many donations of items, which did not last long on the shelves as customers flocked in by the dozens.

Charter Transport helped move the containers into the new hub. Photo: Facebook
Charter Transport helped move the containers into the new hub. Photo: Facebook
Finding a cute treasure or a much-needed household item could make someone’s day.

“A lot of people like to get a bargain for their mental health as well,” George said.

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