Christmas in Stockbridge is probably the best time of the year for us; there is such a feeling of community spirit and a great atmosphere wherever you go. We start making preparations for Christmas in September with a stock drive in-store, asking for donations of coats and warm winter wear which so we can display it in store when the colder weather hits. This year we have had lots of winter warmers donated, great for our Spread the Warmth Campaign.
We then start to plan what festive sparkles we would like to source and this year it’s been a stunning range of jewellery that is very contemporary and fashionable. We love this new range of jewellery because it’s high quality and on trend, but the proceeds from buying it go back to helping make Scotland a better place for older people. We backed this range up with a classic range of vintage-styled scarves which have pretty much sold out already!
From October the volunteers start to plan a night out for the whole team which is always a sell-out and very glam affair for the Stockbridge shop! As the whole team get together it’s a great chance to catch up with people you don’t often share a shift with. For me as a shop manager it’s fantastic to see such a wide group of ages mix so well and have a brilliant time, it’s also good for me to be able to say thank-you for all the hard work over the year.
The Christmas cards are a huge part of our festive season every year, and I’m always amazed at how loyal our customers are in faithfully buying cards from us every year. This year has been a great year for cards in our shop with fantastic sales. As is tradition in our store, we visit local coffee afternoons and community events to sell cards. The volunteers enjoy going to these with me as we are such an established part of the Stockbridge community.
For us the festive buzz kicks in on the shop floor mid November when the team get the Christmas displays and windows done, it’s always a great atmosphere. There’s no shortage of inspiration and ideas for the displays: this year I’ve heard whispers of 80s style glitter balls and bright neon kids gloves adorning the tree!
We are working closely with Jen a social media volunteer who has launched the Edinburgh shops on the web, find us on Twitter and Facebook to see Crystal and Alexis (the Stockbridge shop mannequins) get stuck into volunteering and their antics around the local area. They are also good at highlighting any designer or quirky items we get donated, as they can’t resist trying them on!
By now it’s Christmas Eve and we are all ready for a few days off as we’ve traded long days often staying open later in the run up to Christmas and processing in excess of 1000 bits of clothes a week (extra enjoyable as we hunt down party wear, glam clutch bags and smart shirts for the gents). So, all that remains is to say Merry Christmas from all at Stockbridge shop!
You can follow whats happening in our Edinburgh charity shops, and find out what Crystal and Alexis are up to over the festive season and all year round by ‘Liking’ us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.
Manager, Age Scotland Charity Shop, Stockbridge.