“I had my daughter when I was a teen. When my daughter was nine months old, my Dad said “it’s time you do something for yourself”. A lady was selling her Baby Shop, so went home to Dad and said “how about this?” We organised it all, I worked nine till three, I made items and sold second hand clothes while being able to have my baby at work.

I really enjoyed it. But as we all do I thought there must be something better in life, so I sold it, soon realising I made a mistake and that was actually what I wanted to do.

It’s always been my dream to have a shop again. I wanted to create a space that’s peaceful for people, and that helps the environment. It’s kind of educating people who don’t normally shop second hand – to make it an easy space for them to transition into shopping second hand. We wash everything which is a huge job, all our homewares are second hand, all our gifts are sustainable. All our knitting wool is 100% wool or cotton, we have no acrylic. it’s a real family store, it’s a store for the community full of all of ‘My Favourite Things’.

I encourage our staff to talk to the elderly as sometimes it is the only friendly conversation they will have all week. In New Zealand we do not respect our older community enough, I really enjoy talking to them as they have a lot to offer.

We welcome everybody, and we say thanks for coming in, enjoy your day. People say, “Oh, you’re so nice.” And I reply “I’m not nice. I’m normal.” People have lost that level of niceness, which is a bit sad.

We have three groups that meet and they knit for Ukraine, for Operation Cover Up. I’ll tell you what, our Friday group, I can hear them laughing right from down the end of the shop. It’s really cool to know that they have made friendships there.

My father was a minister and my mother worked in mental health so we’ve been a family for service. We lived opposite Hillmorton Hospital, and we saw a lot of people who just needed, you know, that kind spark. Dad would send people who needed a meal to the fish and chip shop and then pay the bill at the end of the month. A big thing my father taught us was not to judge. I have Dyslexia which affects my ability to read paper text. In spite of this, I can still run a business. I think this helps me understand people. Even if you have limitations, you can still achieve big things.”

– Mary

Charity registration number: CC57701