Bargain hunters take note – there’s a sleek new breed of charity shop in town! Greyhound Rescue Wales is turning heads on a number of Wales high streets with a series of breathtaking shop window displays, creatively crafted from upcycled goods.
The shops in Cardiff, Blackwood and Swansea are transforming the way charity shops are perceived in their communities, with passers-by singing their praises. The eye-catching displays have included dresses made of hand-dyed coffee filters, music sheets, wallpaper and playing cards, as well as outfits made wholly from unwanted ties. The Cardiff shop, in Roath’s Albany Road, was even listed in the UK’s top 20 charity shop displays 2017 by prestigious blog Charity Shop VM, alongside leading organisations including The Children’s Society and Oxfam!
The artwork is the brainchild of Greyhound Rescue Wales’ head of retail Judy Badcock, the shops’ managers and deputy managers and an invaluable team of volunteers. Judy said:
“I was initially appointed manager of the Blackwood shop when it opened in October 2014 and had the privilege of setting it up, from bare walls to retail heaven! I had a vision that the shop would stand out in the High Street and, utilising my 30 years’ experience of retail skills, I was able to create a boutique style environment.
“Cardiff proved a little different and, due to the high number of other charity shops in the city, we had to ensure that we stood out even further. Here our former manager Natasha was able to use her creative skills to ensure that our window displays were the best. When we decided to embark on another shop in Swansea in 2017, it was paramount that it would follow in the footsteps of Blackwood and Cardiff. We again had to ensure that we offered a unique experience – and customer feedback shows we have achieved our goal!
“Our window displays attract so many people, who often pop in and say how wonderful the changing themes are, and we’ve even had passers-by emailing in with praise, which is very rewarding.”
Greyhound Rescue Wales’ head-turning shops mark an innovative business model that’s going from strength to strength, with a fourth shop set to open its doors in Merthyr Tydfil this spring. Retail generates a vital income stream for the organisation – which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year – and helps to fund its life-saving and rehabilitation work with former racing greyhounds and lurchers.
The shops are always on the lookout for new volunteers and donations of good quality clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac. To find out more, just call in, while anyone interested in rehoming or fostering a greyhound can call the national helpline on 0300 0123 999 or email [email protected].