Last weekend I happily gave myself over to be experimented upon. The wonderful Kim-Marie Williams from Kimba Likes ( http://kimbalikes.com/) was looking for guinea pigs for her new business idea – The Kimba Likes Thrifting Tour and I was more than happy to answer the call. The prospect of an entire morning child free to shop and drink fine coffee with some lovely ladies was too alluring to resist. So I abandoned Dadabulous and made a rare pilgrimage over the Anzac Bridge to meet up with RoboMum (http://robomum.wordpress.com/) and Girlzed (https://twitter.com/Girlzed) at the hip La Grande Bouffe cafe in Rozelle.
Finding a niche and going for it.
If you’ve spent any time traipsing around the Aussie blogging landscape then you’ve no doubt encountered the delightful corner of cyber space that is Kimba Likes (http://kimbalikes.com/). Kim-Marie’s world is all about fashion, friends, frivolity and of course her gorgeous menfolk (her adored husband and son). It’s a blog that radiates joyfulness at all the good things in life. Even if fashion is not your thing, its difficult not to be charmed by her enthusiasm and passion for beautiful things.
Recently the Kimba Likes blog has become a platform for a germinating business concept. The idea of hosting thrift shopping tours had been rattling around in Kim’s mind for some years but with her 40th birthday looming large on the horizon she decided now was the time to get started. She took a leap of faith and resigned from a job that was making her stressed and miserable. She knew that she dearly wanted to make fashion her livelihood but it was a question of exactly how to go about it. Kim-Marie had already established a reputation as a “master shopper”. Her friends would frequently seek her advice and “book her in” for shopping expeditions. Even strangers asked her for her stylist card. Meanwhile her blog was taking off and had attracted the attention of the bigger plays like Andrea and Fox in Flats (http://www.foxinflats.com.au/) and Nikki from Styling You (http://www.stylingyou.com.au/). It was simply a case of finding a niche and running with it. For Kim-Marie, the answer was thrifting – or breathing new life into second hand clothes.
Kim-Marie is lucky enough to live in Rozelle, a thriving suburb in Sydney’s inner west with loads of character. Rozelle not only boasts funky cafe’s and edgy upcoming restaurants and bars it is home to the in Kim-Marie’s words “the Golden Triangle of Thrifting”. The cross formed by Darling St and Victoria Rd is abuzz with op shops, classic vintages stores and weekend markets. Kim-Marie knows this terrain like the back of her hand and loves nothing more than the thrill of chasing down a bargain whilst making a friend look and feel amazing at the same time. The idea of Kimba Likes Thrifting Tours was born!
The thrifting experience
On the morning of the tour we steeled ourselves with caffeine and headed off like a pack of cougars on a mission. As you would expect Kim-Marie had the low down on every store on the strip and directed us towards the best “hits”. The Rozelle Vinnies, though unassuming on the exterior was a hidden treasure trove of amazingness. The jumbled racks were crammed with labels, sweetie labels – designer fare at a fraction of the original cost. Kim-Marie scanned everything with her “magpie eyes”, quickly calculating whether any particular item was a bargain and assessing how it could be given a new lease on life. She also encouraged us to step outside our fashion “comfort zones”, encouraging us to play with new colours and styles.
I picked up this elegant woolen dress. It’s nylon, angora, silk blend and is fully lined. Its very flattering to my figure type and I actually feel sexy in it ( a rarity indeed).
I also picked up this sequinned jumper for a little day time sparkle.
Having exhausted Vinnies, we headed to the sunny side of the street to check out the Salvos and U-turn.
Here I picked up this cute Tommy Hilfiger blouse.
And this Marks & Spencer linen vest in excellent condition.
I couldn’t resist this striped Chanel style cardigan and needed only the most gentle prompting from Kim-Marie to snap it up. There may be a few similar items in closet-abulous but what can I say – I fetishise stripes almost as much as shirtless British actors.
By this time I was loaded up like a pack horse and decided to switch off the cashflow. The others intrepidly braved the Rozelle markets after refuelling at the Rosebud cafe.
Overall it was a fantastically fun morning. Kim-Marie is every bit as vibrant in person as she is online and I thank her for giving me a much needed injection of fab. I came home with five “good as new” items for a total of around $120.00 and a successful bargain hunters glow.
To find out more contact Kim-Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org.