Carmel Newall is using her skills in fashion design and retail for a good cause.
Miss Newall is the new Oamaru Hospice Shop manager. She started in the role last month and said she was “really excited” about the opportunity to raise money for and awareness of the Otago Community Hospice’s services.
Miss Newall grew up in Oamaru. After studying fashion design at Otago Polytechnic, she spent the next 10 years working in Dunedin and Christchurch, mostly in retail management, merchandising and stock co-ordination.
She decided to move back home to Oamaru this year to get into the property market, and said the role of Oamaru Hospice Shop manager seemed like a nice fit.
“For me, it’s sort of a culmination of what I’ve done throughout my career … now I can do all of it at once.
“It’s nice to come back [to Oamaru] now. I’ve got a new appreciation for the town, especially after living in Christchurch and Dunedin.”
About 30% of the Otago Community Hospice’s income came from its seven shops.
“The work is worthwhile and meaningful. It’s dedicated to raising funds for people who are in their greatest need.
“The care that the hospice provides is so important and I feel privileged to be able to be part of raising awareness and money.”
Her love for op-shopping, which developed when she was a student, had also helped prepare her for the role.
“I’m an avid secondhand shopper – and have been for many years,” she said.
“Because I spend so much time looking through op-shops, I’ve got an idea of where things should be priced and what I would expect to pay for something.”
Miss Newall was also passionate about recycling and said the popularity of secondhand clothes and thrift stores was growing.
“There’s definitely a bit more of an op-shopping culture coming back, which is really good.
“People are always keen to find something that’s unique – and that’s the exciting part of op-shopping, you never know what you’re going to find and you come across some amazing bargains.”
Motivating and engaging volunteers was a crucial part of the role, and the Oamaru Hospice Shop was on a recruitment drive.
“We’re always looking for volunteers and quality donations,” she said.
She was enjoying using the Hospice Shop’s Facebook page as a tool to promote some of the shop’s best bargains and most interesting items to create more of a community following.