At BSL, we are incredibly lucky to have such a diverse team of talented, passionate and dedicated staff members who manage our stores. And we love sharing their stories.
Sam’s journey with BSL began 4 years ago, joining the team as manager of the iconic Hunter Gatherer store in Fitzroy. And with an extensive background in second-hand retailing and visual merchandising, Sam has proven to be the perfect fit for such a vibrant store.
Sam’s passion for recycled retail is inspiring, and the energy he brings to the store each day is what makes Hunter Gatherer so much fun to visit. He enjoys being able to create an environment that is welcoming and exciting for everyone, “sometimes it feels more like a party than work. What more could you want!”, he says.
And for Sam, his interest in vintage fashion extends back to fond childhood memories of op shopping for bargains with his Mum, who wore “20s oppy finds in the 70s!”, he recalls. “She has always been very environmentally conscious, and respected the ongoing lifecycle of second-hand goods, both for their charm and recycled merits”, explains Sam, adding that “these values were very much passed down to me”.
These are also the values that drew Sam to the opportunity to work with BSL, and it’s what has helped him maintain such a wonderful, community minded culture in his store. “The best thing that I have gained from BSL is a sense of giving back. Knowing that all the hard work I put in, will go towards helping our community and society in a positive way”, he explains.
And to those who are interested in volunteering, Sam says: “do it!”
Volunteers receive great training and gain skills in a retail environment that supports the recycling industry, while making genuine connections with work mates and customers. “It’s very fulfilling”, he adds.
Drop in to visit Sam at Hunter Gatherer Fitzroy
Tim moved to Melbourne two years ago and decided to join the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) in February last year. It was a decision that he recalls, “just simply felt right”, after meeting amazing people through the recruitment process.
Coming from a sales background, Tim was after a new challenge in a diverse role and an industry that fit his values. And after meeting with the team and learning more about BSL op shops, Tim was extremely excited to become the new store manager at Kilsyth.
“I feel really lucky to be part of the BSL family. They’re so supportive, kind and generous. Everyone has been amazing, especially over the last year, we’ve faced so many challenges together”, says Tim.
Tim leads his team at BSL Kilsyth with authentic community values, he genuinely appreciates the contribution of every team member and loves getting to know each volunteer and customer that walks through the door.
“The biggest thing I ask of the team is just to have fun”, tells Tim, “because when the team is uplifted and happy, customers will feel that too, and we have the chance to brighten someone’s day”.
Tim also encourages a learning environment where everyone can gain new skills and access the training and support that they desire, even for those who don’t feel particularly confident in a customer facing role. This community minded spirit is at the heart of the BSL Kilsyth op shop.
“We just bounce off one another. I love it when there is someone working who doesn’t usually talk a whole lot but ends up having the best time. We have an amazing vibe in here, and when it’s busy the atmosphere is amazing. We’ve got it going on!”, says Tim.
And for Tim, one of the best things he has gained from his experience at BSL is the many friendships made with different people. “This is the dream job”, says Tim.
Take a trip to BSL Kilsyth to meet Tim and the lovely team.
Eda first wondered into an op shop as a casual retail assistant over ten years ago, hoping to find a job that offers balance after raising two wonderful kids, and to find the freedom to develop her skills in an environment she loves.
And now, having been with BSL for over five years, Eda offers a wealth of knowledge and creative flare as the store manager of our newest BSL op shop in Sandringham.
“The atmosphere in our op shop is amazing, and we really get to know our customers”, explains Eda, who believes that the key to running a successful op shop is understanding exactly what the local community wants. “You know you’re onto a good thing when customers enjoy spending time in your store, and they feel comfortable enough to keep coming back in for a chat.”
As a manager who is passionate about people from all backgrounds, Eda has an intuitive ability to help her volunteers reach their greatest potential. “Our volunteers are amazing, and they are all talented in some way. Whether it’s cleaning, customer service or sorting donations that they enjoy most, every little bit really helps”, she says.
And for Eda, “there is nothing better than waking up to a job that doesn’t feel like work, especially when that job makes a real difference in people’s lives”.
Working in an op shop is such a great opportunity to make amazing friends while contributing to a cause that really matters.
So, to anyone who may be interested in joining the BSL Sandringham team, Eda says “come work with us! We’re like a family, and this is going to be our best op shop yet!”
Visit BSL Sandringham today!