It was mid-2010 and I was sitting and getting my foils done at the salon, talking to my hairdresser, and friend of more than seven years, Angie Dimitriou.
“It was horrible, Meg,” she was saying. “These poor people are in their 20s and 30s and they have to live in nursing homes because there’s no other facilities to help them.”
She was talking about a news segment she’d seen on The Project the night before and was very upset.
“We have to do something. We have to raise money or run an event or something,” she said.
As my highlights developed we began brainstorming. We both love fashion and love shopping and – like any normal 20-something Melbourne girl – we also loved bargains and markets. An idea began to form.
Angie’s salon Boda Haircutters is located on Greville St, just a few shops back from Chapel St – Melbourne’s fashion precinct. We realised we could host our own market, here in the salon, and invite all our friends to come and set up stalls and sell off the things they no longer like or wear. It would be like a Camberwell market event, but inside, and we could take a cut of their profits to give to charity.
We came up with the name Walk-in Wardrobe as we thought walking into a salon filled with racks of clothing and stalls would have that feeling.
Since that initial discussion two years ago the concept has grown.
Now in 2012, we’re preparing for our third market (coming up on Sunday May 6). That first year we raised more than $2200 for YoungCare Australia. Last year it was a similar amount for the Clown Doctors. This year we hope to raise more than $2500 for Multiple Scelrosis research through the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign.
We choose our charities based on personal experience. Angie has friends with MS and the majority of people diagnosed are young women – it was a perfect fit.
We were delighted by the response from the KGTMS team, who were over the moon we chose to support their charity. They’ve been excellent in teaching us more about the disease and have invited us to events where researchers and scientists have spoken about the latest developments. For us, this is fantastic, as we know exactly where the money is going and how it will be spent. Plus, learning more about the disease has been eye opening.
The other benefit has been spending so much time together. Angie and I met as teenagers and this has really strengthened our friendship. It’s been an amazing opportunity to work on such a worthwhile project as a team. We both have different strengths, which help us to build successful events. Knowing that we are able to combine our love of fashion, networking and charity is a really special thing.
It’s also been an opportunity for our friends to meet each other, and opened the door to a whole new group of girl friends.
We’d love to see Walk-in Wardrobe spread beyond Greville Street and maybe one day be held all over the country. For now though, we’re considering holding our event more than once a year – the demand is certainly there for it!
Our upcoming event on May 6 will be our biggest to date. We have an excellent selection of stallholders – including handmade jewellery, vintage and pre-loved clothing, shoes, accessories and even a reflexology therapist (which is said to help those suffering from MS). We’ll have a guest speaker on the day, a woman who has MS, who will talk to people about the disease and what it’s like to live with.
There are dedicated scientists working closely on the mystery surrounding MS and have developed some very promising treatments and if we’re lucky we might actually see a cure in our lifetime, but research costs money so events like ours are crucial.
It’s too late to be a stallholder for this event, but you can support Walk-in Wardrobe by following us on Facebook or Twitter – or by coming along on the day! We can promise an afternoon of great bargains and shopping.
You can also take a look at the Kiss Goodbye to MS website here.
Walk-In Wardrobe will be held on Sunday May 6, 12 – 4pm at Boda Haircutters, 183 Greville St, Prahran. For more information, visit the Facebook page.