In need of some quality second hand goods, visit Mrs. Secondhand
We stopped by Mrs. Secondhand for a chat with business owner Jody Galvin, who has been in the secondhand business since before secondhand was cool. She also owns a second business across the road Pack Up Your Troubles, it’s a decluttering business and they specialise in helping families with deceased estates.
Firstly, I would like to ask are you a Brunswick local?
I’ve lived in Brunswick since I was 18, so about 20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of change in the area, when I first moved here nobody wanted to live here, it was all factories and families. All the people I wanted to hang out with were in Fitzroy or Carlton. In the last 15 years the area has really picked up, it’s now a happening place, for nightlife bars and restaurants, it’s totally different. That being said, The Lomond Hotel is a pub I have been going to since when I first moved here, I still go there today, I’ve played a lot of music in there myself. It’s had a very local crowed for a very long time, same family have had it for a long time, great people.
How did you get into the second hand business?
When I was growing up, my Dad was an auctioneer and a realestate agent and so we used to do house clearances. So I grew up in the secondhand business, I was a big lover of the camberwell market also. Outside of Mrs. Secondhand Hand I also run a decluttering business, it’s across the road called “Pack Up Your Troubles.” Wayne was looking at what to do next in life, Mrs. Secondhand was on the market, it was perfect timing.
You have been into secondhand before it was cool, but now that it is do you get a younger crowd in here?
We do get lots of younger people in here, they are looking for vintage clothing. Vintage clothing is not our speciality and so they can often get it here a little cheaper than other secondhand shops. Everyone is after that sneaky designer piece if they can snag it but most shops know what they have, so it will not be dirt cheap. The lucky thing for us, because we help families with clearing deceased estates, we still come across good things.
There is lots of really great quality secondhand furniture out there, it’s great to see it finding a new home rather than landfill. We don’t do just the retro and vintage stuff we do all eras of furniture, we even work with real estate stylists who just style homes for sale. They change their furniture out a few times a year, that furniture has never really been used. You would have to be living under a rock if you were not aware of the amount of waste happening on the planet now, so plenty of people who were not traditionally into secondhand are starting to find the quality goods in this area.
I’m into multifunctioning, when customers come in and their are looking for a particular piece. I like to help them find something that, once they are sick of it in one area they can use it elsewhere to completely transform a space.
We get a mixture of people in Mr. Secondhand from hardcore collectors, they collect specific things like vintage toys, magazines, old kitchen things and science stuff. Then you get people from the suburbs, who are just looking for nicely priced furniture.
I think we have all seen shows like American pickers and Pawn Stars, what stands out as your most interesting piece?
We once got a 60s fibreglass reindeer in here, the guy was into old cars and so he had a nice soft top old Ford and he played Santa each year in this Ford and the reindeer sat on the carport roof. The family wasn’t going to continue the tradition, so we took the reindeer. We’ve found some breathtaking furniture, that has survived the test of time and lived totally preserved in somebody’s house untouched, that’s my favourite thing about this business, finding out the story behind a piece, that really fascinates me. We try and get as much information about our products when we get them in, people want to know the history of something when they buy it.
Jody said it best, “You would have to be living under a rock if you were not aware of the amount of waste happening on the planet.” Rather than shopping for new things all the time, whether you are moving into a new apartment, you need a few new things for your wardrobe or you just want to add a bit of character to a space, give Mr. Secondhand a visit. Chat with Jody or Wayne, you just never know how they might be able to help. If you you are brunching in Brunswick this weekend, Mr. Secondhand is located at 11 Ann St, just off Lygon Street, be sure to stop by and see what Jody has on offer.