Amy Simpson, from Berkhamsted, is a stay-at-home mum of three young children, Olivia, one, Megan, four, and six-year-old Benjamin. She loves fashion but as she currently has her hands full looking after her children, she doesn’t have much of an income to spend on clothes.
In a bid to update her wardrobe, last year she started buying a few pieces from charity shops. Spotting good quality pre-loved clothes has now developed into a passion which she shares with others via her popular Instagram account ‘@stylemeonashoestring’.
Her ‘patch’ is Berkhamsted High Street where she’ll trawl the charity shops to find versatile items that she can mix and match with her current wardrobe. For her it is an easy and fun way to experiment with clothes and as time has gone by, she says, her choices have become bolder.
“I’m really drawn to bold colours, sequins, sparkles and rainbows and I’ve become a bit of a magpie,” she says.
Amy is a regular in The Hospice of St Francis charity shop in Berkhamsted and knows most of the staff by their first name.
“The ladies who run the shop are lovely – they give Olivia a biscuit to keep her occupied while I browse the rails,” she says. “The quality and style is great and there is a huge variety of clothes which is all priced well.”
Her two top hospice shop finds are a Massimo Dutti dress and a floaty Monsoon skirt which have been getting lots of wear and compliments in the recent hot weather. However, Amy doesn’t just buy items for herself, she has also been lucky to find some great outfits, toys and books for her children.
She believes her eye for a bargain and love of preloved clothes has saved her hundreds of pounds over the past year compared to how much she would have spent if she had bought new clothes from high street fashion shops. “I could never have such a great wardrobe if it wasn’t for my charity shop purchases” she enthuses.
“It’s great because I can deck us all out in new clothes because it’s preloved,” she says. Amy wears preloved Hospice Finds day in, day out and when people comment on her clothing and she tells them that it’s from charity shops, they are blown away. “It’s got the double benefit of also supporting a good cause. Although I don’t directly know anyone who has needed to use the hospice, I’m very aware that one day people I know and love may need its care.
“I also like the fact that the hospice is about helping people to live their lives well as well as helping people to have a good death. That all-encompassing approach to care is something really special and deserves our support.”
To see the latest bargains that Amy has bought from The Hospice of St Francis charity shop, as well as other Berkhamsted charity shop finds, you can follow Amy’s Instagram page @stylemeonashoestring. If you buy something from one of our charity shops we would love you to tag us in a social media post so we can see how fabulous you look and to thank you for your support.