Clever and interesting people pop up everywhere in the Northern Illawarra.
Mission Australia in Thirroul has to be one of the best-dressed shops in the region. Cleverly grouped displays make for colourful and themed vignettes, so everything looks adorable, and enticing.
And it’s all thanks to amazing manager Ryan Xuereb, who can’t believe he’s lucky enough to have landed his dream job!
Originally from Woonona, Ryan has a background in merchandising and interior design, including working for fab Wollongong cafe Lee and Me. But most importantly, Ryan is a seasoned op-shopper.
“I’ve been collecting stuff from op-shops for years,” says Ryan. “Since I was a teenager I’ve hardly shopped anywhere but second-hand. I have made some great finds over the years. You’d be surprised what people throw away, so you never know what you’ll come home with!”
Ryan studied at the Design Centre at Enmore, but says he really just fell into merchandising, because it’s something he loves to do.
“I have styled friend’s weddings and church events,” he says. “Since I was a kid I have loved to design interior spaces. In fact I have just moved into a friend’s garage and have filled the whole place with things I’ve brought home from op shops over the years.
So Ryan took this….
And turned it into this…
And this.. using things he’s bought at op-shops over the years.
“Then one day the lady from the Dapto Mission Australia store needed help doing her windows and before I knew it, the area manager had offered me this job in Thirroul.
“This is the best way to shop, because everything fabulous comes to me. I’m so lucky I get paid to do what I love!”