Out of lockdown - a new year, a new month, a new week, a new blog section...

Out of lockdown - a new year, a new month, a new week, a new blog section...

Like so many of you, we at the Treasure Chest we've just about had enough of the rolling "lockdowns" ... but out of those challenging times, our creative juices got over-active... and the result is the new Treasure Chest vintage rental department.

As I'm sure you can imagine, starting something new as we reopened is not for the faint hearted as the challenges keep on coming fast and furious. But I digress ... what I really want to share with you, is my love for antiques and vintage goodies … a passion that has been with me for over 40 years.

I have collected furniture, paintings, jewellery and off course loads of crockery... especially teacups and plates. But then in my previous life I entertained a lot ... so my own collection came in handy in those times, especially when the hubby of the time, a senior corporate board executive, would come home and would just tell me ... expect 30 people tomorrow evening. As a result I became an expert at managing "crisis events" on very short notice.

What saved my sanity and the event time after time was the fact that not only did I have a vast collection of interesting vintage items that I could use, but I also had trusted prop rental friends, florists and caterers on speed dial.

Since being in Portugal my passion for interesting collectables and vintage items did not go on holiday, instead it went into overdrive.

When the Treasure Chest concept first crossed my mind I knew what type of store it could become, especially after we found the appropriate space with room to let my imagination run wild. A venue that led itself to display not only my own collected items that I brought with me from South Africa, but also items that I have bought and are on loan to the store, as well as a few that were donated to us over a period of time.

There’s no doubt that our props and the eclectic mix of goodies that we have on show all over the store attract many of our store visitors, with some going so far as to shown an interest in purchasing them. Sadly, many believing that because we are a non-profit organisation and our store is “technically” seen as being just another “charity shop”, they were under the impression that those items could be picked up for just a few pennies.

That state of affairs put me in a serious dilemma, as many of the items on display are not cheap, myself having paid far more than I knew those interested would be willing to pay.

With that dilemma in mind, the solution in my opinion was to enable anyone that would like to enjoy them, to have access to those items that caught their attention for a short period of time by renting them from the store for special events.

And that is how the vintage rental department was born.

We know that the Treasure Chest vintage rental department will fulfil various objectives:

  • Enable our clients to enjoy those items that attract them but are not on sale.
  • Enable them to enjoy it at a fraction of the real cost (because its on rental - nor purchase cost).
  • Gives our clients access to a wide selection of items for their events along the year.
  • Enables our organisation to raise funds on an ongoing basis from those items, thus maximising the long-term benefits for our beneficiaries. Which is what we were set-up to do.

Does above mean that we will stop all traditional sales in our store?

Not at all!

Clothing in our clothing department will continue to be sold, as well as selected furniture items, bathroom and bed linens, curtains, kitchen goodies as well as books.

As we go through the process of implementing all the necessary changes, we ask for your understanding, and off course we counting on you to continue to support our store, as after all …

the income generated is being applied to meet the objectives of our humanitarian causes.

Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to seeing you in our store, as well as receiving your feedback and any comments that you would like to make.

All are more than welcome.

Laurinda Seabra
CEO of Empowerment Gateway




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