SKIP Dinner speaks to the only manager that matters to find out if her new found fame has gone to her head
Every young woman dreams of her big break and how she might find it. For Cinderella it was a glass slipper, one audition took Victoria Beckham from povvo to posh spice and for Charity Shop Sue, it was an Instagram account that now boasts 6,000 followers.
Known to her friends back in Bulwell as Sue Tuke, manager of Sec*Hand Chances, Sue first caught my attention with a video of her flogging a porcelain cock (poultry not penis) and though I wasn’t in the market for any kitsch trinkets, my swiping finger was brought to a swift halt. Offline, it would be easy to mistake Sue as another honest woman, just trying to make a difference in her small corner of the world. However, it’s star quality like hers that the British public have been yearning for since The X Factor’s glory days. Whether she be working on her fitness at the local park, reprimanding shop assistant Viki for leaving the till unattended or storming off live TV, everything Sue does she does in the name of charity, though, after walking for Rottingdean Bazaar’s AW18 show at London Fashion Week Men’s and making an appearance on Sky TV, Sue has quickly ousted Rebecca Adlington as Nottingham’s sweetheart.
SKIP Dinner caught up with Sue to find out whether all the schmoozing with the fashion crowd had gone to her head.
1. What have you learnt about the fashion industry since your Rottingdean Bazaar debut?
The charity and fashion industries are very similar - a lot of rammel, but some proper gold if you know where to look.
2. Was there ever a moment where you really felt like you’d made it?
Not really; it takes a lot to phase me. Until I’ve got Madonna on speed dial, I couldn’t give a shit.
3. How has your life changed since being in the glossy pages of fashion magazines?
I’m still on a one-woman mission to save the world with charity...so no change there!
4. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever flogged for charity?
I flogged a Victorian doll last year that did have a look of malevolence in its eyes... I knocked it down a few quid and managed to sell her on. The woman who bought it tried to return the dolly a week later. She claimed it was trashing her bathroom at night and whispering obscenities in her husband's ear. Sadly, no refund available. I heard they had a house fire the following week and moved to Kettering shortly after.
5. Have you any tips on being thrifty?
Yes. Become a volunteer so you can help charitable causes and get your hands on gorgeous items before anyone else can. Also, check out my eBay store for my own personal clothing gems.
6. Ever had any difficult customers, how do you deal with them?
Plenty - I get one of my volunteers to deal with it or throw them out! I don’t want people with bad energy coming into my shop. Take it that shit elsewhere thank you!
7. How do you spot a good charity shop find?
Usually, there’s an energy around it. Almost like the item knows something you don’t. You’ll generally see a group of customers around this item so be prepared to use elbows if need be. Always keep up to date on values of antiques and fashion trends…not every manager is as on it as me so you could get a steal for a very profitable item!
8. Can clothes ever be too vintage-y?
Some things never go out of fashion unless they stink. Give it a dry clean - job done!
9. What do you love most about Bulwell, is it good for charity shopping?
Bulwell has it all - community, a market, a water park, local shops - what more could you want?! With charity shops, to be honest, it’s been tough in recent years as people can get a bit nasty and competitive. You start to question if people have charity in their hearts…
10. If you had a catchphrase what would it be?
My favourite one would be when Mr Chips looked like he was having a tug but it turned out to be "snake charmer." Really miss that show and Roy Walker's killer smile.
11. What are three things you always have in your bag?
Brown sauce, red lippy and anti bac.
12. Is the charity shop industry as competitive as the fashion industry?
Actually, darling, it’s worse as other shops try and take you down and plot against you all the time. Competition isn’t the half of it. Slander, sabotage and slyness don’t even cover it.
13. Is it true you wear a wig!?
I’ll take THAT as a compliment! Weirdly, people have asked before, I guess they can’t believe it’s so thick. However, it’s real and I get it cut once a fortnight by my hairdresser Niall. I get it dyed once a month because it just grows so quick! Handy hint: I also use Volumizer 15 Mousse to give it the power I deserve.
14. What would you like to be remembered for?
Why is someone out to get me?
15. And last but not least – can you tell me what you’re going to wear to the Met Gala?
I’ll do what I always do...mix together charity shop finds with local or famous designers. Oh, and my star headdress.