Talking Op Shop with Thomas Chandler

Posted on October 04, 2018

Talking Op Shop with Thomas Chandler

At 30 years of age and co-owner of one of Launceston's most popular mobile food businesses,Thomas Chandler ( alias Japhy) has been an instrumental part of the local food van revolution. A much loved local charecter of the Kingsway, Japhy took time out to talk about his love of op shopping, how he overcame his shopping addiction and to share his fashion predictions on polar fleece.

If you are a lover of gourmet fried chicken, events, or frequent the Kingsway eateries, bars or coffee houses, chances are you’ve already met Thomas Chandler, or as he is more commonly known, Japhy. A young an upcoming entrepreneur, Japhy is a co-owner of South Coast Canteen, one of Launnie’s most loved food vans. But, as Japhy tells us, life hasn’t always been easy as he struggled from an early age with an out of control op shopping addiction.

Soaking up the sun on the nearby Kingsway parklet and looking relaxed in a crisp white Helly Hapren polar fleece jumper, complimented by a pair of well- worn black slides, we joined Japhy to find out more about his op shopping obsession and how it all began.

Q1. How did it all begin?

“I started op shopping around the age of 15, mainly because I liked to wear clothing no-one else was wearing and because of the price. At first, I was only buying clothes, but the more I shopped, the more I found. Furniture, sporting gear, you name it, I bought it.

“Things started to get a little crazy, I was buying things I didn’t need just because they were a bargain. As the things I’d bought started to mount up at home, my family and friends started to worry. I guess things probably came to a head when I bought an awesome windsurfer sail but didn’t have the windsurfer. I ended up hanging it on the bathroom wall and it became a makeshift circus tent and a great talking point for visitors.

“It was around then that I realised I’d become addicted to op shopping. I knew I needed to slow down. It was hard, but eventually I got back to buying just what I needed. I learned to keep focused and these days my motto is to ‘buy something and give something’, each time I buy, I also donate something back".

Q2. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

“My tip for op shopping is to be true to your personality and style and only buy what you need. My other huge tip is polar fleece, it’s not just for mums. It’s hugely underrated, I think it’s going to make a comeback soon. You can wear it casually on the weekends, at work or even when you’re going out for a few drinks with friends".

Cover image -Japhy is pictured wearing a Helly Hapren polar fleece and black slides purchased from an op shop for $10 each.

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