As part of Second Hand September, we had the pleasure of being joined at Daisy Chain Megastore, Gateshead by neurodivergent digital creator, Ella Willis. Read the interview below!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Ella and I’m an autistic content creator from Newcastle! I post content on TikTok and Instagram talking about my life as an autistic person with ADHD.
What do you love about Daisy Chain Megastore?
I think one of the big things I love is the layout! It’s really accessible, everything is labelled, spaced out clearly and you can navigate the store really well without being overwhelmed, and know where everything is. The variety of stock is also huge!
We put a lot of thought and effort into the messaging in the store. As a neurodivergent person, what does that mean to you?
I think it’s really important, because when I first visited here I didn’t know what this store was, and when I was walking around I suddenly saw all of these things that really resonated with me.
It’s important that if someone comes here who doesn’t necessarily know anything about the autistic community they can leave with information and facts as well as seeing something they’ve directly contributed to by making a purchase.
You’ve had a walk around the store a few times now, what do you think about the stock?
It’s amazing how vast it is – there’s a little bit of something for everyone! I love a rummage and looking at different things, finding out the history of items and where they came from. I think if you came in here you’re definitely going to find something that you need or would just love to have!
My style is very eclectic – I love bold and exciting pieces – so charity shopping is perfect for me.
Why is sustainability and shopping second hand so important to you?
I think the first thing is that I enjoy shopping in charity shops more than going into a high street store, as I find they’re more accessible to me as an autistic person. I find the experience more enjoyable – a lot less intense and scary.
Talking about fashion is something that is part of my job and I think it’s incredibly important for me to make sure I’m talking about not overshopping fast fashion, and living those values too. Sometimes second hand clothing is also nicer for me to wear, with the sensory issues that I have when it comes to clothes.
What is the best thing you’ve ever bought from a charity shop?
I love ducks, and I found a giant ¾ of a M rubber duck that was moulded from an antique hook a duck, and she was just sat on the top of this big shelf and I thought – you are coming home with me!
The history behind it is really cool, she’s one of a kind essentially, and if you put a giant light underneath – she GLOWS! (see picture at the bottom of the page). 🦆
Ella, you’ve spent the morning with us and seen some of the behind-the-scenes, what 3 tips would you give customers visiting Daisy Chain Megastore on how to find some preloved treasures?
1 – Take the time to weave in and out of the aisles. There is lots to see here and you don’t want to miss anything.
2 – Have a good rummage! You never know what you might find.
3 – Don’t worry about shopping secondhand. I think there’s a big stigma around buying second-hand clothes but it’s more sustainable and there are some huge hidden treasures that are just waiting to be found.