It's bargain hunting season!

A carved chunk of black stone near the entrance of the apartment is flanked by an intricately embroidered silk throw hung up on a wall, and the dining room, further in, is similarly speckled with an interesting assortment of art. “My father likes to collect things,” says Maya Bhogilal-Goyel (29), who heads a marketing and event-management company, “I’m not much of a collector myself.” Yet, this day, Maya’s home is one of the four collection points for Back Alley, a non-profit initiative she co-founded with her second cousin Radhika Dhawan (30), to organise garage sales for charity. Proceeds from their upcoming sale will be channelled through women’s group, Inner Wheel, to various organisations for the welfare of women and children, such as the Kinnari Foundation, Shri Atmavallabh Self-Reliance Mahila Centre and Sparsh.

Maya Bhogilal-Goyel and Radhika Dhawan sort out the collection before the sale; (foreground) Handpainted Tequila Lab (Approximate price: R1,000)

“I got married a few months ago; while moving house I came across several things in my wardrobe that I had bought and never even used,” Bhogilal-Goyel shares, “That’s when it struck us that most people must have similar things, and that we could sell these to support charities.” While she has yet to work out a fair price for a brand new Hidesign leather bag for men, Dhawan shows us what she just finished labelling: brand new flat-packed Sesame Street toy bins (`400 per piece); a gorgeous glass chess set (`250); DVDs and CDs (`20 to `50); and a stunning vintage bracelet with a crescent moon and star (`200). “We also have handbags and new and almost-new clothes from Diesel, River Island, Karen Millen, French Connection, Armani Exchange, Roberto Cavalli and designers Pooja Kapoor, Riddhika Jesrani and Kristina Glotova have donated their old collections towards our cause too.” Their highest tag: `1,200.

26-year-old Insia Lacewalla, Founder, Small Fry Co, which successfully organised The Bakers Sale and Bombay Local, will similarly play curator of curios for a special garage sale in Bandra this weekend, one that sells items that were previously owned by celebrities.

Lip-smacking baked goods prepared by TV personalities Shonali Nagrani and Shweta Salve will be available here. Visitors can buy accessories, art, CDs and assorted knick-knacks donated by big screen actors such as Amrita Puri (Kai Po Che and Aisha) and Pallavi Sharda (Ranbir Kapoor’s co-star in Abhinav Kashyap’s Besharam) for between `50 and `2,000. VJ Juhi Pandey, British actors Sophie Choudry, and Hazel Keech (who participated in the last series of Bigg Boss), singer-song writer Ankush Tiwari and TV actor Eijaz Khan are just some of the good-hearted celebrities whose effects will be sold to generate funds for ATMA, an organisation that provides quality education to the underprivileged.

Oh-so-famous Garage Sale:
On October 6, 4 pm to 9 pm
AT Jean Claude Biguine, 68 Chapel Road, Bandra (W).

Back Alley's Vintage Wonderland:
On October 5, 1 pm to 7 pm and October 6, 11 am to 7 pm
AT Kinnari Cultural Center, opposite Oomar Park, Bhulabhai Desai Road, next To Tata Garden, Breach Candy. email            

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