By appointment only. Designer clothes. Makeup, jewelry, and purses. It sounds exclusive and it is. In June, our new boutique opened in downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin, and it serves our special clientele—the women who are changing up their lives with the help of Redeem & Restore. Just like the center itself, the shop is the dream of Krista Hull, our Executive Director, and was carefully laid out and pulled together by several key volunteers— Dorothy and Skitch B., Linda W., and Jackie K.
As the story is told, Krista simply asked Dorothy one day if she’d coordinate the creation of the boutique; Dorothy took it from there, beginning the work in February of this year with a target completion date of June 15. She started with huge bags of clothes and an empty, neglected room (which happens to be conveniently located in the same building as the Redeem & Restore office). The clothes were sorted, the area freshened and tidied, the carpet cleaned, shelves and doors hung, and the walls painted. A fitting room was added, as was a jewelry counter and pretty, gilt-edged mirror.
All the clothes (some with designer labels), racks, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and a jewelry armoire were donated. Some sellers, those on Facebook’s Marketplace, for instance, dropped their prices or donated outright when Dorothy mentioned the reason for her purchases. She did go out on buying trips, looking for various items such as hangers and fixtures. During one such occasion, she had an experience we’d like to share with you:
A volunteer at the Pewaukee St. Vincent de Paul, upon hearing that Dorothy was shopping on behalf of a non-profit organization, said, “I’d like to make a donation.” She started putting $20 bills in Dorothy’s hand, adding, “God is speaking to me. I’m supposed to give you everything that’s in my wallet.” In total, she gave Dorothy $165.
There’s quite a selection of clothes (new and like new) for our clients to choose from: dresses, jeans, tops, shorts, pants, active wear, and even some pajamas. There are new undergarments and socks. Yes, there are shoes, as well, and scarves.
Personal hygiene items are also available and include shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, soap, hairspray, etc. Much of it was collected by a young man named Matthew. He wanted to help our center by way of an Eagle Scout project, so he sent a flyer to about 500 households and then, based on the great response, went to pick up all of the donations.
And we can’t forget the Mary Kay makeup! A rep for the brand was kind enough to donate foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.
While we’re calling this latest endeavor a boutique, we’re encouraging the women we serve to consider it their closet. That’s because our shoppers will be getting their selections gratis. As in free. Perhaps you can imagine how excited we are to provide this wonderful opportunity to our “buyers” and how eager, as well, to spread the word.
The women we serve here at Redeem & Restore will each be told of this private boutique, taken to the shop, and then encouraged to pick out items that will help give them a fresh start. It might even happen that the boutique is the first stop they make before joining the Redeem & Restore community. Krista recently sent an email to a number of other local non-profit organizations that serve women inviting their clients to the shop, as well.
Organizations can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment if they have women who might need our resources.
Krista (Dorothy calls her the Energizer Bunny) once had a dream and it became the Redeem & Restore Center. Next, she dreamed of providing our clients with essential clothing and personal care products; it became the boutique. What’s next? Short-term emergency housing. If you’d like to be part of Krista’s dream time, please consider serving as a volunteer. We’d love to have you. Visit our website’s Volunteer Page.