“Unfortunately, it’s Mooresville’s best kept secret. … And we don’t want it to be a secret,” says Keena Darland, manager of the Give Back Boutique.
The Give Back Boutique will celebrate its fifth anniversary since it opened on Aug. 1, 2011.
The magic of the shop’s appeal warms when you enter and are greeted by the friendly volunteers. Camaraderie exists between the customers and the staff, lots of laughter, fashion input and advice, if wanted, and a sincere desire to help.
“It’s just a lot of fun to come here,” team leader Becky Swartz said. “We have a lot of regulars, 50 percent of our customers are regulars. Every shift I work, there are regulars.
“We even have people who come to visit family members here, and they bring them and when they come back to town, they want to come here. It’s on their list of things to do at Thanksgiving.”
The location of the Give Back Boutique, where rent is minimal, is an obscure entrance in the back of the building at 478-D Williamson Road, south of Brawley School Road, Mooresville.
The consignment boutique’s story is in its name: 100 percent of the profits are given back to the community, with the Mooresville/Lake Norman Christian Mission benefiting.
“Have you ever noticed how neighbors unite when a neighbor is in need? They cook meals, bring groceries, and lend a hand? That’s exactly what a person does when they shop, volunteer for a four-hour shift, or consign at The Give Back Boutique,” Darland said.
“Each action helps someone in need. There’s even a new app, a free app, with a coupon for your smart phone to get you started,” Darland said. “You can flip through the app and see what’s new; and if you like it, you can call and we can hold it for you 24 hours or until the end of the next working day.”
If names such as Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors and Tori Burch set your heart racing, the Give Back Boutique will ease your guilt as you shop – whatever you buy helps others.
Items consigned are marked down 50 percent after a month. “If you love it, don’t wait,” is the universal advice from the women who staff the store. Too many wait and are disappointed the item has sold.
Gift tags, explaining that the purchase is helping others, are now being included when someone purchases an item as a gift. Especially over the holidays, the tags will help because people don’t want to feel uncomfortable giving a “used” gift, almost like a re-gift. The explanation of the purchase somehow makes it feel just right.
Loyal customers bring new customers
Carol Moses, 76, formerly of Davidson and now living in Greensboro, brought Angie Moses, 51, of Huntersville to the boutique recently.
“She’s my darling daughter-in-law and make sure you put ‘darling,’” Carol Moses said. “That’s the way it is on my phone.”
Moses likes how the story is organized and its purpose.
“One of the things that makes this not your usual second-hand shop is somebody knows what they’re doing here and they put things together.
“I love the displays; so you can visualize some of the things,” Moses said. “Also they’re very helpful.”
Pausing, she added: “Plus it smells good. Make sure you put that in. People who shop second-hand shops know what I’m talking about. Plus it goes to the Christian Mission, which is a beautiful thing.”
There are six volunteer team leaders who direct the 25 regular volunteers. A volunteer receives a 20 percent discount off one item in the boutique for a four hour shift they work and their consigned items remain on the floor for an extra month.
“It’s just a lot fun. It’s a great group of women to work with,” team leader Michelle Lockhart said.
“You’re doing something you like for a good cause and then there are the customers,” Lockhart said. “Customers are great.
“You volunteer and at the end of it, you know you’ve done something.”
The boutique would love to have more volunteers.
“It’s a great place for people who are new to town if they want to get involved in their community and volunteer and meet people,” Darland said.
A volunteer receives a discount of 20 percent off one item for every shift that they work. “It’s a lot of camaraderie,” Darland said.
She smiled and said with a laugh, “It’s a great environment, and it smells good.”
A consigner receives 50 percent of the sale. Download the free Give Back Boutique app to learn more.
“In a very small way, by donating your clothing, whether it be for consignment or a 100 percent donation, that small gesture goes a long way toward funding services at the Mission,” Eileen Beichler, assistant to the executive director of the Mooresville/Lake Norman Christian Mission and also a Mooresville resident.
“We don’t waste anything,” Darland said.
The funds given to the mission from the boutique are earmarked for their crisis program, helping families, especially those with children and Circle Initiative, which funds education programs to help climb out of poverty.
Suzanne Ruff is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
A party to celebrate the success of the Give Back Boutique will be held 5 p.m. Aug. 11. A catered event is planned with surprise drawings, visits from city dignitaries and other fun activities. Check your app and the Boutique’s Facebook page for details.
Want to go?
Ladies Night Out is held 5-8 p.m. on the second Thursday each month. Christine Nelson, a style coach, is usually there with her flair to “find their personal style, what styles are good for their body shape, what colors are good for their palette and really help how to mix and match a look from head to toe.”
Nelson said “I love consignment shopping, it’s unique and no matter your size or style, there’s something for everyone.”