'Closet' fundraisers find a niche

Shop storage room converted to project for Success in Style

June 04, 2008|By Lisa Silverman | Lisa Silverman,Special To The Sun

The storage room in Zora Dougherty's consignment shop has been converted into Success in Style's latest fundraiser - Charity's Closet.

"I knew I wanted to do something with the space eventually," said Dougherty, owner of Second Childhood in Ellicott City. "At one point, I received services similar to those provided by Success in Style. I knew they could do something great with it."

Success in Style, a nonprofit organization, has provided business attire for more than 1,000 low-income women searching for jobs over the past six years. Through the collaboration of Daugherty and Success in Style's founder and Executive Director Jeannette Kendall, Charity's Closet started about two months ago. The new thrift shop will sell the clothes donated to Success in Style that were not suitable for its clients because they were either too formal or too casual.

Kendall is very excited about the new store.

"Charity's Closet will be a great asset for Success in Style," Kendall said. "It's a great opportunity to have fun raising money."

For about a month, teenage girls have spent their Saturdays preparing for the opening of the Ellicott City shop. They have cleaned out the storage room, sorted, and tagged clothing. The previously cluttered space is now chic and organized. Women's clothes in all sizes line the walls. There are spaces for shoes and handbags as well. A dressing room in the back of the store has a homey feel to it.

"We want to involve teens as much as possible," Kendall said. "We often see our clients during the school day, so this is a great way for them to get involved in a really fun environment."

Kendall's oldest daughter Katibeth, 23, will manage the store.

"I've been a part of Success in Style since the very beginning," Katibeth said. "I'm really excited that I've finally found my niche. I know Charity's Closet will be a lot of fun."

Rose Wallace, an eighth-grader at Burleigh Manor Middle School, is one of about 10 volunteers. Rose first learned about Success in Style when her Girl Scout troop visited the office a few months ago.

"It's a really cool place to volunteer because it's for a good cause, she said. "Plus, what teenage girl doesn't love clothes?"

Another of Kendall's daughters, Marie, 17, who recently graduated from River Hill High School, is also very excited about Charity's Closet.

"I shop at a lot of thrift shops," Marie said. "I'm excited to have a good one near by. I hope it becomes a place where everyone goes."

Kayt Burgy, a junior at Marriotts Ridge High School, wants the shop to be a place people know about and shop at regularly.

"Charity's Closet is for a great cause," she said. "I hope a lot of people come out and shop here. There will be a lot of awesome clothes."

Charity's Closet, at 9090 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, starting June 14. All items cost $5.

Information about Success in Style or Charity's Closet: Jeanette Kendall, 410-750-6475.

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