Monthly Archives: July 2015

Low-Cost, High-End Clothes – Three reasons you need to get to Hope’s Closet

Low-cost, high-end clothes for a great cause. Three reasons you need to get to Hope’s Closet in Weymouth ASAP.

My trip to Hope’s Closet in Jackson Square, Weymouth started out innocently enough. I wanted to meet the woman who came up with the innovative idea of a non-profit re-sale clothing boutique for women that gives back to the community in two ways. Not only does owner Cheryl Morris help women on tight budgets buy beautiful high-end, gently-used clothing at prices they can afford (hence low-cost, high-end clothes), but virtually every penny she makes from her store goes to charity. One of them is Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore.

2015_07_29 Low Cost High end ClothesMy visit was designed to get a little more background on why Cheryl started the store and how she’s doing as she marks its first anniversary. (More on that below.) But what I discovered was much more. In meeting Cheryl Morris and her volunteer “merchandise manager” Leslie Robertson, I found two remarkable women with huge hearts, smart business sense, and a deep commitment to helping others.

Cheryl’s formula for Low Cost, High End Clothes

  1. Offer carefully chosen, gently-used women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses and other accessories from top names like J Jill, Talbots, White House/Black Market, and Ann Taylor.
  2. Price every item to make it affordable to women on tight budgets. Shirts, blouses, skirts, and pants typically sell for $3.95 to $6.95. Designer suits are about $20. I saw a Talbot’s raincoat for $15 (with the tag still attached!); a stunning mother of the bride dress for under $25.
  3. Donate the proceeds to charity. The two main charities Hope’s Closet supports are Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore and Mercy Ships. Each month, Cheryl also picks a third charity and contributes a portion of the proceeds to them as well. Last November, it was Operation Delta Dog, honoring veterans. She’s also given to DOVE, Inc., Weymouth Food Pantry, and Rosie’s Place.

I also discovered (and purchased for a mere $13.95!) a terrific Ann Taylor outfit that I will wear to a client meeting next week.

The idea for this unique fashion boutique took hold nearly 5 years ago as Cheryl was looking for a way to give back to the community. She decided to collect donations of fashionable, high-end, gently-used women’s clothing, and then offer them at unheard of low prices to women on tight budgets – and intrepid bargain shoppers. Over the next 4 years, Cheryl has used her exceptional energy and passion about her cause to obtain free store fixtures, take the necessary steps to become a 503(c) charitable organization, and establish a support network in the local community. You can read more about Cheryl’s mission and her store’s namesake (Hope) on her website at HopesClosetBoutique.org.

Next on Cheryl’s ambitious agenda:

  • A booth at the Weymouth Farmer’s Market so she can get the word out to prospective shoppers.
  • Possibly hosting a series of evening seminars at the store with Dress for Success experts who can help women learn what it takes to land a job beyond great clothes, including resume writing and interview skills.
  • Finding more volunteers like Leslie to help manage the clothing donations and cover store hours.
  • Bringing more people through the stop’s door.

That last item is important, Cheryl says, because business is beginning to pick up after the exceptionally tough winter slowed customer visits to a mere trickle. But the best sign of all, says Leslie, is that people are returning to check in on what is new. “Now when I ask, ‘Have you been here before?’ the answer is likely to be ‘Yes’.”

Hope’s Closet Boutique is located at 810 Broad Street in Weymouth, Mass.

Summer hours are:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — 11 am to 4 pm
Friday – 11 to 6
Saturday – 10 to 4
The store is closed Sunday and Monday.

Tell Us Your Thoughts?

Have you been to Hope’s Closet? We would love to hear about your experience below by leaving a reply or going to our  Facebook or Google+ pages.