Interview and Images submitted by Hannah Sexton: Central Bucks West
1. What inspired you to start donating your own clothes as well as your friends?
I wanted to make a change for girls in our community; hundreds of young people get into the system as early as age 8 around here. Being a wealthy area, we often take for granted that everyone is well off and that is not the case. Normal donations to homeless and underprivileged kids consist of boxes of beaten up, holey, hand-me-downs. I wanted to give girls the freedom of choice in their selection and bring in donations that were gently used and trendy, and I wanted the girls to experience a “shopping” type experience.
2. How would you describe the type/style of clothing you offer?
All of the clothing was donated by the community: my friends, their friends, community members and other local thrift stores such as NOVA. The items are all exclusively for teenagers: jeans, sweaters, jackets, shoes, sweats, dresses, purses, tops, jewelry, even cosmetics & bath accessories. A lot of items were in perfect condition, some with tags, and all from popular, name brand stores like North Face, Forever 21, Hollister, Abercrombie, J Crew, even Coach.
3. Tell us about your clothing pop up store...how exactly did you get started?
After initially putting out my idea to all the local homeless shelters, I had trouble finding the support &space I needed to launch my idea. After several unsuccessful calls, as a last ditch I walked into BCHG in Doylestown and told the manager Laura Ferreri my idea. She was incredibly kind and supportive, and she immediately offered me a space for the boutique.
4. Do you have any advice for teens that are trying to do something like you are?
I think that most importantly you should keep being persistent. When I started out, many of the charity executives that I spoke with had too much on their plates to help me, but I really kept pursuing this project, and it really paid off.
5. What do you hope to accomplish in the future in regards to your boutique?
I hope to increase the numbers of girls attending! This time I had close to 50 girls
attend, and it was incredible. I think that this project will continue to grow due to
the great need in this area.
6. Do you hope to have a future in the retail industry, and if so, what are your plans?
I don’t see myself doing anything with fashion or retail, but I love people and helping
others. Whatever I do, I want to make a difference!
7. How can people donate to your project?
The next drive will take place before back to school sometime in August. I will send
out a master list email with information, so if you contacted me at
firstname.lastname@example.org I could get the information out.
Thank you for your support!!