A new second hand boutique in Cloverdale opened Monday, welcoming its first customers in from the cold to warm up with coffee and treats – and to browse.
Inn for Women, located at 5760 176 Street, is a new venture launched by local retailer Yvonne Hogenes, owner of Malary’s Fashion Network across the street, and two other business partners.
All proceeds from Inn for Women will go to support Servants Anonymous Society of Surrey, and other women’s causes, says Hogenes.
The store – staffed by volunteers – specializes in high quality clothing, jewelry and shoes that are donated, providing a source of revenue for SAS, a charity that relies solely on private donations, and other charities, but it will also provide clothing to women who need it, as well as act as a venue for mentoring women.
Irene Jaakson, executive director of SAS Surrey, beamed as the clerk rung up a pair of tasseled fuchsia suede boots and a matching print top in a kaleidoscope of colours.
“Women need to feel beautiful,” she said. “This is an accessible way to do it.” The boutique is a way for women to support other women, who are also “full of value and beauty,” she added.
“It’s a real privilege to participate.”
The Dec. 1 grand opening was just two months after the idea was hatched, bringing the notion from conception to reality in record time.
“It’s truly social enterprise,” Hogenes said, adding she believes it’s as important for supporters to feel they’re contributing to something worthwhile as it is for the recipients to receive meaningful help.
SAS started in Cloverdale 16 years ago, operating a second hand shop called Twice But Nice.
SAS provides safe homes, education, addiction prevention programs and more, assisting exploited women and youth in Surrey.
Hogenes’ decision to open a storefront to help the organization followed a “pop up” boutique she organized at Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode’s community hub in September.
“We raised $1,200 in two days,” Hogenes recalls. “So that’s when we looked at each other and said, ‘We need to get a store open.’”
Remarking on the flood of high quality donations of designer and name brand clothing patrons were bringing through the door on opening day, she smiled.
“It was meant to be.”