The Birth of the Boutique
November 15, 2012
Now I’m going to tell you about the birth of our Boutique. I have learned so so much about the foster care system, about the difficult journey faced by foster kids, about the many dear souls who bring little lost children into their home for love and care. A child in foster care will typically be moved seven to nine times throughout their high school years. Seven to nine unknown locations with people who are not familiar, with friends left behind. It is a most impossible reality to embrace, and yet these kids do it. Because they are moved so frequently, most of the children in foster care are not able to attend their homecomings, their proms; once a year, a winter ball is hosted by Independent Living through Children’s Services. When I found out about this ball, I asked a young lady I had just met at the Haines Building (where Montgomery County’s Children’s Services lives) if she would be attending the ball this year. I got a very flippant response- “who has the money for a stupid ball? What am I supposed to wear to something stupid like that?” So I asked her if I could find a ball gown for her to wear, would she be interested in going? Her response was vague- or maybe something I shouldn’t print. A very dear friend of mine and I were then on a mission. We had seven gowns donated, and brought them in the next week. My friend and I brought the young lady into a room where we had haphazardly hung these beautiful, glittery gowns on pegs set in the barren, grey wall. The magic of the artistry of woven fabric against the grainy cracked surface said much in the moment. I said, “now, if you could choose one of these gowns, would you go to the ball?” The girl narrowed her sharp eyes and said “yeah, like how long would I get this… Like a couple of hours? A day? I don’t have money for dry cleaning, you know.” And I said, “oh no, no honey, if you choose this gown, it goes home with you- this would be yours to keep.” And she started crying. And I was SO in. I had once been a telemarketer for approximately 4 hours. I hated that job- I don’t think I waited for my third hang up to quit. But now, if I like the outfit you have on, it had better be superglued to your body. My friend and I went around the city of Dayton and filled our cars with glorious donations, and we moved from our ugly peg board to a nice office in the Barclay Building, decorated by a lady with great taste. We had mirrors and a smidgeon of jewelry. Then we got more donations. More and more, from the wonderful people of Dayton, and by the pretty stores that sell pretty things to people who can buy them- who gave the pretty things to us so our youth could feel pretty. We moved again to our current storefront location at 120 West First Street; our window display is so beautiful that the building owner told other store front people to up their game, to take a look at our Boutique- (I can say that- I had NOTHING to do with the decoration). Those dear children who come into our Boutique have a Cinderella night of magic. We now have hundreds of silk and glamourous gowns, suits, shoes, purses, jewelry for all occasions. We also have hair dressers, make up artists, the possibility of a limo- oh, it is a truly remarkable journey that we have lived with our Boutique. Come on down and see us- bring a dress or two!