By Ann Marie Barron
A charming Long Valley Thrift Boutique has lowered its already bargain prices and is now offering every item in the store for $5.
RACKS boutique, on Schooley’s Mountain Road near the center of Long Valley, stocks gently used clothing and accessories donated from the community – at this unbelievably low price. Many items are like new, with some still bearing their original store tags. All proceeds from sales go directly to community programs.
“The quality of the donated clothing is really unbelievable,’’ said Michelle Barron, vice president of RACKS for the Long Valley Junior Women’s Club, which runs the boutique. “The generosity of the community is really overwhelming. They donate really pristine, beautiful, designer clothing. But we’d like so see more customers take advantage of the great selection.’’
The store stocks a huge variety of women’s and children’s clothing, including holiday clothing, dresses, jeans, sweaters, skirts, blouses, shoes and accessories like scarves, costume jewelry and handbags.
Run by the club since 2015, the store hasn’t seen a huge shopper turnout, despite the impressive selection. Barron said a handful of repeat customers sing the shop’s praises and many have worn RACKS items to the office, graduations, holiday events and even to weddings and formals.
Overall, though, shopper turnout has been lower than expected, so the group is trying to spread the word, and is offering the $5 deal, which applies to every item in the store.
“We just want more people to stop in and see for themselves all the great items we have here,’’ Barron said. “If our hours aren’t convenient, we’ll schedule a time for a private shopping session.’’
Despite the slow shopper turnout, RACKS has been a boon to the community. The club has donated 75 coats to the Morris County Foster Parent Association. Additionally, 40 suits were donated to Dress For Success Morris County, a charity that strives to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing them with support and professional attire.
The club has also been a valuable resource to area families who were displaced by fire or floods in recent months. Families were invited to shop for free in the boutique.
The shop stocks only the finest quality clothing donated. Clothing that isn’t deemed RACKS-worthy is donated to the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The Junior Women’s Club is 60 members strong and has historically supported the community through its contributions to the police department, the town’s first aide squads, the library and its volunteer fire department. Battered women’s shelters, local food pantries, cancer research organizations, recreational programs and elementary school programs have also benefitted from the club’s past fund-raising efforts.
The store is open Tues., Wed., Fri. and Sat. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thurs. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check the Junior Women’s Club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/racksthritboutique to confirm hours. For more information, or to schedule a private shopping session for a group, email Barron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, the club set up a large, white donation bin in the parking lot behind the store. Anyone wishing to donate clothing or accessories may now do so at any time of day or night. Donors get a tax deduction for making a charitable contribution and receipts will be given if needed, Barron said.
More information about the club and the store is available on the club’s website, www.lvjuniors.org.