Boutique gives back: Great Beginnings helps center's mission
Great Beginnings, a resale boutique in El Dorado, was aptly named to describe part of its story.
Board members and others involved in supporting the Pregnancy & Family Resource Center (PFRC) dreamed about opening an upscale resale store to help fund the center’s mission, but they expected a long process of fundraising. Several weeks after discussing the idea at the center’s annual Life is Sweet fundraiser banquet in 2016, an anonymous local couple received some inheritance money and donated nearly all the money the PFRC needed to begin the boutique.
“We have some pretty amazing people in our community,” Great Beginnings manager Christy Stewart said.
The boutique, located at 226 S. Main St., opened July 16. It features high-end women’s clothing and accessories, and Stewart said the store has been fortunate to receive a large number of donations.
“When we started the boutique, we prayed that we would never have an inventory issue,” Stewart said. “Sometimes we are like, ‘Whoa, God, you are abundant.’”
Great Beginnings has received large donations from places like Posh, which closed earlier this year, Robin’s and Uptown Cheapskate in Wichita. It also benefits from donations from individuals in Butler and Sedgwick counties who clean out their closets and want to support PFRC.
A step inside the boutique reveals neatly merchandised clothing racks and shelves of accessories. Items are very gently used with no visible wear, and Stewart monitors the items to ensure they are on trend.
“It’s incredible to me the things people have donated,” Stewart said. “I look for those higher end items people will be able to get for a great price.”
From high-end, name-brand purses to like-new chunky sweaters, shoppers can find all of each season’s trends at Great Beginnings.
Stewart grew up in Towanda and often shopped at El Dorado’s Twice Is Nice store, and she said she always wanted to open a second-hand store. In the past she managed a Maurice’s store and worked at Posh and Robin’s, so she has retail experience.
“If it had been for my individual profit, it never would’ve been like this,” Stewart said. “Since God’s hand is in it, it has been blessed from start to finish.”
All boutique staff members are volunteers who believe in the mission of the PFRC, which offers pregnancy tests and sonograms at no cost to mothers, education and mentoring to help clients develop parenting skills, free baby products to those in need, support for post abortion parents and more. Stewart said the fact that boutique proceeds are going to a good cause make her job that much more rewarding.
“I’m not necessarily working to make a dollar; I’m working for the center,” she said. “When you hear the clients’ stories, when you hear what the center is doing, they’re impacting families.”
Great Beginnings Boutique
226 S. Main in El Dorado
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday