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  • Rebecca Flach

Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home close

Change is inevitable for every business and Hope Full Life Center is in the middle of one now. After nearly a decade of service to the community, our thrift store programs, Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home, closed for business at the end of December.

This is a bittersweet change for our charity because the thrift stores opened in 2010 as our country was clawing its way back from the biggest recession it had experienced since the Great Depression. Our community needed a low-cost shopping alternative and our thrift stores thrived.

Gracefully Chic Boutique

Fast forward to the end of 2019 and the US’ economy is booming. Our shoppers aren’t pinching pennies like they used to and we haven’t seen many of them in a long time. Whole mornings would pass at the thrift stores without a single customer.

Similar to the struggles of for-profit brick and mortar retailers, ecommerce played a role in our thrift stores’ soft sales as Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and other sellers moved into the secondhand market.

We aren’t complaining about a strong economy or ecommerce, but Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home could no longer compete. Our always modest income plummeted last year and the charity’s Board of Directors determined in early December that we couldn’t afford to keep the doors open.

Hope Full Life Center’s food assistance program, Helping Harvest, will continue to serve the community. The ever-rising price of food keeps low-income families in search of discount options like Helping Harvest. You can learn more about Helping Harvest here.

As our charity goes through this change, we’re proud of the impact Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home had on the community. We accepted thousands of pounds of clothing, footwear, housewares and furniture and kept it out of landfills. We helped hundreds of people in crisis with free products from the store. We employed lots of young (and not so young) folks in the community. We were a destination for volunteer activity. We were a popular place to shop for folks looking to save some money, find something vintage or unique. Finally, our staff, led by the talented Doreen Greene-Seltzer, developed friendships with customers and ministered to many of them.

The Center hopes to find new niches where we can be of service to the community even as we close Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home. It’s the end of something great, but this change flings the doors wide open for new possibilities in 2020. Thank you for letting us serve you.

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