Tuesday, May 12, 2020

COVID 19 Doesn't Stop MSC_BWSS, My Sister's Closet Thrift Boutiques

Written by Dianna Drahanchuk

The covid 19 closure of the two My Sister’s Closet was a significant setback for Battered Women’s Support Services. The stores generate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for BWSS programs that help women and girls escape violence. At the same time that the stores closed, the BWSS crisis line opened for 24 hours a day. The urgent need for this is underlined by nearly daily news reports of increased violence during this time of covid confinement.

Languishing in the shop are many incredible clothing and accessory items donated by generous patrons. To alleviate the funding crunch and stock backlog, with the Zoom go-ahead approval by BWSS Executive Director Angela Marie McDougall, BWSS Manager of Development and Social Enterprise “Super” Samantha Kearney spearheaded, organized and opened an online shop from scratch within 5 weeks from store closure. BWSS E-Commerce Coordinator Kristina Moser uploads to Shopify information provided by a handful of volunteers, Kim Wong, Lynn Katey, Pauline Watt and professional photographer Christine Ross, collectively they selected, photographed and itemized in detail the first 350 donated clothing and accessory items. Additionally, the MSC online catalogue includes “One Thing” jewelry designed by local artisan Satareh Bateni (contact info@wearts.ca).

My Sister’s Closet shoppers must have really missed the store because the online shop made $1,000 two days before it was officially launched on May 1st, thanks in part to Vancouver is Awesome (link) that scooped the story. Orders came in from everywhere, from Edmonton, Toronto and as far away as New York. Two days later the first shipments were out the door.

Take a look at MSC’s terrific easy-to-use website and see gorgeous photos of the stores smart offerings. My favorite item is the gift certificate option, perfect for special occasion giving. Check the online shop often because over a hundred items are added weekly. Store opening date is yet to be determined.

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