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Mary Durham Boutique

Angela Li

The Mary Durham Boutique is located in a quaint little house on Court Street, just a few minutes away from Collegetown by car. The Boutique offers affordable yet fashionable clothing and jewelry for women and girls.

It’s part of the Women’s Opportunity Center, which aims to empower our community’s women and homemakers after divorce, separation, or widowhood, by offering a wide range of programs focusing on career development, education, and life skills. The Boutique is the source of funds for all those programs, so their operations are essential to providing new opportunities for those who may not find them otherwise.

The Boutique is run by a warmhearted woman named Lynda, who was very helpful in getting us acquainted with the different parts of the shop and the different tasks. She heard us laughing and talking to one another as we worked, and said that she was very glad to hear laughter and that we were having fun. We mostly sorted and organized the many bags of donated clothes and reusable price tags. We also got to put our creativity to use when we dressed a mannequin in a beautiful red dress (with pockets!) and took photos around the shop to put on their Instagram. Lynda was so sweet and grateful for the social media help. It was honestly just fun for me to take photos, put pretty filters on them, then upload them to Instagram, but for Lynda, our social media savvy resolved a difficult task for her since we spend much more time on our phones and thus are more familiar with filters and hashtags and all that jazz. Their Instagram presence is crucial, since it’s their only avenue for advertising to draw in more customers.

When our shift ended at 3:30pm, we happily put to use our 25% volunteer discount on top of the sale they were having that day. I snagged a warm wool coat, a cute summer dress, and a blue paisley shawl scarf all for under $15. Another brother, Sarah Wang, also got the same scarf, and we’re going to wear it every time we’re at another APO event together. This was one of the most enjoyable, meaningful, and fulfilling service events I’ve done, and I will make sure to go back to the Boutique on future Saturdays. I highly recommend this event for anyone who enjoys thrifting, organizing clothes, and social media marketing and advertisement!!