Home News Local news Secondhand Saks: Family Resource Center's Boutique Opens

Secondhand Saks: Family Resource Center's Boutique Opens

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Jan. 26, 2008 — Bunker Hill was all dressed up Saturday, with pink and black and white glistening in the morning sun while the Bertha C. Boschulte Junior High School steel band played to greet its newest resident, Cece's Closet Second Chance Boutique.
The front entrance of the Family Resource Center's new addition was adorned with a huge pink satin bow, just awaiting a cut by the scissors to let folks into the sparkling new shop.
A brief ceremony preceded the opening, with remarks by Kalie Richardson, FRC board president; Executive Director Sandra Hodge Benjamin; and Barbara Petersen of Gov. John deJongh Jr.'s staff representing the governor. After thanking Ken and Sherry Fardie, who sponsored the project, Peterson echoed what was on everyone's mind: "Go on in and shop til you drop."
Cece's is the concept of the Fardies and their assistant, Jeffrey Bateman of Clearwater Consulting Concepts, designed to contribute to the island. They have worked on it for the past five or so months. (See "Chic for Cheap: Boutique will Benefit Family Resource Center.")
Sherry Fardie, dressed like her icon, Cece, in a black-and-white sheath, was as excited as her customers Saturday.
"I can't believe the donations we've gotten, and look at the shop itself!" she said.
Fardie was off island for a few days, and when she got back Bateman led her to the shop, told her to close her eyes and threw open the door.
"I was stunned," she said. Bateman had filled every inch of the 20-by-25-foot structure.
"It looks like Miami, like Nieman Marcus, or Saks Fifth Avenue," Petersen said while sifting through some elegant trinkets.
Those are no idle comparisons: Bateman has retail experience in both stores. There are shelves filled with shirts, sweaters (men's and women's), cotton pants, scarves, purses, belts, lots of jewelry and shoes, shoes, shoes. April Newland slips on a skimpy heel adorned with a blue starfish.
"That's St. Tropez," Fardie said.
"And for $20!" Newland said. "They're mine."
Petersen is more than at home in the shop.
"I grew up around the corner," she said. "This is my neighborhood. Peterson's Meat Market was right down the street." She adds, "I never expected to see anything like this here."
All manner of clothing hangs from wall racks, from designer dresses to a tiny, pink-checked baby dress. One corner is all baby stuff, animals, toys. In the center, handsome table accessories shine: designer plates by Mikasa, $120 for six, along with handsome black placemats, $5 for six.
Your basic thrift store it's not. Your basic bargain place it is. The merchandise is all but brand new — "gently used," Fardie said. Lots of the items she donated herself.
"I have six children and eight grandchildren," she said. And Fardie is handy at getting donations from her friends.
"Things just keep coming in," she said. "Boxes and boxes."
Raul Carrillo, a 20-year FRC board member and past president, is clearly entranced with the project.
"This will take us in a whole new direction," he said. "It is elegant. This is what we need."
It is by no means a women's boutique. Just ask a man in blue. V.I. Police Cpl. Dariel Chinnery had as much fun as a kid in a toy shop. He put a crystal elephant on a shelf where he was accumulating housewares, a lampshade and a ceramic bowl.
"These are beautiful things for my home," he said.
Carrillo kids him: "And are you married yet?"
"No," Chinnery answered. "I'm waiting for the Lord to find me someone."
The shop will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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