CHESTERFIELD — Looking to expand beyond Anderson, the Christian Center has opened Bella Boutique in Chesterfield.
“We really wanted to connect with another community outside of Anderson so we looked at all the contiguous communities,” said Rob Spaulding, executive director of the Christian Center. “We really liked this location.”
The store is located on the corner of Washington and Main streets.
“We get so many amazing pieces of clothing, and a lot of them still have tags on them, so we wanted to have a better outlet for that,” said store manager Jenny Harlan.
The store is open three days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Harlan hopes to expand those hours in the future.
The Christian Center receives donations from the community, many of which are used in its ministry. Unused items are sold at their retail locations, Red Door Vintage and Thrift and now Bella Boutique.
The proceeds help pay for the ministries at the center, including meals for the hungry.
“That’s a key role for us being able to provide more food for the growing number of meals were providing,” said Spaulding.
The store opened last fall.
“We wanted to do a soft opening, to see what our niche was going to be and get a better idea of what people wanted,” said Harlan.
The store carries mostly women’s clothing but also has a men’s and children’s section.
Most items are $3 for adult clothes and $1.50 for kids clothes.
“The name Boutique unfortunately seems to scare some people, and I’m like, ‘Oh, don’t be scared of that at all, we’re just trying to be fancy,’ ” Harlan said. “It’s not necessarily boutique prices.”
The store is restocked each week with items from the Christian Center’s warehouse.
“Every day I get amazed by the things that are donated,” Harlan said. “I’m like, somebody donated this. Are you serious? This is so cool. It just really goes to show the community’s love for the Christian Center and wanting to help further the mission,” Harlan said.
Along with clothing, Harlan stocks some housewares and the artwork and furnishings in the store can also be purchased.
“Everything is for sale. I’ve just been begging people not to try to buy my counters,” said Harlan.
Along with serving meals, the Christian Center has a men’s shelter and chapel. They are in the process of converting one of their buildings into the Eleos Center, a resource for the homeless, offering a place for them to shower and do laundry, as well as individual mailing addresses for people who need a physical address for jobs or government benefits.