‘Dorothy’s Boutique’

Volunteers get ready for the annual Abbotsford Bazaar on November 30. From left, Cathy Schwartz, Loretta Martignago, Karen Clark and Rosalie Adams. Photo: Pat Goyeche

By Julie Ireton

There’s guilt-free shopping inside Abbotsford House at The Glebe Centre where fashions are recycled and sold for a bargain.

“Dorothy’s Boutique,” named after long-time boutique volunteer Dorothy Martyn, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All year round, gently used clothing is on sale at the Abbotsford boutique in the grand stone house across from Lansdowne Park.

Boutique fashions will be also be featured at the seniors centre’s annual bazaar on Saturday, November 30 along with books, jewellery, teddy bears, flea market finds, home baking and antique treasures.

Cathy Schwartz and four other volunteers at the boutique keep busy sorting, pricing and displaying the donated women’s clothing that arrives from all over the city.

“The fun part is sorting. It’s like opening Christmas presents,” said Schwartz about the boxes and bags of donations that arrive at the centre. “It keeps stuff out of landfill and that’s important.”

Most of the donations are women’s wear including shoes, bathrobes, dresses and blouses, but some men’s clothing is also for sale.

“There are some vintage items, but there is a lot of working women’s clothing that is brought in after women have retired,” said Schwartz.

Prices include purses or scarves for $5 and some winter coats for $20.

“Some of the scarves are pure silk, some are hand knitted and often we get labels like Holt Renfrew or Eddy Bauer and they’re in good condition,” said volunteer Rosalie Adams.

Despite the low prices, thousands of dollars are raised every year by the boutique to help pay for the centre’s programming.

Boutique convener Loretta Martignago, a retired business analyst, trains new volunteers and organizes work shifts.

“Each volunteer has a unique touch.  One can say that the boutique is like going into Sporting Life. It needs to be neat, tidy and calling out to you to buy me,” said Martignago.

Come to the “The Best Bazaar in the City” on Saturday, November 30, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Abbotsford is in need of antiques and collectibles (jewellery, pottery, glassware, paintings and other rare or whimsical items to be sold in our Elegant Treasures & Flea Market).  Please bring your donations to The Glebe Centre Community Programs at Abbotsford at 950 Bank Street.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for adults 55-plus.  We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization which includes a 254-bed long-term care home.  To find out more about our services, drop by 950 Bank Street Monday to Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m., phone 613-230-5730 or check out our website glebecentre.ca.

Julie Ireton is a journalist who contributes regularly to the Glebe Report on issues affecting Abbotsford.

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