The Knights Boutique begins its first full year after opening last May
The Knights Boutique has officially opened for its first full year after opening last May. Students and staff have been working hard to make adjustments to make this boutique even more successful.
An empty classroom and a vision were all it took for several students and staff to create the Knights Boutique. The Knights Boutique is a 100 percent volunteer run store that allows students at Mount Vernon High School to “shop” for free clothes, school supplies, toiletries and more.
“It was a big hit right away,” said Amoya Burnett, senior at Mount Vernon High School. “We were afraid we were going to run out of clothes when we first opened.”
The idea of opening a boutique was discussed last March, and by May, it was fully up and running. Mount Vernon High School teamed up with Bronxville School District to make this dream a reality.
Students are allowed to take three items per visit.
“Having the boutique here on campus helps to reduce students' anxiety around how they look and make them feel more comfortable in the school community,” said Principal Dr. Pauline Pearce of Mount Vernon High School. “Students have access to some of their basic needs such as toiletries and body products that they may not have access to or have to share with others at home. If we can provide those basic needs of safety and security, students are more likely to go to class and engage in learning.”
Last June, the boutique was able to provide 11 students with prom dresses and accessories and six students with suits.
“They always come out of the dressing room with a huge smile on their face,” said Jada Smith, senior at Mount Vernon High School.
Since last year, the Knights Boutique staff have learned a lot. They are more organized than ever and even have an overflow room for extra clothes. They break the clothing up by season, so it is not overwhelming for the shopper. Additionally, they use an app to keep track of inventory. The boutique also has a QR code where students can book appointments to shop for a more personalized experience.
“We want to make this a pleasant shopping experience for students,” said Ms. Danielle Giusti, Spanish teacher and Knights Boutique supervisor.
The Knights Boutique staff stressed the importance of donating appropriate clothing and other items. Clothes must be gently used and have no stains or holes.
“We don’t want our students to feel like they are getting the bottom of the barrel,” said Ms. Nicole Jones, administrative assistant and Knights Boutique supervisor.
The boutique is open during two lunch periods during the school day and after school on Thursdays.
“This experience has shown me that if you have an idea, you should go for it,” said Smith.
“It feels really good to help people,” said Burnett.
“Our motto is if they look good, they feel good, and if they feel good, they do good,” said Ms. Giusti.
DONATION REQUIREMENTS: Gently used/new items only, no stains or holes. Keep in mind, most students will walk out of the boutique wearing these clothes.
IN NEED OF: Metal racks on wheels, hangers, school supplies, toiletries, shoes, men’s clothing, winter clothes, razors, towels, and reusable water bottles. Or, email Ms. Giusti and Ms. Jones to see what the boutique may need.
TO DONATE: To donate please email Danielle Giusti at firstname.lastname@example.org; Nicole Jones at email@example.com.
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