I hate reporting bad news, but today I must: The YWCA’s 2616 Resale Boutique is closing. 

This is the East Nashville shop that sells donated ladies clothing, shoes and accessories, with proceeds going to support Dress for Success and other worthwhile YWCA programs, including Girls Inc. and its domestic violence services.

2616 is one of my favorite shopping stops — the one place I pop in every time I am on Gallatin Pike, just to see what’s new. The prices are great — $12 and less for pants, skirts and tops; $20 and less for jackets; and $12 for most shoes … and no sales tax because it is a nonprofit. 

It’s the kind of shop where I take my bargain hunting out-of-town friends, and it is the boutique I have raved about in my column, thanks to its sharp merchandising, top quality inventory, great prices and super friendly and helpful staff, as well as its high-minded mission.

So why is this great shop closing? 

Simply put, it is still not making enough money to support itself, much less raise money for the programs it was designed to fortify.

“When the store opened in 2014, we had high hopes that this would be a revenue-generating business to help fund the YWCA’s lifesaving and life-changing programs,” said YWCA President Sharon Roberson.

But, “we have been unable to generate sufficient revenue to achieve the financial goals that were set,” she said, noting that the boutique will close Aug. 31, when its three-year lease is up.

The original vision for the shop, which was the YW’s first true social enterprise, was to staff it largely with volunteers. And although there have been numerous volunteer hours, there was still a need for two full-time and several part-time employees. Those costs, coupled with rising rent, and the amount of staff time being diverted from other YW programs for store matters, brought Roberson and the YWCA board to the decision to close up shop.   

“While this is a difficult decision, we are confident closing 2616 will allow us to be better stewards of our finances, time and space allocations,” she said, adding, “As a charitable, not-for-profit organization, the YWCA has a responsibility to provide resources where they are most needed.” 

The good news in all of this is that the Dress for Success program will continue and will move almost immediately to the YWCA headquarters on Woodmont Boulevard, where it can more easily collaborate with the YW’s Family Literacy Center and Career Services.

“It will be an enhanced Dress for Success, a more holistic approach,” Roberson said. This “allows us to provide the program with its own larger, dedicated space. It also means the suiting side of this work will be integrated with the career development program already in place at the Green Hills location. This is a natural alignment of Dress for Success Nashville and the YWCA Family Literacy Center.”

Another bright spot is that for bargain shoppers like me, there will be lots of clearance sales between now and the store’s final days in August.

And, even after the store closes, there will be periodic pop-up sales of donated ladies clothing for us to shop — and for me to write about.  

“These community sales will be in the ‘spirit’ of 2616, but without the overhead,” Roberson said. 

I will keep you posted on these sales.

Meanwhile, shop 2616 while you can, and as always, stay cheap!   

Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or mscheap@tennessean.com. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and at Tennessean.com/mscheap, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”

About 2616

The YWCA’s 2616 bargain boutique opened as a social enterprise in summer 2014, with proceeds supporting YW programs including Dress for Success, domestic violence services, the Family Literacy Center, Girls Inc. and MEND.

Where: 2616 Gallatin Road, in a strip center next to the East Nashville YMCA

When: The shop is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays until Aug. 31, when it will close for good. 

Future of Dress for Success: Dress for Success will relocate to the YWCA’s Woodmont location and continue its work providing professional clothing to women entering or re-entering the workforce.  

If you want to help, volunteers are needed to work with Dress for Success clients and to sort and organize donations. Go to https://ywcanashville.com/give-help/volunteer.

The most needed items to have donated are ladies suits, tops, scrubs, pants, shoes, handbags and accessories such as scarves. Items need to be in good condition and on hangers, and there is a particular need for larger sizes. See https://ywcanashville.com/give-help/donation-wish-list or call 615-269-9922.

 

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