Leaving a legacy

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published June 26, 2014

 Associate coordinator Debra Perry, of Redford, and coordinator Judy Miller, of Southfield, take care of the Christian Tabernacle Church’s Legacy Clothing Boutique.

Associate coordinator Debra Perry, of Redford, and coordinator Judy Miller, of Southfield, take care of the Christian Tabernacle Church’s Legacy Clothing Boutique.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — The average cost of a designer pair of shoes at any given department store can range from a few hundred dollars to prices in the thousands.

At the Legacy Clothing Boutique, however, designer shoes, along with handbags, hats, clothes and accessories, come at a highly discounted rate: free.

The boutique, located at Christian Tabernacle Church in Southfield, is a place where women in need can shop, and no money is exchanged.

Created in 2012, the boutique offers a wide range of sizes, colors and types of clothes, ranging from business suits to casual pieces.

Kelley Suggs, media and marketing director at Christian Tabernacle Church, said the purpose of the boutique is to make women feel special and help them get back on their feet after financial hardship.

“Our pastor has a vision for legacy, something we can pass down to our children and our children’s children,” Suggs said. “We welcome women in need with open arms to get clothes, purses, accessories — anything.”

Suggs said the boutique asks for gently used or new items, and they ask people to only donate things they would wear.

“If people are going through something, they don’t want to be reminded they’re going through something,” said Judy Miller, coordinator of the Legacy Clothing Boutique. “When they leave out of here, they feel good. We love on them, so they feel good.”

“Many have walked out in tears, and they just want to embrace you and give you a big hug. You’ve made their day. You’ve made them feel so much better about themselves when they can’t do for themselves,” Suggs said.

Suggs said they get the word out about the boutique by handing out flyers with food they donate to the needy.

The goal of the Legacy Clothing Boutique is to make shoppers feel welcome. Miller and other women who work at the boutique also serve as personal shoppers for women who come to the boutique.

“We get them involved and make them feel special. It’s like when you go to Nordstrom and they help you put something together. This is what we do. We don’t just tell you, ‘Here, and goodbye,’” Miller said. “It’s a full shopping experience.”

The prices of the Legacy Clothing Boutique aren’t the only things that set them apart from other stores. Legacy Clothing Boutique doesn’t want you to come back.

“We like to see if we can give them a leg up. We’d like to see if you can get a job and take care of yourself from there,” Miller said.

Ultimately, the goal of the Legacy Clothing Boutique is to expand, so they can provide men and children in need with free clothing.

“As we continue the vision of legacy and reaching out, this boutique is just an extension of that,” Suggs said.

To set up an appointment to donate to the Legacy Clothing Boutique, call (248) 213-4770.

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