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Our Holiday Boutique Team (L to R): David Turner, David Ballas, Susie Wood, Kris Woodson, and Petie Bogen-Garrett

The line down the block was visible from I95 for the opening reception of our annual Diversity Thrift Holiday Boutique so we opened our doors an hour early. This year's boutique is the biggest in the event's seven-year history. We have so many items this year that we've added a larger shopping area and extended sale dates from two weeks to six.

In October, curator David Ballas started organizing the boutique by viewing the contents of the storage rooms where everything that had been collected over the past year was stored. "And boy was it a lot! At first I was a little overwhelmed at the visual amount but then methodically started in one area at a time. I started coming in daily about six hours a day, sometimes longer to price items. It took about three weeks of pricing to get about 90% of it completed.

On Sunday November the 7th, unbeknown to me, store manager David Turner had coordinated with the good staff at Diversity to have all of the priced items brought over from storage to the staging area just outside of the Iridian Gallery in the store itself and had relocated all the furniture that was currently in that area. That was certainly no small feat. When I came in Monday November the 8th, I was actually surprised to see it all there, but was excited to get started setting up the boutique. As a degreed Interior Designer, I knew I could make the boutique visually beautiful!

Volunteer Susie Wood helped with all of the lovely vintage linens. She washed, ironed, priced and displayed them beautifully! I bet she doesn't ever want to see an iron again ... Lol.

Petie Bogen-Garrett, a Diversity board member, with her knowledge of art, volunteered her time to price all of the art to be displayed in the boutique. Again, not a small feat in itself.

When I arrived Monday morning November the 8th, I just started placing items in the boutique, hanging art, doing displays, putting down rugs, setting up tables with skirts until it all started coming together. We all worked hard hours during that week to be ready for the opening reception on November 12th.

It would not have been possible to have done this without the help of the volunteers and all of the wonderful hard working staff at Diversity. I also want to thank Kris Woodson and Eva Entzminger for their help and support. Kudos to everyone involved!

I am very happy and proud to have brought this project to life. It's going to be a great success!"

The Holiday Boutique is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until December 23rd. Enter on the Sherwood Avenue side of our building at 1407 Sherwood Avenue, RVA 23220. You'll find a wide variety of art, estate jewelry, antiques, silver, crystal, fine china, vintage clothing, rare books, novelty toys and games, and furniture. New items added every day and some will be featured on our facebook page @diversity.thrift.

Proceeds from sales support the programs of Diversity Richmond. Come shop with us and spread the word!

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