Boutique supports community, military spouses
December 13, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- In an unassuming room at the end of a hallway inside Building 4201 sits a charming little store featuring handcrafted gifts and homemade items, most of which are created by women in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community.
The Lewis Community Spouses Club Cottage Boutique serves to highlight the creative talents of military spouses while also raising money for the Fort Lewis Family Member Scholarship Fund and other local community organizations.
"All of the proceeds from the boutique are returned to the LCSC welfare fund, which goes back into the community," Andrea Aitkin, LCSC first vice president, said.
The store, located inside the LCSC Cottage at the corner of Lewis Drive, West Way and Pendleton Avenue, operates as a consignment shop, acquiring items from local crafters and at-home business vendors to be sold in the boutique.
"We emphasize consignments because it's a great outlet for spouses in the community," Aitkin said. "We are always looking for new consignments."
The boutique's inventory includes handmade baby items, military-themed gifts, homemade candles and other specialty items.
"There's something for everyone's tastes," Aitkin said.
Under the management of Missy DiCipo, LCSC second vice president, store sales have increased this year, which makes sense since DiCipo said she always wanted to own her own store.
"I'm a project manager by trade, but I'm also a crafter," DiCipo said. "So I just enjoy doing it."
DiCipo and other LCSC members operate the store on a volunteer basis, and are hoping to expand the boutique into an adjacent room soon.
"The more volunteers we get, the more we can start increasing the store hours," DiCipo said.
The store is open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the fourth Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
DiCipo and Aitkin believe the store's popularity is growing, partly because proceeds from the sale of the reasonably priced gifts, made by local military spouses, directly support the community.
The LCSC Cottage is also available to rent for meetings or events. Rental of the cottage includes access to the main hall, board room and restrooms, as well as a full kitchen and full use of all tables and chairs. DiCipo said they also open the boutique any time there is an event scheduled at the cottage.
Vendors interested in consigning items can contact DiCipo at firstname.lastname@example.org. To rent the cottage, email email@example.com to inquire about availability. The boutique accepts cash and check payments only.