Water St. Boutique is about more than clothes: it’s about the people who work here. When you visit the shop, two friendly faces you might see are Kate K. and Alex M.
Kate is very quiet but has a twinkle in her eye and is always smiling. Other club members describe her as “an all-around good person.” She’s only been a Grand Avenue Club member since February but is already an integral part of the Water St. Boutique team. Her main job is entering store inventory information into their digital tracking system. She likes working fast; the process of researching resale clothing prices is too slow for her.
“The store helps us make money for ourselves,” Kate says. “We’ll use the money from outside customers to take care of the club.”
Kate heard about the Grand Avenue Club from her therapist, who recommended it as a way to get more social interaction. She started coming to the club three days a week and liked it so much that, since another volunteer commitment ended, she’s been coming in four days a week.
When she gets bored, she takes a break from entering inventory to help the club’s culinary unit by doing dishes or cleaning. The culinary unit is starting a supper club for members, and she wants to be supportive.
Often working with Kate is Alex, an intern from Marquette University who has been working at the club since August. Since she’s newer to the project, she’s still learning how the storage room is organized and how to do inventory. She appreciates the help and patience she’s gotten from club members as she gets up to speed.
“Everyone here is very welcoming,” says Alex. “I think the store is a good way to expand advocacy for mental health issues.”
Alex and Kate both describe each other as kind, hard workers that are willing to help with anything. Others at the club describe them as reliable, patient people who have a good sense of humor.
Now that people know about them, they want people to know that Water St. Boutique has something for everyone, so they should come check it out. Right now there are several good men’s and women’s suits in stock, as well as some fun faux fur coats. But as Kate can tell you, the inventory is always changing.