News

Celebrate Big Changes at Martha’s Outfitters

06.17.2011

There have been a lot of changes at Martha’s Outfitters lately.  One major change is that Martha’s Outfitter’s now has a new logo!  Monday, June 27th we invite you to come and celebrate Martha’s Outfitters at Cork Wine Bar for a Happy Hour Event.  In addition to our logo making its debut, we’ll be showcasing our wares and spreading the word about DC’s best community thrift store.  Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.  See the full invitation to the event here.  And, for a sneak peak at the logo and an update on what’s going on at Martha’s Outfitters, keep reading . . . 

Martha’s Outfitters is a unique community thrift store in the U Street Corridor.  Not only do we provide free clothing, linens and household items to individuals and families in need, but we also open our doors to the community at large whose purchases support Martha’s Table’s larger mission. 

Sales

We just closed out our most successful month yet and June is already looking great – slightly better than May even.  Donations are also up – though it is sometimes hard to tell because the clothes and housewares go out the door as soon as they come in. 

Referrals           

We have a new intern working with us this year, Christina Ko, who is focusing like a laser on our referral program.  In addition to running the front desk with Nancy Lewis each Wednesday and Friday morning, Christina is entering data in our database, ensuring that MOUs are in place for all referring agencies, and making sure everyone is aware of and following our referral guidelines.  Speaking of our database, a quick thanks to Sandeep Rao who volunteered many Saturdays and evenings to develop a very simple to use program for maintaining our referral records.  We are all thrilled that we’re getting our arms around this critical service.

Interior Renovation

We also have a lot going on with our effort to spruce up the store.  Hitt Construction  and their flooring Contractor, CB Flooringwill be replacing our floors.  The simplest solution is to level off the worst areas and lay carpet tiles throughout, so that’s the current direction.  In addition, through the efforts of Rahul Dubey, we are partnering with Banana Republic to give the rest of the store a facelift.  Banana Republic’s visuals team is helping us pick  paint colors to go with the carpet, suggest ways that we can better merchandize our wares and even provide some of the props, e.g., mirrors and mannequins, tables, fixtures, and signage, as needed.  In addition, they will help us move out the fixtures, paint the walls, and set things back up.  We’re targeting the week of July 25 for all of this to take place.  And, thanks to Rita Nayak, an architect and designer on a year’s sabbatical in DC, who is assisting us in coordinating the renovation project before she heads back to LA in August.  We are all very excited about this partnership.   

Awning

Since we’ll be doing so much to improve the inside of the store, we thought we’d try to make the outside more appealing too.  Proper Topper donated a beautiful awning to Martha’s Outfitters, saving us a couple thousand dollars and giving us the chance to look legit!  The awning will feature our new logo which was designed by Kate Krizan a local graphic artist who, along with Rebecca Davis, has been helping us hone a cohesive visual approach as we reach out to our physical and virtual neighborhoods.  Rebecca also assisted in the recent updates to our webpage – in fact, there are now three pages:  one for donors, one for shoppers and one for referrals – and she is on the host committee for the Cork event. 

Inventory

So with a welcoming store front and a clean new interior, we ought to be sure we’re continuing to get the best inventory of clothes and housewares available.  In addition to all the fantastic donations from individuals and organizations across the city, Martha’s Outfitters has developed some excellent relationships with local merchants – Home Rule, Full of Beans, Pulp, Miss Pixies, among them, who have donated excess inventory to the store.  Kate Headline is volunteering to help us reach out to various DC boutiques and specialty stores across the city to invite them to get on this band wagon.  The response in just a couple of weeks has been immediate and positive.  Kate is also developing relationships with the local consignment shops to see what arrangements we can make to receive any excess inventory that they have and explore other ways that we can partner with them.