Get to Know Laura Grossman, Manager of Martha’s Outfitters

Get to Know Laura Grossman, Manager of Martha’s Outfitters

Laura’s story could be described as a full-circle moment.

In 2017, she crossed paths with Chef Rob, a member of the MT Prepared Foods Team. Laura had been looking for volunteer opportunities, and after hearing Rob describe Martha’s Table, she was inspired to sign up to volunteer the next day. After exploring a few programs, the experience at Outfitters resonated with her most of all and she found a permanent place to give back.

Martha’s Outfitters is a no-cost boutique open to caregivers of children in Ward 8.

Outfitters initially started as a thrift store but has evolved into a community shopping experience, offering families access to professional work attire and children’s clothing. Members receive a store credit worth $40 that automatically reloads every month.

Laura quickly found herself staying later than the volunteer time slot required. Staff noticed her dedication to the store and eventually, her volunteer shifts felt more like visiting with friends, connecting with regular shoppers and welcoming new Members.

“It [Outfitters] felt like family,” Laura recalls.

When Outfitters’ 14th street location closed, Laura traveled to the Ward 8 location to continue serving. In the fall of 2019, the position of Store Manager was posted, and she knew she had to apply. Welcoming Laura to the MT team was an easy decision.

In her new role, she leads a team of sales associates who support 12,000 families annually with their shopping needs. Outfitters seeks to provide a safe and enjoyable experience that empowers customers. It’s all part of greater service and Laura loves the diversity of her job and the team she works with.

Putting neighbors first has always been at the forefront of Martha’s Table programming.

Outfitters collaborates with organizations like MORCA (the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens) and starting this January, the store will launch an expanded program based on feedback from community members. In the new program, caregivers of children under 21 in Ward 8 and emancipated youth will have access to the boutique.

Outfitters is also offering Saturday hours once a month, open to all neighbors (no restrictions for non-caregivers). The first Saturday shopping experience, will take place February 1, from 10AM-2PM. These changes welcome more neighbors, building upon the philosophy of a seat for everyone to the table.

Reflecting on the boutique, Laura remarks:

“There is no other program like this in the country and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

For more information on donating, volunteering or to learn more about Outfitters updates, visit: https://marthastable.org/family-engagement-program/

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