Margie’s closet opened on June 5 to assist transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive folks store for garments at an reasonably priced price.
Situated in Ohio, Margie’s Closet is the primary thrift retailer within the state designed to assist the transgender neighborhood by providing clothes and emotional assist. The shop, based by the Margie’s Hope group, sells an intensive record of clothes, from chest folders for transgender males to $ 5 pairs of denims.
Jacob Nash, co-founder of Margie’s Hope and Margie’s Closet, instructed “Good Morning America” that he got here up with the concept for the shop after listening to questions from folks within the transgender neighborhood.
“There was a dialog, first by way of a good friend of mine who … had some garments that she needed to donate to folks within the trans neighborhood, and he or she needed to know if she knew of a spot that particularly served the trans neighborhood,” Nash. saying. “Then within the assist group that Margie’s Hope has [Trans Ally] … lots of people talked about procuring on-line as a result of they have been uncomfortable in shops … after which they ended up sending so much again. “
In response to those conversations, she opened a pop-up occasion the place folks donated clothes for transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive folks. This occasion was extraordinarily widespread, Nash mentioned, inspiring him to open a retailer to promote these donated clothes.
“By the point we completed, we had so many garments. We thought, ‘Okay, clearly we’ve got a necessity right here. What are we going to do? ‘”Nash mentioned.
His dream got here true when he found an area known as Studio West 117, which was created particularly for the LGBTQ + neighborhood, on the border between Lakewood and Cleveland which he discovered superb to accommodate the shop.
“We toured the ability and realized that it will be good as a result of we needed to have the ability to give folks throughout the gender-expansive, non-binary, transgender neighborhood an area the place they might really feel snug. [and] that the whole lot may get there [they] want[ed]Nash mentioned.
About six weeks after leasing the area, the shop opened, simply in time for Delight Month. To date the turnout has been “phenomenal,” Nash mentioned.
“We have now had individuals who come and purchase objects which are from the neighborhood, but additionally individuals who assist the trans neighborhood and who come and say: ‘We come right here to purchase as a result of we wish to assist the neighborhood, the trans neighborhood, the neighborhood not binary, ”Nash mentioned. “It isn’t simply folks from the LGBTQ neighborhood who come and purchase, and even make a donation, however all the Northeast Ohio neighborhood.”
Monika Veliz, govt supervisor of Margie’s Closet, agrees that participation has been “greater than [they] I may have waited. “She believes that the big quantity of people that come to the shop can contribute to native assist and publicity.
“We realized that we can not do that by ourselves, and the neighborhood realized that we can not do it by ourselves, so everybody has been an incredible assist,” Veliz mentioned. “The encompassing companies have been greater than beneficiant in welcoming us to the neighborhood. We have had, due to social media and totally different platforms … folks drive from Cincinnati to Cleveland, from Bowling Inexperienced to Cleveland simply to get to the shop. “
This assist is critical for Nash, however not for the cash raised, which makes Margie’s Closet totally different from a typical enterprise. Actually, the shop provides alternatives for individuals who can not afford clothes to entry $ 25 coupons by way of neighborhood organizations or to ask the shop for assist prematurely. It is because Nash desires Margie’s Closet to care extra concerning the folks it helps than about making a revenue.
“We’re attempting, as our motto says, ‘construct neighborhood one garment at a time,’ as a result of it isn’t a lot about clothes as it’s about constructing neighborhood, constructing households, constructing relationships, and serving the inhabitants that’s most wanted,” Nash mentioned. . “If meaning we give away product, then we give away product as a result of it is extra about folks than cash.”
When Veliz began working on the retailer, she did not notice this distinctive facet of the shop – that’s, till she had a significant interplay with a transgender buyer.
“He knew completely little or no about ladies’s clothes, about her physique kind, her physique form, and he or she walked into the shop after we have been closing. Actually, we stayed open yet another hour only for her in order that I may assist her decide up the garments, measure them and all that good things, ”Veliz mentioned.
“Till then, I believed it was only a enterprise, if that is smart … however then I noticed the significance we play on the trans and non-binary individuals who stroll by way of our door,” added Veliz. “They’re searching for an deal with, they’re searching for … connection [and] neighborhood. That was the defining second of what the shop actually was for me. “