The Clothing Closet Celebrates One-Year Anniversary in Purcellville

One year in, the Clothing Closet in Purcellville, one of the several ministries of the Tree of Life nonprofit, has quickly established itself not just as a place to help those in need, but as a sought-after shopping destination in the town’s 21st Street business corridor.

Located at 119 N. 21st St., the Clothing Closet recently celebrated its first year in business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Planning for the store began in earnest in January 2020, and Tree of Life staff and volunteers were undeterred even with the arrival of COVID-19, opening Clothing Closet’s doors in June 2020, with an official grand opening celebration July 11 of last year. They saw a brick and mortar store as a natural outgrowth of their popular annual clothing giveaways.

Since its opening, 250 individuals have been served with free clothing through Tree of Life’s voucher program, including 22 families that received coats last winter. The Tree of Life staff and volunteers make the shopping experience seamless for those on the nonprofit’s voucher program, setting up private shopping experiences where volunteers and staff can pull clothing items ahead of times when they know the sizes of the individuals or families coming in to shop. 

It’s a “unique boutique,” Susannah Lee, regional director of Tree of Life’s Purcellville office, said. 

“We don’t allow it to be called thrift,” she said. “We want only the best for our customers.”

A quick browse through the store says it to be exactly that. Items for sale in the store, which include sizes for babies, children, men and women, are high quality and gently used. In a partnership with local retailer lou lou boutiques, Clothing Closet is even provided with new clothing pieces and accessories that are deeply discounted for shoppers. Everything from $10 pairs of jeans to shoes to scarves, clothes for play and dressier attire, can be found in Clothing Closet’s inventory.

Tree of Life staff and volunteers said the store has become a weekly tradition for some area shoppers, and has even attracted visitors in town for weddings, family gatherings, or passing through on the nearby W&OD Trail. They are resolute in not raising prices, even in the current economic climate, and also not lowering their standards for quality.

“We want to stay shoppable,” said store manager and Tree of Life volunteer Diane McDuffie. 

Donations for Clothing Closet are accepted during store hours—10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information on the store, go to tolministries.org/the-clothing-closet.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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