Two private donors joined financial forces with JPMorgan Chase to bring a unique twist on the classic Goodwill store to a corner of downtown Sumner, at 926 Main Street.
Blue, a Goodwill boutique, carries designer brand clothing for men, women and children; accessories such as handbags and jewelry; movies, books and home decor. Prices are expected to be 60 to 70 percent below retail cost.
The store held its grand opening on May 8 and many people from the community attended to honor the Ladds.
“This store is going to be a great new addition to historic downtown Sumner, and we really appreciate the Ladds, Chase and Goodwill for investing in the heart of our town,” Mayor Dave Enslow said. “Sumner is really getting to be a shopping destination that offers unique stores that specialize in up cycling. It fits perfectly to have the best donations offered in a boutique format on our Main Street. On the economic development side, this small boutique adds seven more jobs contributing $150,000 in annual store wages and benefits for families in this area, while sales will fund job training and placement programs for 50 unemployed individuals from our area.”
Clara and Ottie Ladd invested in the boutique upon Ottie Ladd’s death. He was the owner of several Kentucky Fried Chicken locations throughout the state. His vision was consistent with that of Goodwill, Clara Ladd said, because he used his position to leverage opportunity for young people.
“His restaurants provided a first job for many young people,” said Clara Ladd. “He loved to see young people blossom as they gained confidence and learned new job skills. And he fervently believed in Goodwill’s mission to help people develop the skills they need to find meaningful work. It’s in that spirit and in his memory that I support Goodwill’s mission through the opening of this boutique in Sumner.”
Funds from the boutique will help Goodwill fund 30 job training and educational services at four of their regional Work Opportunity Centers. Families, single parents, youth and transitioning military veterans struggling with unemployment are given significant opportunities and tools for success at the centers.
“This grant award leverages Goodwill retail operations to significantly increase job training opportunities in culinary, retail, custodial, office, landscaping, construction, warehouse and logistics fields in this region,” said Cree Zischke, JPMorgan Chase vice president of global philanthropy for the Northwest and Intermountain Regions.
During the first five years of its inception, the boutique is expected to provide $750,000 in economic stimulus and provide job training for 250 individuals, according to George White, public relations spokesperson for the Goodwill.