The Junior League of New Orleans’ thrift shop first opened its doors in 1927 on Royal St. and later relocated to neighboring Bourbon St. Mrs. Maumus Claverie, Miss Eleanor May Hagerty, and Mrs. Priestly Flournoy tote their donations to the Junior League Thrift Shop on what was known as “bundle day” in the 1930s.
Photos courtesy of the Louisiana State Museum Historical Center; Gift of the Junior League of New Orleans; Junior League of New Orleans Collection
First opening our doors in 1927 on Royal Street, and later relocating a mere stone’s throw away to Bourbon Street, the operation of a thrift shop has long been a major source of fundraising for the Junior League of New Orleans. Funding went primarily to support the JLNO Nutrition Center, which offered dance classes, cooking classes, live entertainment, basic medical care and more to underserved children, and in response to The Great Depression, childcare services which allowed women to work outside the home. True to form, the JLNO thrift shop continues to be a catalyst for positive community change.
In 1960, the League uprooted its thrift shop from the familiarity of the Vieux Carré to its present location at 4645 Freret Street. More than half a century later, Bloomin’ Deals enjoys tenured status as the second oldest business in a booming neighborhood that experienced a large-scale transformation following Hurricane Katrina. Today, the thrift shop continues to be the driving economic force behind JLNO’s charitable works. In fact, it is the single largest source of income to the League, boasting over $500,000 in annual gross revenue. Local League members contribute roughly 6,000 volunteer hours annually to staff the shop.
Since first forming in 1923 on the heels of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, members of the Junior League have directly impacted the course of history in a positive way. If the last 100 years are any indication of what’s to come, then buckle your seatbelts and hang on, we’re going for a ride.
Bundle Day Committee members Mrs. Francis E. LeJeune, Mrs. C. Ellis Henican, Mrs. Arthur Mayne, and Mrs. John Phillips inspect incoming stock at the Junior League Thrift Shop, 819 Bourbon Street.