In the final installment of our series introducing the new Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Partners, the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) will highlight our friends at Swap, a carefully curated consignment boutique. Customers including but not limited to League members can bring their items for consignment to Swap and designate all or a portion of sales to JLNO.
According to Sophie Martinez, Junior League’s 2019-2020 Consignment Partnerships Vice-Chair, the League’s collaboration with Swap Boutique is a win-win situation, because this new program aligns with the priorities of current JLNO membership. “The League has evolved over the years,” she says, “and demographics have shifted to where more members of JLNO are employed full-time.” This made it progressively harder to keep up with the day-to-day operations at the thrift shop.
Heather Doyle, Junior League’s Consignment Partnership Chair, explains another hurdle to keeping Bloomin’ Deals open. Although the revenue stream was consistent, the upkeep of a brick and mortar establishment eventually became a strain. “The League could no longer continue to defer major renovations which could have cost well over $500,000,” says Heather.
Swap encourages customers to bring their designer brand, in-season clothing for consignment and designate either a portion or all of the sales to the Junior League of New Orleans. There is no longer a need to sort items, hang clothing on racks, place goods in display cases or deal with the additional aspects of managing a business. JLNO members can now drop off their luxury items at either participating Swap location for inspection, and their employees are responsible for taking care of everything else. Swap Boutique has even committed to donating 10% of its own profit from those sales to the Junior League of New Orleans.
Heather succinctly encapsulates the advantages of working with Swap: “This new venture brings in revenue, supports the League’s community programming, and it is less work for members.”
For over nine decades, Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Store served as a valuable resource for patrons in the city of New Orleans who desired to purchase quality items such as clothing, books and jewelry at an affordable rate. For many generations of Junior League members, the thrift shop was a reliable establishment where they could go to acquire their mandatory volunteer hours by assisting paid staff with the daily operations of the store, and earn their annual rummage donation by donating gently used clothing and additional goods to be resold to the public. The donations met the needs of individuals who were in search of pre-owned treasures on a bargain, while the proceeds of the purchases financed the day to day operations of the thrift store and supported the League’s other beneficial missions in the Greater New Orleans area and surrounding communities.
Although there is no longer a physical building for Bloomin’ Deals, its legacy continues through the partnership with Swap Boutique, Dress for Success and the Youth Empowerment Project. Each of these collaborations presents a unique opportunity to the JLNO and New Orleans area organizations. The League and its partners can share resources and revenue in mutually beneficial ways, building new relationships and maintaining existing ones. Ultimately, the transformation of Bloomin’ Deals shows how the JLNO can adapt to the changing capacities of its members while sustaining its commitment to serving the community.
Swap Boutique FAQs
Where to donate: 5530 Magazine Street or 7716 Maple St.
What to donate: High end/designer brands like Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, BCBG, etc.
How to donate: Make an appointment via phone or online to bring your items in during business hours. An employee from Swap will inspect each item and determine which are most likely to sell. You may keep any items that Swap does not accept or donate them to our other partners for money to mission credit. Members receive 40-50% commission on items sold in the store. Swap donates 10% of their commission to JLNO.
*Please note Swap donations can no longer be accepted at JLNO Headquarters.