We so appreciate our local businesses! If there's one area in which OTO shines, it’s with our unique array of small shops and restaurants. That's why when we heard The Collection by Casa Teresa was opening it’s doors this past spring, we couldn’t have been more excited to welcome them into our family of retailers. Since this new shop directly benefits the Casa Teresa homeless shelter for pregnant women we knew the innovative resale boutique had a powerful story to tell. There's nothing more gratifying than finding a new store where you can shop affordable trends while supporting a worthwhile cause. This is why we are so excited to highlight this new neighbor and share their heartwarming story.
In a recent interview with Casa Teresa’s CEO Lisa Wood and Yvonne Lopez, store manager of The Collection, a sense of hard work and passion filled the conversation. As we talked, it became so apparent that this small town boutique serves as a vital vessel to generating donations for the organization. If you haven't heard the inspiring goal that this charity works towards, here’s a little background. Casa Teresa’s history has been creating uplifting experiences for pregnant women and their children facing challenging circumstances. For over 40 years, they have provided prenatal care, parenting classes, and job opportunities to name a few of their charitable activities. Besides being a major support system for young women, the organization creates unique bonds that produce pivotal life changes for such families in need.
Yvonne Lopez has a strong bond with Casa Teresa and has played a valuable role in The Collection opening in Old Towne Orange. She started with the charity in 2008 as an intern while in college. From that point on, Yvonne has worn various hats and continues to find herself dabbling in many different roles within the company. Aside from managing the store, she works directly with the women, teaching them valuable life skills. The shop not only functions for revenue generation but runs as an important social enterprise that trains the ladies through offering them employment in their store. This provides them with a firm footing for later obtaining outside employment. With years of retail experience under Yvonne's belt, she shared a unique attribute of the retail operation for the project. Ms. Lopez said “Retail non-profits are completely different from regular stores. By nature, they are much more rewarding to the individuals who donate their time.” She went on to comment “Working in all aspects is a big blessing.”
Lisa Wood provided an overview of her key roles within the charity. In addition to overseeing the residential, transitional, and emergency shelter programs, another of her primary functions is to fundraise. Casa Teresa has been raising some serious dough this year! In October 2016, they celebrated their 40th anniversary with the elegant "Casa Teresa Ruby Gala" raising over $210,000 for their cause. By successfully re-engaging past donors, and reaching out to new supporters, they surpassed last year's record by $70,000!
When we asked what keeps them motivated, they both agreed it’s the successes they have with the mothers they help on a daily basis. Wood expressed that her dedication is driven by the love and impact the organization has on each woman that participates in the program. “Many
women thrive, while others may be at different stages in their journey. No matter how they fare, they are always welcome to return with open arms.” Wood goes on to say, “Some are ready to fly and soar through the program, but despite how long they are here their lives have been impacted in some positive way because of the love that they share.”
If you haven't been into the shop, you must pay it a visit. The Collection is the perfect addition to the circle because it differs from other second-hand boutiques in Old Towne Orange. They carry modern men's and women's clothing, and accessories that are on trend at an insanely affordable price. All donations are graciously given from the local community or private collectors. They are carefully sorted and organized by the staff and volunteers. Word travels fast about The Collection. There is a high volume of merchandise that cycles through this location which is why they are able to price their items so low. Believe it or not, the merchandise replenishes on a daily basis!
There's lots in store for the rest of the year at The Collection! The mothers are hard at work brainstorming for the holiday shopping season. Each woman will suggest their Black Friday ideas and collectively choose a promotion together. Also, the shop is just beginning to stock men's and women’s evening attire just in time for the many Chapman University formals and high school homecomings. Additionally, they’ve been hard at work creating a new eBay marketing channel. Customers can now shop higher priced designer items that can be shipped or conveniently picked up in store! Both Chapman University students and local business workers have started becoming regular customers. The Collection is perfect for the budget conscious college shopper. Their 5% student discount is the icing on the cake.
When asked the one thing they want people to know about The Collection and Casa Teresa, Lopez said “When you shop here you can feel good about it because you are giving back to such a great cause.” Their slogan says “shop with a heart,” an expression they truly believe in! Just by shopping at the boutique you are giving back to the community and contributing to much needed supplies and programs. Wood also wants to “encourage the community to stop by and check it out because they will pleasantly surprise them and provide them an opportunity to learn about Casa Teresa.”
The Collection is located at 234 N. Glassell Orange, California
Wednesday : 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Thursday: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
Friday and Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM.