2019-03-15 / Front Page

Upcycle Boutique back for fifth year

By Abigail Worthing Staff Writer

ARUNDEL – A community-favorite fundraiser will return to help donors give back while expanding their closets.

The Upcycle Boutique is a yearly event hosted by Community Outreach Services of the Kennebunks. The event will be held March 24 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a browsing cocktail time, rotating shopping blocks, and a live auction for the higher-end pieces. For the fifth straight year, the Upcycle Boutique will take place in the donated space in the showroom at Weirs Motors on Route 1 in Arundel.

“The team at Weirs Motors takes out the cars and lets us have the whole space. It’s really incredible,” said Community

Outreach Services Fundraising Chair Michelle Allen, who has directed the event for the six-year tenure of the event.

Community Outreach Services is a nonprofit organization that aims to aid members of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel community who struggle with fuel, food, and specific needs emergencies.

Tickets for the event are $30 and include two drink tickets, snacks and new-to-you clothing.

Upon arrival to the event, attendees will be assigned a numbered paddle on a first-come, first-serve basis. The paddle will serve as both the marker for the auction as well as the place in line for the boutique.

Since Feb. 26, gently worn or nearly-new clothing items have been dropped off for donation at the Weirs Motors showroom, where diligent volunteers have been sifting and organizing the items leading up to the event. When the boutique begins, patrons will have 45 minutes to browse, or “pre-shop” as Allen says, with cocktails prior to the actual shopping beginning.

“That way, everyone has an opportunity to shop around and see what they’re looking for so that they have a good idea for their shopping slot,” Allen said.

Allen said that there has been an influx of donations this year, which she thanks in part to Marie Kondo, whose Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” based on the methods written in her book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying,” encourages people to de-clutter.

“We can definitely tell that people have been watching Marie Kondo and getting rid of the things that don’t ‘spark joy,’” said Allen, referencing Kondo’s catch phrase.

In addition to cocktails, there will be food donated by local businesses, provided by Alisson’s in Dock Square, The Lobster Co. in Arundel, and Texas Grace in Kennebunk.

Following the cocktail hour, attendees will be allowed to shop in the boutique in groups of five to 10 at short five-minute intervals, and are each allowed to grab five items at a time. This allows the boutique to move quickly and ensure there isn’t a build up of people inside. The cycle will continue to rotate until everyone has gone through twice.

After the shopping portion, there will be the auction of the high end items, which is not included in the price of admission. Previous donated items include a Louis Vuitton bag and Coach jackets. Any items left in the boutique following the auction will be up for the taking, with all leftover clothing donated to local shelters.

All items included in the boutique are women’s clothing, however, Allen hopes to one day grow the event to include men and children’s clothing.

“The event is growing every year, and we have great workers and volunteers,” Allen said. “We’re so happy.”

So far, the about 40 tickets have been sold for the event, a “significant increase” in sales from last year, according to Allen, who is anticipating a rise in sales in the next two weeks, which she says is their busiest time for ticket sales.

“I keep telling people to grab their girlfriends and come down. It’s a one-stop girls day out, with shopping and cocktails and all,” Allen said.

Tickets will be available at the door on March 24, but those who wish to purchase ahead of time can do so at www.http://coskennebunks.org/upcycle-boutique.

Abigail Worthing can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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