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Upscale resale shop reopens in new Johnson County location with same unique mission

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After 15 years, Top Drawer Resale Shop in Leawood is updating with a new name and a new location.

However, the essence of the store, now called Story Boutique and located at 3704 W. 95th St., will remain the same. It will sell the same products, from apparel to home decor. And its proceeds will continue to go to Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care to provide end-of-life services to low-income and uninsured families.

Caryn Hohnholt, chief development and communications officer for Kansas City Hospice, said the service and the store share a mission: “dealing with the things that we leave behind.” While the boutique accepts any new or gently used donations, it focuses on items families are left with when a loved one dies.

“Having this (shop) available to help families with that process, and then they’re able to donate, and then to resell that to others in the community. . . I think it comes full circle and allows people to give back and help other families,” Hohnholt said.

The new name was inspired by a similar concept: the stories people leave behind.

“One thing we think about with hospice and with the patients and families we serve is really everybody has a story to tell and everybody’s story is important,” Hohnholt said.

In a typical year, the volunteer-run Top Drawer Resale Shop would raise about $250,000 for hospice care and other programs, Hohnholt said. Although the late opening means 2021 will likely bring in less, Hohnholt is hopeful Story Boutique will be able to surpass that goal in future years.

There are also plans to continue expanding the resale store with new programs, such as Sorting Through, which helps people decide what to do with their loved ones’ items.

These programs help separate Story Boutique from other thrift stores, Hohnholt said. As does its specialization in new and gently used clothes — thus the title of “upscale” resale — and the emotional connections attached to the donated items.

“If you think about when you go to another thrift store, you kind of pull in, drop off your stuff and drive off. That’s not how it happens at Story Boutique,” Hohnholt said. “People come in and share why they’re giving to us. . . I think that emotional connection that we have with so many shoppers and donors and volunteers is probably the biggest piece of our excitement in being able to fully reopen.”

Although the shop has been open for several weeks, Hohnholt said it’s been “limping along.” The official grand opening will be this week. Local artist Eugenia Oritz will spend Monday and Tuesday painting a mural in the shop, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday. The store will also celebrate with a week-long, half-off sale on apparel.

Story Boutique opens at 10 a.m. every day and stays open until 4 p.m. Mondays, when it is appointment only; 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

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