Connie Meeks prides herself on being a country girl. She lives on a dirt road on the prairie north of Prescott Valley; she teaches others how to ride horses and she embraces rural living. Meeks is also a team leader and distributor for Melaleuca, an online and in-home wellness company. In this role, she is required to attend conventions and give product presentations groups of all sizes. Most comfortable in her blue jeans and boots, her greatest professional concern is how to dress in comfortable, yet stylish, business attire.
“Having to dress professionally hasn’t always been easy or fun for me. I know a lot of women feel the same way, regardless of what line of business they are in or where they live. That’s why I am so glad I found Queen Esther’s Closet in Prescott Valley, and I know that by shopping at this boutique I am also helping other women in need. It is a win-win. What could be better?”
Queen Esther’s Closet is a non-profit gently used clothing boutique that aims to give women an affordable place to shop for professional and dress attire. But the boutique is more than a shopping experience; it is a personal styling and fashion experience. Shoppers can make an appointment to meet with the staff for free services such as color draping, best styles to wear and not to wear for their body type, accessorizing and more.
Monica Cook, director of Queen Esther’s Closet, says the store opened in response to a need, and to support women in a wide variety of circumstances and life situations.
“We wanted to offer more than just clothes, we wanted our shoppers to have the opportunity to learn about fashion and dress so that they could feel as beautiful outside as they are inside,” Cook said. “Our mission is to help women realize their beauty through their own personal style. We strive to implement this mission with every shopper, every time, regardless of age, style or budget. Looking and feeling like royalty shouldn’t cost a fortune.
“We were overwhelmed at how many people wanted to support our vision of helping women dress well, while also supporting other non-profit organizations who support women. When word got out that we were making plans to open a resale store that would support women-focused organizations, we received thousands of dollars of clothing donations, volunteers showed up to decorate and set up the store, and another small non-profit church even donated some money to help with start-up expenses.”
In addition to providing high-quality clothes and accessories at an affordable price, Queen Esther’s Closet donates all proceeds to two non-profit, woman-focused, Arizona-based organizations, Let Life Live and Lotus Loft Maternity Housing Services. Let Life Live focuses on pregnancy support, abortion education and post-abortion healing, as well as suicide prevention. Lotus Loft Maternity Housing Services works to take the crisis out of crisis pregnancies by providing housing, food and supplies for pregnant women who need assistance.
“We opened the store to help women,” Cook explained. “We don’t purchase the clothing, we rely on the generosity of others. The sales receipts pay the bills and the remaining monies are given away. We want to pay it forward, so to speak, and support other organizations who also support women. We have so many regular customers in just a few short months because they like the clothes, shoes and accessories, and they like knowing they are making a difference in the lives of other women.”
Meeks is one of the store’s frequent shoppers. “Each week there is new merchandise and the quality of the clothing is very good; better than most resale stores,” Meeks said. “The space is so pleasant, inviting and open, and it even smells good when you walk in. I just love it and I love that I don’t feel out-of-sorts in dress clothes anymore.”
She says she often brings a team member or friend with her to introduce them to the store. “Thanks to Queen Esther’s Closet, I feel more confident, professional and beautiful, and I know I am also making life better for other women, even if it is just by buying a new sweater and scarf.” QCBN
By Starla S. Collins, QCBN
Queen Esther’s Closet is located at 8933 E. Florentine in Prescott Valley. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to schedule a fashion session, call 928-899-5516. Follow Queen Esther’s Closet on Facebook at Queen Esther’s Closet Az for weekly fashion tips, sales, promotions and to donate merchandise and/or funds.
Queen Esther’s Closet Manager Jordan Cook and Director Monica Cook help frequent shopper Connie Meeks pick out an outfit for an upcoming event.
Photo by Starla S. Collins