MASON — Most teenagers love to shop, but not many can do it during the school day and in a place where everything is free.
“Wings N’ Things” is a clothing closet located within Wahama High School, where individual students, or groups of friends, can make an appointment to shop.
The store is the brainchild of Joni Young, mother of three and co-owner of Babies N’ Beyond, a children’s consignment shop in Point Pleasant. Young approached Jill Harris, secretary at the school, with the idea and it blossomed from there.
A room in the school was dedicated to the project, and after a post on the social media site “Facebook,” donations began pouring in. Young donated a few clothing racks from her store, and some monetary donations were used to line the walls with rods to hold additional clothes.
Harris and Young were soon joined by volunteer Lisa Crump, who brought in her iron and ironing board to get the gently used clothing presentable after being washed by Young.
The racks are now filled with shirts, jeans, pants, and jackets, many of which are new with the tags still attached. Clothing is broken into gender and sizes for students to easily browse the selections.
Drawers and shelves are lined with new undergarments, socks, jewelry, and personal care items. Shoes and athletic apparel bearing the school’s name are also among the items.
And just in time for the spring season, prom and special occasion dresses hang in one section of the room. From a gold, glittery Sherri Hill formal, to pink, orange, and floral prints, the dresses range from size 0 to 22. High heels and jewelry complete the offerings.
Harris said several students have already taken advantage of the store. The women emphasized they want the teens to think of the project as more of a thrift store for everyone, rather than a clothing closet for lower income students.
Harris added Assistant Principal Melissa VanMeter has also been instrumental in the shop’s establishment. An open house during breakfast is being planned to give all students a glimpse of the merchandise.
The store is open to students during their elective classes, as well as other times. Appointments can be made with Harris in the school office, and can be as discreet as the student wishes. Solo shopping trips are available, as well as fun sessions with friend groups.
The women are still working to make the room more decorative and shopper friendly. A full-size mirror awaits installation on the wall, and they hope to install some type of dressing room.
Donations are still being accepted for spring and summer clothes, as well as prom dresses. Prom dresses size 12/14 and up are especially needed. Clothing should be in good shape, clean, with no rips or tears. Donors should also keep in mind the clothing will be worn by teens and should be trendy and not outdated.
Fall and winter clothing is no longer being taken until next school year. Donations can be delivered to the school office.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.