Life Here

April 12, 2016 By Liz Wildberger

Retro Chic

What is one of the “hottest” places to be found at PVE?

From 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM Monday through Friday, the most popular spot on campus is The Store, a tiny retail establishment tucked away between the Travis Credit Union and Rawlinson Hall. Staffed by resident volunteers under the direction of competent managers, The Store generates funds that are the main source of revenue for the many good causes at Paradise Valley Estates.

It is the place to shop for antiques, curios, china, glassware and other items of home décor. But it’s the carefully curated racks of clothes that draw customers into The Store. Jackets, coats, dresses, suits, cocktail and evening attire, sweaters, designer wear, and scarves exude quality.

Seasonal attire is wildly popular and seized upon as soon as garments featuring Santa, poinsettias, pumpkins, or spring flowers are displayed. “Sales associates” have a knack for creating creative displays of timely items; at present, a London Fog trench coat hangs on the door, accessorized by a Hermes scarf.

Most shoppers are of traditional build, but for lucky, tiny-framed residents, there are Chanel suits, St. John knits and scores of clothing with designer labels. Most of the contributors have finally decided to part, regretfully, with clothes that were happy signatures of a younger, more slender life.

As holiday season approaches, enticing fashions appear. Cocktail dresses, rhinestone-studded evening jackets and full-length diaphanous evening wear are The Store’s best sellers. There’s a timeless quality about these beautiful and iconic pieces. They’re all examples of things someone purchased carefully, wore for many gala occasions and then gave up for someone else to enjoy.

Many of the items for sale at The Store are donations from an Estate Sale, but strangely enough, most shoppers view clothes as though they were shopping at Macy’s or Nordstrom. Each item has its own story: the wedding of a daughter, a holiday dance, or a plane trip at a time when tourists “dressed for the occasion.” Sometimes, if The Store is not too busy, a sales associate knows the history behind the garment and will share it with a potential buyer. They’re always poignant and memorable.

Our shoppers know quality and are not deterred by fond memories of the resident who wore a garment. They’re also aware of a terrific bargain. But it’s not just about being able to affordably wear a Hermes scarf with the label showing. It’s about contributing to projects that benefit our community here at PVE.


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