In 2014, a number of local women got together over coffee to talk about how we could serve our community on the Mornington Peninsula.
We saw a need for helping disadvantaged women and girls. There are many professional services for women on the Peninsula, however none address the issue of raising confidence and self-esteem in those women who need it most. Our idea was to pamper women who were fragile and damaged. We wanted to provide clothing and accessories to women who have very little.
We had no clothes, no premises, and no money. We were, however, determined to move forward. Deciding on the name “Clothes4U,” we incorporated and obtained ‘Not for Profit’ status and became a registered Charity, eventually receiving ‘Deductible Gift Recipient Status’.
We started out in our secretary’s spare bedroom, accumulated clothes from ourselves and friends, and tried to raise money from local organisations. We then progressed into a garage, negotiated free rent for six months, and slowly clients started to arrive. When we had raised a little money from various grass root events, we looked for better premises.
Taking the plunge, we rented premises on Boneo Rd, in Rosebud. It was very small in fact our dressing room doubled as our kitchen. We could only dress one client at a time, and the shop was very crowded. At this stage, our storage facilities were off site in an empty house owned by a volunteer. It was hard work transporting clothes to Boneo road, and took a lot of physical effort.
As client numbers grew, it became apparent that we needed bigger premises, as we wanted to give our clients a better experience. For six months we inspected a number of rental properties, however they were all too expensive and landlords were not willing to negotiate. We faced rejection after rejection, and began to feel there was no solution to our problem until we discovered the Pt Nepean Rd premises, consisting of an area within a larger shop that was available. It was an empty canvas, and would take a lot of work to turn into a workable shop. After much negotiation with the landlord, we came to an agreement.
While we had no funds for renovations, GEM Taylor Constructions a local building company and Rotary Dromana came to our rescue, offering to complete all the renovations on a pro bono basis. We now had two dressing rooms and an area that looked like a real shop, the difference was that everything inside was free to our clients.
We chased down second hand shop fittings and, little by little, things started to take shape. Thinking it was a long shot, we asked Australian of the year 2015 and advocate against family violence and violence against women, Rosie Batty, to officiate over our official opening. Her acceptance changed many things, we attracted so much publicity and it put us on the map.
More and more clients came and we are now averaging approximately 40 clients per month. In a very short space of time, we have made a great impact on the Peninsula. Our client numbers are still growing, donations of clothes have increased, and our name has become well known. We have added educational programs that assist clients with interview preparation. We have also added a line of toiletries and essentials which have been welcomed by all our clients.
We are the only charitable organisation in Victoria offering this type of unique service. Our future is looking good, and we hope to continue to assist larger numbers of women and girls as we grow. 100% of all funds donated to us, or monies we raise ourselves, goes into creating a better service for our clients.
Veronica Whittaker Rosie Batty (centre) opening the boutique 2014
Founder & President
Get In Touch
We will assist you in selecting clothes that suit your body shape and occasion. You will love our Boutique and our time together. Please ring us for an appointment.
Address: 1355 Pt. Nepean Rd Rosebud 3939 Phone: 0490 058 596
Business Hours: 10:00am – 14:00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Client Appointments at the Boutique: Between 10:00am and 2:00pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.