The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
As our League year officially kicks off with our first General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, September 28th, let’s pause to take a look back…
In the late 1920s the stock market crashed worldwide and the Great Depression had swept across the nation, putting the League’s services in high demand. Among other activities to help our community, the League opened a thrift shop in 1934 at 504 Westport Road, today the home of The Gusto Lounge.
According to an article in the 1934 Winter Follies Program from Mildred Trimble, chairwoman, of the Junior League Thrift Shop, League members fixed up the spot in the fashion of, “a Mexican open-air mercado” with a thatched-roof dressing room; a “gayley striped awning”; and window panes, each bearing – a colorful design- : “a hobby horse, a corset of Civil War vintage, a pair of grandma’s high-lace boots.”
She also noted, “We are besieged with all manner of odd requests — white satin wedding dresses, men’s leather jackets, baby pens and even sanitary cots. Our patrons are beginning to depend on us. May it be our good fortune never to be found wanting.”
Members of the League emptied their homes and closets of gently used items of clothing and brought them to the shop. The store was a way to directly serve those in need and raise funds on an ongoing basis.
More than 70 New Member classes supported our community through this outlet and spent part of their first years working at the Thrift Shop, which later became known as the Junior League Resale Boutique until its closing on April 30, 2011.
Throughout its 77 year run, the boutique raised well over $4 million to support League activities in the community.