Karla Thompson (left) and Jill Constable prepare for the opening of Cythera Kids’ Boutique. (Teresa Green – contriubted)

Cythera opening children’s boutique in Maple Ridge

Haney Plaza store closure led to 15 layoffs.

Cythera Transition House Society is opening a children’s boutique after closing its two stores with the hopes of better supporting local mothers and kids.

Earlier this year, the organization was forced to close its thrift store at Haney Plaza to make way for Era, a multi-year redevelopment that will take up three blocks between Haney Plaza and 224th Street.

READ MORE: Haney Plaza businesses relocating to allow construction

As a result of the store closure in May, Cythera was forced to layoff 15 staff, according to Teresa Green, executive director of the society.

“This has been the biggest hit we’ve had in the 36 years that we’ve been here,” she said.

Since that time, Cythera closed their second thrift store, Unique Boutique (22362 Lougheed Hwy.), and decided to reopen as a children’s boutique to better support their clients.

“With so much development in town, unless you can get a lease for a reasonable rate its hard to make money,” said Green.

READ MORE: Developments in Maple Ridge town centre forever change landscape

Cythera Kids’ Boutique will open for business at 22362 Lougheed Hwy. on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

“There’s not a lot of second-hand children’s clothing in town, and we decided to try to fill that need,” said Green. “Our Unique Boutique was great… people loved it, but we saw a need that needed to be met.”

Currently, there is an eight-month waitlist for women’s counselling services, according to Green.

The net proceeds from the thrift store will directly benefit the programs and services provided by the society.

“It comes right back into services, and the need for our services go way beyond what we actually receive in government funding,” said Green.

“Our stores have always augmented our existing programming or provided additional programming and we’re lost without that, so it’s been a devastating blow to Cythera and the community as well.”

The store will primarily be volunteer-run. Those interested in volunteering can find an application at the boutique or the counselling centre (22318 McIntosh Ave).

“We’re going to try to focus mainly on clothes, but there will be shoes, accessories and toys,” Green said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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