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May 09th, 2021

sccc eboutique openingSCCC students Israel Banuelos and Mariana Romero cut the ribbon on SCCC’s new e-boutique Thursday afternoon. Banuelos and Romero said they are excited to finally have the project up and running. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Many people preparing for job interviews need a little extra help when it comes to finding the right clothes to wear and Thursday, the e-boutique on the Industrial Technology campus of Seward County Community College officially opened to help with just that. 

“It feels like a positive commitment, we're now going to finally be able to see this idea being pulled off and be part of the change we want to see,” SCCC student Mariana Romero said. “We really hope this has a positive takeoff and we can reach people in the area. Right now, we're just hoping for the best and we're doing to do what we can to get the word out about this and do everything we can.”

“It makes me feel really proud since we put in all of this work, and I think it's great this will be open to help people,” fellow SCCC student Israel Banuelos said. “We also have to thank the welding department for putting our clothing racks together, that helped us greatly as far as having things organized, it really feels like a store now. We've made so much progress with this, and we couldn't be happier with how everything looks.”

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Banuelos also talked about the inspiration behind the e-boutique idea. 

“This is my first semester with TRiO and Mariana's second, and she had the professor who had originally suggested putting this together,” Banuelos said. “Then it was brought up to me and the rest of us sat down and came up with a plan to put all of this together and get more people involved in the community. We were offered the opportunity to do this, and we wanted to help those in the community who need some clothes as they go on job interviews and stuff.”

Banuelos added there is a wide variety of items in the e-boutique. 

“We've got quite a variety of items in here, we're not wanting to have one specific item, and most of what we have in here right now is for women, but there are also a few things for men,” Banuelos said. “We've got suits, blazers, shirts, skirts, shoes, pants, and we've also got some accessories like belts and some jewelry. We have a lot of stuff for women, and we do want to expand what we have available for men. We do take donations, those will always be appreciated.”

“We'd love to see more of the modern items when it comes to women's clothing, those are the things that are more appealing and more apt to be taken, and we'd love to have more donations for men's clothing items,” Romero added. “We're also wanting to hopefully set up some donation funds since we're a non-profit and all of this goes to whoever comes in and needs it, we're not selling any of it.”

The main goal of the e-boutique, both Romero and Banuelos said, is to help people. 

“One of our main goals is helping people get back out into the world. Life has its ups and downs, and we want to provide a space where people can come in when they need to so they can find some good clothes to wear when they go on job interviews and things like that,” Romero said. “In the near future, we'd also love to do résumé workshops and possibly working with the cosmetology workshop so if someone comes in and needs a haircut and a makeup job before an interview, they can help with that.”

“The main thing is to embrace, empower and encourage people, those are our three main tenets,” Banuelos added. “Like Mariana said, hopefully, in the future, we don't want to give just clothes to people looking to go on interviews, we want to also expand and get to the point of helping people prepare résumés and things like that for interviews and overall guide them on what to expect.”

The guidelines for the e-boutique are also pretty loose, Banuelos said. 

“The people who come in here can take what they need, but we are talking about potentially setting up some limits in the future as far as how many items individuals can take,” Banuelos said.

“And as far as what we will accept, we will take shirts, pants, skirts, shoes, suits, belts and other accessories, there's not really a set 'We cannot accept that' on anything except for maybe undergarments,” Romero added. “And if someone does want to donate, we will take more business dress items along with more casual clothing items, so there's not really any strict guidelines on that.”

Banuelos and Romero added there are some other benefits to the e-boutique being open. 

“Hopefully when people come in, they feel a lot more comfortable and confident when they leave with their items,” Romero said. “Hopefully they also feel more prepared and know what to expect with their job interviews and things like that.”

“And overall, new clothes give people a big boost of confidence, everyone likes it when they find that outfit/look that makes them feel awesome and able to conquer the world,” Banuelos added. “Right now, our hours are Thursday from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and we're hoping to expand that as time goes on. And everything here is at no expense, so that's also really awesome.”

The project was also praised by SCCC faculty at the ribbon-cutting Thursday afternoon. 

“I want to congratulate Israel and Mariana for this, they did a great job, and recently, at an award for PBL, Israel was chosen as the Who’s Who award winner,” SCCC CIS/Media Production Instructor Deedee Flax said. 

“One of the key things we can teach our students is service,” SCCC President Brad Bennett said. “Everyone has different struggles, and not everyone has the resources to dress up every day for work. To be able to have access to good, quality clothing at no cost is a huge help, and it’s great. The students did a great job of getting this all set up, and it’s pretty awesome how everything turned out.”

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