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YWCA takes over Crowded Closet consignment shop

Crowded Closet staff Meredith Spolarich and JoAnn Sylvano with YWCA CEO Karen Singer.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore is adding to its family of social enterprises. The Crowded Closet, a consignment boutique located at 808 Dempster St. in Evanston, will now be owned and managed by the organization.

Evanston YWCA CEO Karen Singer says the shop is a valuable community asset because “it provides local women with quality clothing at affordable prices.”

Like the YWCA Shop for Good in Wilmette, which YWCA Evanston/North Shore acquired in 2018, all proceeds from the Crowded Closet will go to support YWCA’s domestic violence and economic advancement programs, helping women and children throughout northeastern Cook County.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to steward Crowded Closet’s legacy into the future,” said Singer. “We’re looking forward to the synergy between the Crowded Closet, a consignment boutique, and the YWCA Shop for Good, a resale shop. We are excited by the possibilities these enterprises offer to support our mission.”

She added, “We’re grateful for the generosity of Mickie Donohue and Cindy Caldwell and we deeply thank them for passing the baton to us for the next chapter of the Crowded Closet.”

Donohue and Caldwell are retiring after operating the Crowded Closet for more than four decades.

“Rather than shutter the boutique, we are thrilled it will continue under the ownership of YWCA Evanston/North Shore,” said Donohue and Caldwell in a statement. “We fully support this transition and have complete confidence the shop will be in good hands.”

The Crowded Closet is open for shopping and consigning at its current location through Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

It will reopen at a new location, 820 Dempster St. in Evanston, on Sept. 8.

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