Hope redefined: How a clothing boutique helps women recover from the sex trade
Rachel Kleine has watched with amazement and appreciation as The Redefined Hope Boutique has grown from a concept in 2017 to a thriving operation today.
“The idea for the boutique started with God’s prompting as we worked to open the Hope Center,” Kleine, the shop’s co-director, said. “We started with donated items, and we’re so blessed by the community’s generosity. We were able to give back $800 to the center from our very first sale.”
Four years later, Kleine and co-director Sarah Blair lead an enterprise that now includes a clothing store, coffee shop and hair salon on the ground floor of Hope Center Indy’s main building on the far eastside of Indianapolis.
The boutique features fashionable women’s clothing and accessories professionally displayed in an attractive, relaxed setting. With the salon and coffee shop tucked into corners of the boutique’s large, open showroom, customers can easily spend a few hours shopping, relaxing and talking with friends.
“We’ve become a destination location for many of our customers,” Kleine said. “We like to say that shopping is serving.”
That’s more than a catchy phrase. All net proceeds from the boutique, coffee shop and salon are invested back into the Hope Center, which provides residential services for survivors of the commercial sex trade.
Redefined Hope also provides jobs in a variety of roles for the center’s clients while they’re in recovery. The opportunity to work means not only short-term income but also a chance for clients to learn new jobs skills and gain experience that can lead to employment after women graduate from the Hope Center.
“About a third of nonprofit organizations fail in the first years after they launch,” Hubert Nolen, Hope Center’s founder and executive director, said. “Redefined Hope and our other ‘businesses’ help to sustain us financially and help with continued growth of the ministry. Business and corporate leaders who tour the center appreciate that fact because they understand we’ve developed a sustainable funding model.”
Like the Hope Center itself, Redefined Hope’s path from vision to reality has been one of continual growth. In fact, the boutique’s second location is now open at 105 W. Main St. in Morristown, and a thrift boutique featuring donated items operates at 30 N. Audubon Road in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis.
“God had a plan,” Kleine said. “The support of the community has been fantastic from the start.”