Fig Leaf Boutique in Mishawaka offers ‘dignity’ to needy shoppers

Operators of Fig Leaf Boutique say that for the past several years, they’ve kept things afloat on a “wing and a prayer.” 

Established around 2010, the local non-profit retailer at 125 E. Mishawaka Ave. in Mishawaka has offered clothing for those in need, many of whom are referred to the boutique by case workers or clinics. Inside, customers are able to shop and select 10 clothing items for each person in their household, all for free. 

“Our goal is that people are able to shop here with dignity and with love,” director Barb Schafer said. “And that they feel like they’re really shopping.”

No questions are asked and no proof is needed for customers to shop around for the free items, including infant onesies, children’s t-shirts, young professional blazers, plus-sized dresses, men’s shoes and more, which are often donated by other area stores and groups such as Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet, The Christ Child Society and more. The seasonal items, which also can be donated by individuals, are neatly organized inside the modest building by volunteers, who also take the time to make sure every item is to their standard of quality.

Katheleen Knopf

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