Como boutique helps girls through troubled times


Kimberley Gibson (centre) with residents and boutique staff Emily Potter (19) and Laura Wannberg (28). Picture: Marie Nirme         d468177
Kimberley Gibson (centre) with residents and boutique staff Emily Potter (19) and Laura Wannberg (28). Picture: Marie Nirme         d468177

FASHION and business skills are being used by The Esther Foundation to help girls who have experienced domestic violence, substance abuse and other issues.

The charity’s Recycled Boutique opened near the intersection of Barker Avenue and Canning Highway, Como during March after previously being in a house on Preston Street and a building on Mends Street.

Boutique manager and Victoria Park resident Kimberley Gibson is among the women who have gone through the program.

“I was working in the escort industry for about 11 years and I was addicted to meth, but then I heard about the program,” she said.

“It’s helped turn my life around. I’ve been able to work at the foundation now, study hospitality and now I’m going to do a diploma in business management.”

Ms Gibson said the idea behind the boutique was to help women from difficult backgrounds.

“There are 18 girls underneath me who alternate shifts every fortnight and it’s important for them because they develop social and business skills,” she said.

“They are being trained to deal with real-life solutions; they’ve come from backgrounds such as self-harm or drug abuse.

“We have been blessed with lots of supporters and the profits go back to the foundation.”

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