Elena Brennan would watch the CNN news and cry.
“I felt like I needed to do something to help all those poor people that are struggling [in Haiti],” said Brennan, owner of Bus Stop Boutique, a shoe store located on Philadelphia’s Fabric Row.
She decided that the best way she could help was to sell shoes.
For four days Brennan hosted a warehouse sale where customers could purchase gorgeous shoes at low prices while helping raise money for Haiti.
Brennan planned to keep her store open during the sale, so she decided to have the sale at a vacant fabric warehouse at 727 S. Fourth St., just down the road from the boutique. Shoes, boots, and sandals of all colors and sizes lined the four walls and front window of the much larger and more spacious warehouse.
“[All the shoes] were designer brands and came from leftover stock,” Brennan said. “We color coded them, so there was a $75 range, a $25 range, and so on, so it was very easy for customers to come in and depending on how much of a budget they had, they could go to their price point and pick something out.”
Although she only had two weeks to find the space and promote the event, Brennan noted that the turnout was much greater than expected.
“I was extremely surprised to see so many people at the sale, especially a lot of new faces as well as my loyal customers,” Brennan said. “Seeing as this was the first time I had ever thrown a sale of this magnitude, I wasn’t sure really what to expect.”
Friend and loyal customer Stacy Papa was surprised as well.
“I can’t even believe how much Elena has marked down her shoes,” Papa said. “I’m definitely buying a pair to help her assist Haiti.”
According to sales, Brennan’s first warehouse sale is one to be remembered.
“I sold over 100 pairs of shoes,” said Brennan. “As for the money raised, I haven’t had the chance to pull together the final figures, but if I had to guess, it would be about $500.”
When asked if she would ever have a similar sale in the future, the answer was quite clear.
“I would definitely have another warehouse sale in the future,” Brennan said. “I can confidently say it will be an annual event for Bus Stop. In the future, there will be men’s shoes as well as women’s – I don’t want the men in Philly to feel left out!”
Bus Stop Boutique is located at 750 S. Fourth St.