With 78 Goodwill Stores and 3 outlet centers in Southern California, Goodwill Southern California’s (GSC) BOO-Tiques receive attention from local media outlets every year for their affordable and wide selection of seasonal costumes.
One of the outlets at GSC’s most popular BOO-Tique is located in Fletcher Square on San Fernando Road. The KTLA morning news reporter Gayle Anderson annually reports a feature segment on the BOO-Tique’s Halloween special at this LA county location.
Perfect for students, new parents and avid thrift shoppers, GSC opens their Halloween pop-up boutique with items sold as low as two dollars throughout the month of October. Their objective is to create a fun and friendly environment where consumers can buy the costumes and accessories they want at a low cost.
Pauline Starr, the manager of the Goodwill at Fletcher Square, explained that Goodwill is where “Halloween happens.”
The Fletcher Square BOO-Tique has a wide variety of costumes ranging from superheroes, Mardi Gras masks and accessories, to kids’ costumes, television characters and more.
People choose to shop at Goodwill especially during the Halloween season to find that missing addition to their outfits. Instead of buying the costume that runs for 30 dollars at a traditional retail store, consumers will seek to buy the same costume at Goodwill for a substantially lower price.
Starr explained that people are surprised to find brands such as LuLu Lemon and H&M because of their misconceptions toward thrift shopping.
“The prices are so low that it keeps people coming back,” Starr said.
Starr explained that even aside from Halloween thrift shopping, Goodwill’s selection of vintage clothing is popular among classical shoppers who like affordable vintage fashion.
All donations and purchases within Goodwill go toward their mission of transforming lives through the power of work.
Goodwill seeks to aid youths at risk, people living with disabilities, homeless people, military persons and veterans who struggle to get back into the workplace by helping them create résumés along with interview and job training.
At the Fletcher Square location, attached to the Goodwill store is a resource helping center where people can go to receive the help they need to be able to support themselves.
“I am so proud to work for Goodwill, because it is inspiring.” Starr said. “There are people that no one would give an opportunity to, and Goodwill has given them a chance.”
Starr said corporate America wouldn’t traditionally hire those without work experience, but by gaining experience through working for Goodwill, people are able to move on and work in other industries.
Because one of the outlet centers is located in the same building as the Goodwill in Fletcher Square, all items that do not get purchased is transferred to an outlet center or auctioned off.
Goodwill is a green company, so they “really try to sell [items] in every way possible,” according to Starr.
Since there are 78 BOO-Tiques spanning across the Southern California region, every location has different items based on the demographic of donators.
“People in each area donate stuff, so [each location is] different.” Starr said. “Its’ pretty unique.”
Among other Goodwill locations, Starr explained why she thinks the Goodwill at Fletcher square stands out.
“I think that we are really organized,” she said. “We save items half the year for Halloween, and it’s just eclectic stuff. Every store is different, but also we do specific purchasing like the masks.”
The masks at the Fletcher Square BOO-Tique start at two dollars and ninety-nine cents and go up to 17 dollars and 96 cents. A local company also hand paints Day of the Dead masks that are sold inside the BOO-Tique.
“We promote local business, and they price it to sell because they realize people are going to come in and they don’t have a lot of funds,” Starr said.
Starr said she believes what separates Goodwill from other business is that “it’s not greedy,” because they realize that they are doing a service for the community.
“People come in and they’re our customers and we treat them with respect and want them to come back,” Starr said. “We’re customer service.”
Starr said customers come in to find that special costume that is sold at an exponentially higher cost at the retail price, but can be found for less than 30 dollars at the BOO-Tique.
“I love this company,” Starr said. “[Goodwill] gives people opportunity.”
Starr said after she had shut down a business after 16 years and applied to work in other areas, no one would give her an opportunity to work for a year.
“Goodwill gave me an opportunity,” Starr said. “My life was changed through the power of work, and I see it happening to people all the time.”
Starr said her favorite thing about Goodwill is that they give people chances where they wouldn’t receive one anywhere else, from “people with serious disabilities, to people in the military [that may be struggling] and to women with children.”
For APU students that want to find Halloween costumes at the nearest Goodwill, the West Covina BOO-Tique is accessible through Oct. 31.