If you have ever driven south on highway 431 toward Guntersville, you may have noticed a little building on the left that popped up about a year ago. What has always just been an empty area of land now hosts a quaint little place called She’s All That Boutique. While it may seem to the average passerby that She’s All That popped up out of nowhere, the story behind it certainly did not. And while the naked eye can obviously see the physical building, it takes a little bit of digging to know the reason behind the store – The Wings of Faith Foundation.
The sole purpose of The Wings of Faith Foundation is to enrich the lives of teenage girls in under resourced areas. Giving them real life work experience, teaching them basic life skills, and supporting them emotionally and financially to get them where they want to see themselves in the future are the primary objectives. The goal is to provide the girls with an engaging work experience, learn and create a purpose in each student’s life and spread God’s love all while offering their customers a unique shopping experience. And She’s All That also sells name brand clothing at affordable prices
“When they (the girls) come in here and we start talking about the things they can do, they start seeing it. They don’t have anyone talking with them about these things at home,” says Tara Furlough, She’s All That Boutique owner. “They have to learn how to be self-sufficient.”
All of the girls in The Wings of Faith Foundation work at the Boutique part time. There they learn about work ethics, responsibility and even working with their hands. “We make pallet signs and pallet chairs at our manufacturing plant,” says Tara. “I think it’s really important to work with your hands, so we make craft stuff here like picture frames and pallet furniture. We actually have girls in here learning how to knit.”
Right now the store is for profit, and merchandise sales profits strictly go to restocking inventory. Eventually Tara would like the girls to keep a profit of the items they make and sell, allowing them to take pride in what they are doing and helping them to become young entrepreneurs. They are also working on securing some grants as well, and Tara says a $50,000 grant would be ideal. Her vision is to take in as many girls as possible who could benefit from the program. She would also like to eventually build a place right next to She’s All That where the girls can learn woodworking skills. “We want to use that as a way to have one-on-one time with them and sell the furniture they build. I want them to see how hard work and self-sufficiency can pay off, because they don’t see any of that.”
While these girls come from an array of backgrounds, one thing is the same – most of them have been through detrimental experiences and need mentoring. While Tara says some of the girls are fortunate to have parents who are engaged in them, many come from situations with deceased, drug-addicted or incarcerated parents and, in turn, have very-little-to-no support at home. Wings of Faith and She’s All That supply these girls with what they need to successfully work toward their future, like new tires and car insurance or even basic hygienic necessities. Wings of Faith even helps pay for all college costs needed as long as the girls are working hard and making their grades.
She’s All That is not only located here in north Alabama either; Tara and her Wings of Faith team just celebrated the grand opening of another She’s All That Boutique located in northern Kentucky! A good friend of Tara’s, Kelly, lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Tara teamed up with her to help bring this second location to fruition. The new store is located in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, right across a bridge from an affluent neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati. Tara’s philosophy for choosing She’s All That locations is if they can set up their boutiques near high-income areas, higher volume sales will allow them to support the store itself, get girls in and working and most importantly, support them.
Before the Kentucky location even opened, Kelly, manager of the new location, already had several strong business women invested in the cause and had already connected with the high school counselor to select girls for the program. “The counselor said to us, ‘These girls that I’m picking out for you really have potential, but they don’t even have food at home,’” Tara recalls. “So, now, when they get in our (Kentucky) program, they won’t be hungry anymore. They need to have their basic needs taken care of, and then they can focus. They will have a huge support system up there. It will be fun to see how God works in that area.”
For many of us, shopping is either an experience we love or one we avoid like the plague. However, with stores like She’s All That Boutique, we can all find some joy in shopping because we know the products we are buying directly benefit deserving individuals. Not only is She’s All That a ridiculously cute place to find the newest trends and one-of-a-kind trinkets, it is also founded on an incredible vision – a vision “to teach a child to dream and experience all that God wants them to become while growing a business to support the local economy and meet the retail needs in the community.”
So, next time you need the perfect outfit or a unique gift, consider stopping in Owens Crossroads and shopping at She’s All That – a place that truly gives back to its community. But don’t let driving be a deterrent. You can also shop online!