Buy fashion, give women a hand up

03 11 OC Cover Kelly TSB 3134 Shop local and do good

The Rose Garden resale shop carries vintage batik, designer accessories and the occasional Chanel suit. But that’s not all. There also is an entire room dedicated to home décor: lamps, art, knickknacks, rugs, blankets, vases, handmade candles.

The Rose Garden is a locally owned boutique and a good place to find something special to wear or give.

It’s also a nonprofit that gives formerly incarcerated women a place to work and learn how to get back on their feet. The Rose Garden supports 2000 Roses Foundation, the nonprofit that Oak Cliff resident Kelly Wiley founded in 1999.

The nonprofit provides housing, food and other help to women coming out of prison.

Wiley herself was imprisoned for two years, and she gained empathy for incarcerated women, especially those with little or no family support.

“I saw so many women who were hurting,” Wiley says.

Even with a loving and supportive family, Wiley’s ordeal was difficult. So after she was freed, in the early ’90s, she knew she wanted to work toward making life better for women who had paid for their mistakes.

The women of 2000 Roses work in the store to learn business: retail, merchandising, marketing and customer service. And they work on handicrafts: handmade candles, soap and pillows, which are sold in the store.

“We create opportunities,” Wiley says. “We’re all entrepreneurs here. Instead of selling our bodies and selling drugs, we can sell jewelry that we’ve made with our hands, and we can sell candles and stuff that we make.”

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