POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - 7:07pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 12:42am
GARDEN VALLEY - A 15-year-old Lindale girl doesn't have the usual concerns other teens do.
Instead of worrying about school and boys - Emily Allegretto is out tracking inventory, dealing with builders and monitoring finances.
That's because on November 23, she'll open a high-end fashion store called "KEEPS Boutique" in Garden Valley.
Her age is enough to make this shop unique. But what makes it even more special is only one type of shopper is allowed through its doors:
"It's just for foster girls," said Emily. "It's clothes and accessories...and everything is brand new. They come and shop, we help them pick things out, and have fun."
Everything in KEEPS is free for foster girls between 13-18 years old. Each girl gets to select six items.
Emily says the closets will soon hold top-of-the-line fashion pieces that sell for hundreds of dollars.
After praying, she got the vision for "KEEPS Boutique" from a close friend, Emily Cassidy, whom founded a similar store in the Dallas-area. Cassidy is 16-years-old and on her Web site she says "...Because of her faith, love for fashion, and passion to help teen foster girls, Emily created KEEPS, a not for profit ministry providing girls a unique shopping experience and much, much more."
The name KEEPS is taken from Genesis 28:15 in which God promises He is always with us and will keep us wherever we go.
After getting her parent's approval, East Texas' Emily says she sought donations and the community answered.
Cade's Building Material gave her wood and building supplies.
Private donations and fundraiser also tumbled in.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts she received was the land itself, donated by Living Alternatives in Garden Valley.
Emily's dad is amazed by his daughter's business sense but he says the boutique is actually much more.
"I think she's much more into the relational aspect of what's going to happen here at KEEPS than the business part."
Emily says in 10 years she visualizes that the boutique "will continue to be a place where girls go to be themselves and do what God has for them to do."
To find out more about Keeps Boutique call (903) 882-0182 or visit the Dallas Keeps Boutique Ministries here.