“Our mission as an organization is supporting St. Louis area students who can’t otherwise afford a higher education,” Scholarship Foundation Executive Director Faith Sandler said.
For nearly 60 years, the ScholarShop has played a key role supporting operations of the Scholarship Foundation. Revenue collected went toward providing educational opportunities for students.
The foundation provides interest-free loans for as many as 600 students annually, Sandler said. It also provides grants, scholarships, workshops, and counseling services.
The business model has been a successful one. Customers flocked to the resale store in search of deals on upscale clothing and accessories. But times have changed. Although the foundation continues to generate revenue, numbers aren’t as robust as in years past.
“It is hard for a person to want us to lose money or deprive a student of an opportunity in favor of a shopping experience,” Sandler said. “For the most part, once people understand why, we get their love and support.”
The Scholarship Foundation will turn to more traditional ways to continue supporting students. Sandler said there will be no reduction in the number of students assisted.
Once the doors to its Clayton store close, the foundation’s headquarters will move to its new location near Skinker and Interstate 64.
The foundation has already closed its Webster Groves location. With a month to go before the Clayton location closes, the ScholarShop is unveiling its latest items on the racks.
“We’ll continue to jam pack it. And every dollar that [customers] spend will stay in this community and support students,” Sandler said.