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KNOXVILLE — Retail and consumer sciences students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have teamed up with the local Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store for the team’s third annual Habitat Boutique which will kick off with a fashion show tonight and then be open for customers on April 9 and 10.

The boutique, located at the Farragut Building, 530 S. Gay St., resells gently used ladies’ designer clothing and accessories. All proceeds benefit local Habitat for Humanity initiatives.

The Habitat Boutique started in 2008 through the collaboration of Ginger Baxter, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity board member, and Ann Fairhurst, professor of retail and consumer sciences.

Baxter asked her friends to donate their gently used clothes to the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store for her birthday. As her friends donated many wonderful items, Baxter thought that there needed to be a wonderful outlet for the donations to be resold. Baxter contacted Fairhurst and the two came up with the Habitat Boutique.

Fairhurst’s students are able to contribute to Habitat for Humanity not by building houses, but by doing what they have been educated to do — running a retail establishment. The students find and secure a location for the store, design the placement of fixtures and coordinate all the merchandise that is for sale.

As a kickoff, a fashion show will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at the Habitat Boutique, Farragut Building, 530 S. Gay St. The event will feature evening wear. Attendees will have the first opportunity to shop the boutique.

Tickets for the fashion show are $35. They will be sold at the door or in advance at Salon Visage.

The Habitat Boutique will be open for shoppers from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 9, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 10.

In 2008 the event raised $3,000 for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity and, in 2009, it raised $4,500. This year, the students have set a high goal of $6,000.

The average price of each item is $4.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,