Idaho boutique donating to Texas shops affected by Harvey

A New Plymouth business owner is showing support for flood victims.

NEW PLYMOUTH, IDAHO - Along with thousands of homes being devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the local economy in southeast Texas is sure to take a hit as well.

According to Forbes, more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster.

A local boutique in Idaho is donating merchandise and money to ship to Texas so some shops damaged by Harvey don't turn into a statistic.

“Our main type of customer is the southern-type gals but we have customers everywhere,” said Rachal Messersmith, social media manager at Cheekys.

Generating upward of $10 million per year in revenue, Cheekys ships to 1,200 wholesalers across the globe.

This huge operation is run from owner Jessica Roberts' house in New Plymouth and a warehouse down the street.

Seeing the flood waters in Texas reminds Messersmith of when Cheekys almost had to close its doors two years ago.

“There was a big storm and the city drains backed up and it just flooded that whole building, when you walk in there would be two- to three-foot buckles in the floor, it wasn't covered by insurance,” said Messersmith.

So the boutique had to scrap everything and start over from scratch.

“If it wasn't for the community helping us I don't know that Cheekys would even be a thing right now,” said Messersmith.

And now, the boutique wants to pay it forward.

Cheekys partnered with Truth Inc. Apparel and in the past two days has raised more than $200,000 by selling special edition T-shirts.

The boutique is using the money to purchase Home Depot cards, which will be shipped to affected storefronts in Texas.

“All of the employees here are volunteering their time to be able to do this,” said Messersmith.

Gift cards are just part of the relief effort.

Cheekys is donating their own merchandise and taking donated merchandise from other boutiques across the country and shipping it to Texas as well to help those shops get back on their feet.

”Without those small businesses they can't support their families and support all of those employees that they had and their families,” said Messersmith.

Messersmith says Cheekys isn’t able to ship merchandise and Home Depot cards to Texas now because of all the chaos.

But soon, Cheekys hopes to see these businesses thrive after the storm.

“It's really like a sisterhood, there's 5,000 boutiques that were in a group with and it's just a sisterhood, helping your family whether they are your competitors or not, you want them to succeed,” said Messersmith.

If you want to buy Cheekys merchandise to benefit boutiques affected by Harvey, click here.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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