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Meridian home builder helps turn nonprofit's shed into boutique

Dress for Success wanted the look of a boutique. The only problem was that the nonprofit's building in Meridian was a essentially a rundown shed.

MERIDIAN - For the past 20 years, a local nonprofit has been helping women get back into the workforce by providing them with interview-appropriate clothing.

The Boise Valley chapter of Dress for Success has served over 6,000 women.

"Women that are trying to get back in the workforce, that need just the basic things like clothing, shoes and handbags to make that great first impression, they come to us and we give that to them," said Executive Director Rachel Flichel. "When a client gets a job, she can come back to DFS, and build her working wardrobe."

Dress for Success wanted the look of a boutique. The only problem was that the nonprofit's building in Meridian - where women would come to pick out their clothing - was a essentially a rundown shed.

"It was dark, we didn't have electricity," Flichel explained. "It was really steamy hot in the summer, it was freezing in the winter."

PHOTOS: Home builder helps Dress for Success

Flichel says something needed to be done.

"The biggest part was really trying to find someone to take it on, and scoop us up and help us," she said.

The group got a $10,000 donation from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, and reached out to CBH Homes, which responded right away.

"Within a day they sent out Andrew Hardy and the first thing he started to do was tearing off our siding," Flichel said. "But we realized pretty quickly that meant that they were going to help us."

Hardy says it never a question of whether they would help.

The old shed needed just about everything - the siding was falling off and it had no heating or cooling systems.

"We just stripped it down to the studs, Gutted it and re-did everything," Hardy said. "Insulation, dry wall, this thing is brand new."

With a lot of donated help from CBH's trade partners, and after eight months, the new shed was ready for the big reveal.

A visibly emotional Flichel couldn't hold back the tears.

"This is unbelievable, oh my gosh," she said, giving Hardy a hug.

The newly updated "shed" now has the look of a boutique - with lighting, windows, clothing racks, and of course, air conditioning.

"Now the women that go through our program can really feel special here too," Flichel said. "Our boutique is a beautiful space where they come and they feel special, empowered and they leave completely transformed from head to toe."

For Hardy and CBH Homes, it was an honor.

"Well we have to realize that in order for these small organizations to give back to the community, sometimes they need a helping hand to do their job," he said.

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