Look out, QVC and HSN, the women of La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are giving you a run for your customers by taking to the internet and offering shoppers some of the best deals to be found on both new and gently used jewelry and designer clothing, shoes, sunglasses and handbags.
The Burbank-based guild’s new online program, “Diva Designs,” which will be hosted by guild members including Jackie Latronica, Teresa Garcia and Max Andrews, debuted last month and now runs live every Friday evening at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.
“Our thrift shop has been our biggest fundraising source for years,” said Glenda Jones, who directs the online program. “When we were closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost our primary means of raising money. Along with that, we also had to cancel all of our annual events. That has been a devastating blow to our ability to stay on track with our fundraising goals, and so we had to start getting creative — fast.”
With local shoppers unable to cross the threshold of their thrift shop, Latronica and Garcia came up with the idea for “Diva Designs,” which will now bring the thrift shop to people in the comfort of their homes. Featuring designer items that are in excellent condition — and sometimes have never been worn or used — the program will also offer an array of jewelry coordinated by guild member Malena Tappan.
“We are really offering some beautiful things,” said Latronica shortly before going live from the thrift shop. “Many people from Burbank and the surrounding area already know that our shop sells very good quality items at a fraction of their original price; and we are going to be featuring some of our best items on the program because we will have a much further reach of potential buyers.”
To ensure that reach, guild members, led by Andrews, have been contacting friends from all over the country to tune in for the great deals.
“Many of the thrift shops and secondhand stores in the Los Angeles area get donations of really great designer items,” said Andrews, who served as Latronica’s co-host for last night’s show. “But we forget, that is not the case in rural communities around the country. I have told friends of mine about what we are doing who live in small cities in Pennsylvania and Florida, and they can’t wait to tune in to see what type of treasures they may get.”
The genesis of the guild’s thrift shop can be traced to the late 1940s, when members would stage yard sales to show off and sell used clothing and other items. In 1958, they transitioned to operating a brick-and-mortar thrift shop that was located on San Fernando Boulevard. After rapidly outgrowing the first facility, the guild moved to Tujunga Avenue, and, after 22 years, moved again to what became known as the “Little Blue Cottage” on Magnolia Boulevard.
In November 2007, the guild relocated once again to its current location at 3301 W. Burbank Blvd., where, staffed by volunteer guild members, the store offers a wide array of clothing, jewelry, accessories, furniture, books, household items, artwork and gifts.
With the help of Katherine Richards, who is handling online sales, and guild sales consultant Rebecca Jones, the nonprofit organization is now taking its shop to the next level with “Diva Designs.” Their hope is to attract more shoppers than ever, which will translate into more dollars raised to support the guild’s mission to assist Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“We started this because of the pandemic,” said Glenda Jones. “But it has already become so successful for us that we plan to keep it going and even expand our online programing.”
According to the thrift shop Chairwoman Sue Meckley, the live online program, which raised $1,600 during the debut show, will be augmented by a weekly online auction where shoppers can peruse photos of available items they can bid on. Every week a new auction will continue until Friday evening, when the winners will be announced during the live program.
“We started off our auction with a pair of brand-new Escada boots that were still in the box and retail for $950, and a gift bag that included a $200 gift card to Burke Williams spa and a $40 Ulta Beauty gift card,” said Meckley. “We will really be offering a lot of tremendous items like that which people will be able to get at amazing prices.”
To shop “Design Divas” online, “like” facebook.com/LaProvidenciaThriftShopInBurbank.
For more information about the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, guild membership, or upcoming events, visit laprov.org, call (818) 845-6606 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Laurell may be reached at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.