There's a secret Cindy Richey doesn't want to keep.
Tucked within an office building off McKnight Road and next door to the Shoppes at Northway is a women's clothing resale shop that spreads 5,000 square feet through six former offices known as Treasure House Fashions.
Packed with clothing that caters only to women—no kids clothing will be accepted—the options are high quality and cover a range of sizes, from petite to plus to maternity.
Work suits? They got them. Casual play clothes? They got those, too. Something for prom or a night on the town? Yep. Shoes? Uh huh. Coach handbags? Indeed, sometimes.
"We have a niche and we serve that niche very, very well," Richey said.
The shop, the brain child of Richey's sister, Sally Power, who teaches in the North Allegheny School District, opened in 2000 on Perry Highway next to the Dairy Queen and Duncan Comics as a typical for-profit resale shop. Power brought Richey on as bookkeeper.
But they found themselves giving away much of the clothing to women in need rather than selling the clothing as intended. In 2001, they made the shop a nonprofit, and now they work with organizations who help women who are on their own and struggling, providing a place where they can come and shop for the clothes that fit them best both physically and in style.
"We've become the closet for the women's organiztions," she said.
To pay the bills, however, they are open to the general public. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
And for those looking for a fun "Girls' Night Out," they'll open the shop for groups of women who want to come and shop together—while sharing refreshments.
Twice a year they do a bag sale—$20 gets you whatever you can fit into a tote bag—in order to flip the inventory between the seasons.
Richey, who lives in Reserve Township, was one of 48 volunteers who were selected as Jefferson Award receipients in 2011. She recently received the two-inch bronze Jefferson Award medallion—an honor she said she is humbled by, but that she hopes, more than anything, will get the word out about the shop.
"We don't want to be a secret in the North Hills," she said.
She is passionate about the hole Treasure House Fashions fills for the women who need it.
"If a woman doesn't shop for herself and take care of herself, she will run out of energy," Richey said.
To find out more about Treasure House Fashions, visit www.thfasions.org. To help the organization, Richey suggests shopping there, organizing a "Girls Night Out," or contributing toward gift certificates that are given to women who need them to put toward their shopping experience.
Clothing donations are also accepted. They look for notable brand name pieces that have been gently used.