Members of Omaha’s transgender community have a comfortable and convenient avenue for building their wardrobes with the recent opening of Trans Stitchin’.
“It’s a first for the city, at least that’s our understanding,” Grady Schmitt said of the free clothing closet that he and Maddelyn Ball established in mid-July.
The twosome, Schmitt said, had been discussing the need for a free clothing resource for some time. The idea took root as he was transitioning his own wardrobe and looking for a place to donate items specifically for the benefit of the trans community.
The duo secured a location and established a Facebook page to get the word out and ask for donations of clothing and accessories for adults, teens and youth.
“It’s expensive to change your entire wardrobe,” Schmitt said. “We’ve been very lucky. The closet is full right now. And people are beginning to reach out to us.”
The clothing closet currently is operating in tight quarters, sans dressing rooms. But Schmitt said that’s not an issue.
“You just take what you want and need, and bring back what doesn’t work for you,” he said.
The next logical step, Schmitt said, is to apply for nonprofit status. Tax-deductible contributions could enable Trans Stitchin’ to broaden its outreach and include financial assistance for legal name changes, wigs, etc.
Until then, Trans Stitchin’ seeks to be a comfortable, inclusive place for shopping, Schmitt said.
The clothing closet is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment in Suite 208 of an office building at 7701 Pacific St. Appointments can be made by calling Schmitt at 402-201-6940.
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