Many Dallasites already know about the store in Highland Park Village known for their fabulous gifts and impeccable gift wrapping. However, on a recent visit to St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange, I learned so much more about this park cities treasure and I want to share it with you today. Did you know that they are a non-profit? Shopping you can feel good about!
Nestled between Bird Bakery and Royal Blue Grocery is St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange. If you have never popped into their abode, you don’t know what you are missing. I’ve shopped there for years yet I am always shocked when someone asks me what I purchase there. Let’s start with their history.
The store dates back to 1939, when “The Woman’s Exchange” opened in Highland Park Village as a consignment shop. The store served as a source of income for consignees, for whom jobs were scarce. Several years later, the Junior League of Dallas purchased the store to be a fundraising project. By 1958, The Women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church bought the store from The Junior League for $1,500 to create the St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange we all enjoy today. The store has occupied #5 Highland Park Village for six decades and is an institution in the shopping center today. I’m going to guess that they are probably the longest tenant of HPV.
In addition to being a chic gift shop and wrapping mecca, every dollar spent on something lovely in the store is given away to those in need. It’s operated that way since 1958 and is a non-profit organization. It is completely run by 134 volunteers! The buyers, display artists, salespeople, cashiers, gift wrappers, department chairs, governing board, and accounting and advertising team – all volunteers. Each year, the proceeds from the store are distributed to those in need. Requests are submitted and reviewed by a committee and granted to those who meet the criteria. A list of beneficiaries can be found here.
In 1958, the first year of operation, $8,000 was distributed to those in need. Over the past six decades, the cumulative total is more than $8 million. Where else can you shop and give back at the same time? It’s shopping that you can feel good about!
I met up with Dee Ann A., one of the volunteers, to get a tour of the store and find out what’s new. You will find the most incredible collection of Jan Barboglio and Michael Aram as well as smocked, classic children’s wear and baby clothes, layette gowns and gifts. This is the shop where you want to purchase your christening gowns and baptism gifts. Be sure to check out their seasonal decor items for the home. Right now they are decked out for Easter. You will always be able to pop in and purchase gourmet specialty food items such as Killer Pecans, CocoAndre Chocolatier products, Dallas Caramel Company products (all Dallas companies) and Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory Cheese Straws. Side note: If you get the Killer Pecans, plan to eat the entire bag once you open it. SO GOOD!
I just recently discovered that you can order wedding invitations and custom stationery at St. Michael’s as well. And let’s not forget… the impeccable gift wrapping! I have friends that drop off all their Christmas gifts and have them wrapped here. I’m not kidding! My favorite thing to do is to take something I have purchased elsewhere (totally fine) and have it wrapped at St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange. I also like to grab something last-minute at the store and have it wrapped on site when I’m en route to a birthday luncheon or need a quick gift. The ladies are so lovely and helpful. I swear, they must go through 100 hours of gift wrap training to make them look so good.
My amazing next door neighbor Dru F. is a volunteer at St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange. Just another reason for me to pop by this little gem! I hope you will stop by soon.
xoxo – Tanya
Photo: Mary Hafner
Thank you to St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are my own.