Nifty Thrifting – The Tiger Boutique Is Open For All


Lexie Meserve, Columnist

The Tiger Boutique, a BHS outlet situated in the Steve White Gym, is run by Mrs. Poulin and Nurse Krystal. It’s aimed to help those in need of an outfit or two. Sometimes money is tight and things like sweaters and shoes are hard to pay for. With the Tiger Boutique’s wide selection and non-existant prices, students have easy access to those things and more. But this does lead to some questions: Where do the clothes come from? How did the boutique come to be? What is the boutique’s future? Today, we’re here to answer these questions and assure you a comfortable trip if you do choose to visit. 


“They’re all donations,” Mrs. Poulin says, when asked about the clothing’s origin. “It’s all donations from the community…It started with an email to the staff here at BHS, and actually a Facebook post. And then people now remember, and say, ‘oh I’m cleaning out my closet and I remember that BHS is taking clothes,’ and they call me, and we get it.” The clothing is cleaned and sorted through, by Mrs. Poulin herself and willing volunteers. “We have students that help, they’ll put it in for some community service hours,” she recalls. “and the key is to make it look nice and to make people feel good going in there and getting things. And not having to dig through bags and boxes for things, just having it all there for their disposal like a store.” Mrs. Poulin stresses the importance of keeping the place nice and tidy. She explains: “Right now, Mr. Walton has generously offered that back room that’s literally like the coach’s room, for storage, and he was nice enough to let us go in there. That’s why I try to keep it nice and tidy because, you know. It’s not my space!” And not only this, but she wants kids to be comfortable going into the boutique. “Our goal is to have nice things, you know, that people feel comfortable wearing, people feel proud.”


About the origin of the boutique itself, it was discussed and started at a bad time. “It all started with Nurse Krystal saying she’d like to have a, you know, a clothing store here,” Mrs. Poulin recalls. “And then covid hit, so she didn’t have the time because all the pool testing started, kids have been sick, so I told her not to worry about it and I’d help her with it.” She mentions an email to the BHS staff to get started, and then she got to work contacting whoever she could to make it happen. “I basically just contacted local businesses, cleaners in the area… Kohl’s department store has been wonderful, they were real generous in giving us tons of hangers… Mrs. Gibson from APC had a friend that had a business that went out, and so they donated some of the racks.” And in the end it all came together. Well, mostly. 


With the eight graders moved in and the school busy with the various covid regulations, the boutique is tucked away in a little side room in the Steve White Gym. Gym equipment is regularly thrown in there, so the place is crowded already and not as appealing to look at. Nevermind the fact that, since it’s situated in the gym, it’s hard to make it there in the first place due to gym class. Though very grateful for this space, Mrs. Poulin has visions for something more: “Where I’d like to go with this is to actually have a Tiger Boutique store,” She shares. “You know, our own designated area where we could literally spread out, have room to grow, and to add more things.” She explains that while the space they have is limited, they can still do a whole lot of good for the community. “We have backpacks in there. Hats, coats and gloves in the winter time, like a seasonal kind of thing.” 


The Tiger Boutique is a place for those to find the clothes that they need, without feeling uncomfortable and without hassle. Nurse Krystal and Mrs. Poulin started this cause with intent to help those in need. We are very fortunate to have such a loyal and trustworthy community in Biddeford. Donations are still accepted, if you do choose to donate you can contact Mrs. Poulin through email: ([email protected]) or through calling the school. Same goes with volunteering! If you find yourself having spare time during the month of August to help get the boutique ready for the school year, reach out to Mrs. Poulin to get started! “It’s something we want to keep doing, having a really safe space for anybody to get anything they need – we want it to be a comfortable environment. And I think it is.”