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Store helping with ‘refinements’

By Staff | Jan 20, 2012

Judith Platz will make Refinements “more than just a store” with the inclusion of a new program for women that she intends to launch next month.

Platz, owner of Refinements, the “high-end designer clothing and accessories” consignment shop that opened on German Street in September, plans to use her new business to boost the lives of local women in need.

Platz, a Shepherdstown resident for the past 14 years, said she was inspired to start a project she is tentatively calling, “Women of Refinement” after seeing similar programs at stores in the Washington D.C. area, where she worked for many years.

Not finding similar programs in her hometown, Platz decided to bring Shepherdstown something new.

The program would provide women in need of attire for job interviews or other important occasions, and women who may be going through a difficult time, with new clothes, accessories and their own special day.

As Platz explained, a small group of friends who work as professional hair and makeup stylists have volunteered to provide free haircut and makeup services to participants. A handful or local photographers have agreed to provide portraits each woman can take home as well.

“It’s so that they get something new, something to feel good about,” she said.

Volunteers include Sandi Kastle of Alter Ego Hair Salon in Charles Town and Anna Sokel of Sokel Makeup and Skincare in Charles Town, among others.

Platz said she hopes to hold the first event the weekend before Valentine’s Day and has begun the process of finding women to participate by reaching out to local churches as well as taking suggestions from the public.

Platz said she sees the project as one of the many ways she hopes to use Refinements to give back.

“I believe in the consignment concept,” she said. “It gives back the moment someone buys something. This is just another way of putting back into the community,” she went on to say.

Platz said she plans to use the store for other things such as private party rentals, Friday morning knitting classes and “closet” clothing swaps, which she described as another way women can come together and meet each other.

Ultimately, Platz explained that she wants Refinements to be a place that fosters positive “girl energy” and a sense of community.

“I wanted Refinements to be a place where women could truly help women,” she said.

Those interested in volunteering additional hair and makeup services and/or suggesting program participants can contact Judith at 304-876-8599 or by visiting the store at 125 W. German Street.