(l-r) Opportunity House volunteer Diana Cramer is casually elegant in a two-piece gauze Lee Anderson ensemble (retail value $257, Opportunity House [OH] price $15) complemented by a strand of wooden beads (retail $15, OH $2); MCUM staffer Steve Thomas sports a vintage Sasson navy blazer (eBay $30, OH $3) and J. Crew cotton poplin shirt (retail $59.50, OH $3); MCUM Development Director Katie Broadfoot sparkles in a gold sequin cocktail dress by Charlotte Russe (retail $25, OH $4). Photo by Jeff Richardson


Opportunity House was founded by a group of church ladies in 1968 to help low-income families with small children, but for five decades it has also been on the radar of Bloomingtonians looking for a fashionable bargain. The nonprofit resale shop, located in a rambling gray building at 907 W. 11th St., has several rooms stocked with donations of designer clothing, trendy accessories, vintage goods, jewelry, housewares, and books. Sales benefit the child care programs of Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM).

Currently staffed with one full-time and one part-time employee, Opp House operations have been fueled for that half-century by a dedicated volunteer force, which today numbers around 70 people, according to General Manager Nicola Payne.

“To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re featuring 50 customers and well-known community members on our Facebook page, and will also be sharing photos from our past,” Payne says. “We’ll also be having lots of sales featuring the number 50, including 50 percent-off sales, and 50-cent sales. A summer celebration is also in the planning stages.”

As Opp House staff and volunteers loaded racks with spring fashions, they set some aside for a Bloom photo shoot at City Hall. A sudden shower didn’t dampen the mood—Bloom provided the umbrellas, and one model came with rain attire found for a song—at Opportunity House, of course!

Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 812-336-2443.

To see images from the photo shoot, view the gallery below (click the arrows on either side of the photo to navigate forward and backward). Photos by Jeff Richardson