Former shelter cat Mikey makes himself at home at Catwalk, the women's clothing boutique that operates solely to benefit the Berkshire Humane Society.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Mimi Rosenblatt was the type of kid who would collect worms and bugs to study them, fascinated by creatures big and small.
So it's no wonder that as an adult, she turned her attention to animal advocacy.
That passion landed her a volunteer position when the Berkshire Humane Society opened Purradise, its cat adoption center in Great Barrington, four years ago, and that led to her newest endeavor: Catwalk, an upscale resale boutique founded to benefit the humane society.
Rosenblatt worked with BHS board member Leslie Weil and Purradise volunteer Marsha Weiner, to open the store on Memorial Day weekend with the goal of providing a steady stream of funding for the humane society.
"I adore animals," Rosenblatt said. "I've loved animals since I can remember."
This week, Rosenblatt and other animal-lovers are joining together for a fundraiser on Thursday, Aug. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Naji's Mediterranean Cuisine at 401 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington.
Clothing from the Catwalk boutique — which features gently used but high-end women's clothing and accessories at low price points — will be featured on models provided, dressed and styled by Michele's Salon. Professional stylist and Catwalk sales associate Lisa Betkoski is curating the clothing and serving as "model wrangler" for the show. Naji's is providing an array of Mediterranean food, and DJ Mike Heck will provide the music.
Admission is free and the fashion show will be held rain or shine; parking is available next door at the former Lee Bank and across the street at Mavis Tire. For more information, visit www.catwalkboutique.org or the store's Facebook page.
In addition to the fashion show, Catwalk is having a special Labor Day weekend sale, during which everything in the store will be 20 percent off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Catwalk is hosting a trunk sale featuring the endangered animal T-shirts of Pangolin Clothing Co., started by a Pittsfield native attending college in Amherst.
The store's first summer of operation has been "fantastic," said Rosenblatt, who said the store fills a niche in the community of more affordable higher-end clothing for women, all of which is donated.
"We're trying to keep our prices low. We have a lot of items between $12 and $25," she said, adding that they work hard to ensure that the clothing is quality. "We're very picky. We won't put stuff in that's damaged."
The women dipped their toes in the business by operating a "pop up store" last year that was so successful that it led to the idea of the permanent one, a 650-square-foot space located at 325 Stockbridge Road, behind Aegean Breeze.
"It gave us the confidence to try it," she said.
Rosenblatt said running the store now is a labor of love to help all of those creatures that can't help themselves.
"It just makes me feel good to do something like this for animals," she said. "We have to be their voice."