Clover’s Closet –
carries community contributed couture
By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Karen Bunch
In early spring 2019, Karen Davis, an educational assistant in the severe and significant needs department at Castle Rock Middle School and owner of Clover’s Closet, was clearing out closets in her home when she discovered she had a pile of hardly-used party dresses that her daughter had worn to homecoming and prom dances throughout her high school career.
While she could have easily taken the stash to a consignment shop or even donated the dresses to a thrift shop, Davis instead decided she wanted to do something more – something that would directly benefit the kids in the community. The idea for Clover’s Closet, a nonprofit donation-based charity that focuses on providing formal wear for students attending school events was born.
With only a few weeks to pull it together, Davis found a space to host her formal wear pop-up shop and put the word out to the community that they needed inventory. In April 2019, Davis held her first prom pop-up event.
“We are completely driven and supplied by the Douglas County community,” Davis said. With donations from dresses (some still with the original tags attached) to boxes of make up donated by local Mary Kay representatives, “We outfit the students, both boys and girls, from head to toe as much as we can – from shoes to make up and everything in between,” she continued. “That generosity makes my heart beat faster,” expressed Davis.
Clover’s Closet also pops-up for homecoming. In 2021, Davis said the shop was able to put formal wear items in the hands of more than 300 kids. She said there was a line waiting at the door everyday she opened.
Davis recognizes that her donation-based organization fits into a greener cause. Many one-use items like party dresses and high-heeled sparkly sandals can be reused rather than ending up in a dumpster. She also said there is a definite fashion trend where vintage is chic.
Davis is quick to say though, “We don’t turn anyone away. You can’t put stipulations on giving. The fact that a student is at our shop is reason enough.”
The shop’s name is in honor of Davis’s dog, Clover who came into their lives eight years ago. Clover was a rescue that Davis saw on social media.
“She was the most pathetic little puppy,” Davis laughed.
The family had just lost their family dog unexpectedly and Davis said they were still grieving and in no way looking to adopt. As fate would have it, Davis found herself going to meet this dog who had heartworms, a shotgun pellet lodged in her back and was suffering from PTSD.
“She shivered like a bowl full of Jell-O,” recalled Davis.
The dog had been living on the streets of Houston, Texas, and Davis figures the only reason she was caught was because she was caring for a litter of puppies that slowed her down. Now, Davis said you would hardly recognize the dog that has become a part of their family.
“I named the shop Clover’s Closet after her because even when things are the darkest, there is always room to hope,” said Davis.
Clover’s Closet pop-up prom shop 2022 will be held at the RE/MAX office located at 755 Maleta Lane in Castle Rock (behind Target). They will be open for the first three weekends in April. For more information, visit www.cloverscloset.org.